2020 has certainly been something of an unusual year, and whilst there might be a vaccine, or indeed several, in sight, that does not mean that anyone can afford to let their guard down just yet. For schools the second half of the autumn term is always a time filled with special preparations as they gear up to December and the annual trip to the pantomime, carol concerts and visits to the local care home, Christmas fairs and of course the school nativity play.
Of course, most of these are off the cards, at least for this year, but that doesn’t mean that there should be no Christmas celebrations, just different ones to normal. Fortunately, schools, and teachers, are an incredibly resourceful bunch of individuals who have plenty of clever ideas up their sleeves to save the festive season for the excited pupils in their care. Here, we look at just a few ideas.
Rescuing the nativity play
IT provision in schools will really come into its own when it comes to saving some of these Christmas traditions that schools are known for. Whilst classes may still only be bubbling in their individual years groups, there is certainly scope to produce a nativity play thanks to technology. With a little bit of know how the resourceful school should be able to record individual classes working on different elements of the nativity play and bring it all together in one place. Whether this is then placed on the school website for parents to access, possibly with a pin code, or sent home on CDs for parents to watch in the comfort of their own living room, each school will have to decide.
Whilst the guidance on nativities has recently been changed, it is unlikely that schools will want to break away from the excellent work that they have committed to so far in keeping year bubbles separate, and indeed parents from congregating in groups.
Whilst nativity plays are best performed indoors, carol concerts in school could be a different matter entirely. Carol singing is permitted under the new guidance, and provided a school sticks to year bubbles it is entirely possible to put on a socially distanced concert in the playground. Having sad that, the weather in the UK is very unreliable and many schools are choosing instead to perform their carol concerts in year bubbles, video them and then use technology to allow them to be shared with parents.
There is little need for schools to cancel class Christmas parties, providing that they stick to year bubbles. Whilst parents may not be able to sign up on a paper list as in previous years to provide refreshments for parties, there are plenty of platforms available to schools that would allow them to offer a list that parents can sign up to.
With a little planning many of the school Christmas traditions that we know and love can still go ahead this year, just in a different way to normal.