Embracing the festive spirit: A celebration of Christmas
As the echoes of children’s laughter gradually fade from the corridors and school gates clang shut resoundingly, it’s finally time to take a well-deserved break and savour the joys of the holiday season.
It’s been a busy time! Schools across ESW have displayed phenomenal festive spirit with wonderful performances, nativities and community activities in the last two weeks. All achieved against a backdrop of continued classroom learning until the end.
As Matthew Shanks said: “It’s amazing to watch children’s confidence grow as they step outside their comfort zones for these performances – we are so proud and extremely grateful for the hard work put in by staff and pupils to make these events happen. Our sincere thanks to everyone involved and to everyone who attended them!”
Here’s a roundup:
Music and joy in the primary schools
Across ESW primary schools, a staggering 22 concerts and nativities performed! East Allington held a wonderful carol service featuring Year 6 children playing festive tunes beautifully with hand chimes. Children at Rydon displayed remarkable mastery of musical instruments in their concert, including ukeleles, chime bars, violins, keyboards, percussion instruments, hand bells and even cellos.
Early years children at Dartmouth Academy confidently belted out numerous Christmas favourites. So many words to learn – amazing! In the picturesque village church at Christow, the lighting of Christingles crafted by the children created a truly magical atmosphere. The whole school performed a range of musical pieces including one Christmas song entirely in French with expert pronunciation. Lastly, children at Stoke Fleming enjoyed a trip to the pantomime ‘Snow White’. Reviewed as ‘great fun with lots of laughs!’
The nativities in all the schools were beautifully performed and charming to watch. Rydon had the whole of KS1 performing – the songs were brilliant. The atmosphere at Wynstream was superb, with perfect timing in their group songs and children confidently singing solos. In Blackawton, early years children performed to a well-attended church. Their acapella performance of ‘Away in a Manger’ brought a tear to many an eye.
Magical performances in the secondary schools
The BTEC students at Coombeshead Academy delivered a fabulous pantomime, ‘Peter Pan’, to over 500 primary school children and to a packed audience of parents, carers, students and other community members. Following this, a concert on the 13th December showcased the immense musical talent within the school, with the CREATE department hosting an art show displaying works from pupils in KS3, 4 and 5 on the same day.
Teign School’s grand production of ‘FROZEN’ featured over 130 students taking part in two casts across eight performances, captivating the audience. It was wonderful to see so many children from local primary schools being able to watch too. The general consensus: ‘Probably the best Teign production in recent years – fantastic!’
At King Edward VI Community College (KEVICC), over 50 pupils from Y7 to Y13 took to the stage at their Christmas concert. From seasoned performers to first-timers, they delivered a medley of seasonal favourites, classical compositions and contemporary hits, including music from Chopin, Billy Eilish and Nirvana!
Kingsbridge pupils delivered a stunning performance of ‘High School Musical’ for the local community, demonstrating an incredible level of commitment and professionalism. This roller-coaster of a story about friendship, coupled with well-known pop classics, left audiences thoroughly entertained.
On the 8th December, Dartmouth Academy held their annual Christmas Fair raising money for Borneo with stalls run by pupils, parents and local businesses. Father Christmas also made an appearance! KEVICC pupils from Y9 to Y11 delighted Totnes Caring clients with heartwarming Christmas songs.
On the 13th December, Years 7 and 8 at Coombeshead Academy organised a Christmas Fair selling crafts they’d made to raise funds for charitable causes. Pupils across the school also filled boxes of donations for the national Shoe Box Appeal.
Teign School raised money for children’s education in Uganda through Edukid with a non-uniform day, and they also collected food for HITs, a local foodbank service.
In conclusion, a remarkable showcase of talent, dedication and community spirit. Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to our exceptional students, committed staff, supportive parents and carers, and the wider community for nurturing and celebrating these talents. As we approach Christmas, we extend our warmest wishes to all for a joyful festive season.