Celebrating Christmas in School

Celebrating Christmas in School can be a minefield! Here are a great deal of questions for schools to consider.
Christmas plays
How much time is given to rehearsing for that annual celebration of the Christmas play? Some schools are moving away from the traditional nativity whilst others are too large to get the whole school in the hall so are arranging two different entertainments, splitting the school by phase.
Parents really love to come along but how much time should be given over, away from the set curriculum? After all, Ofsted can visit right up to the end!
Christmas decorations
Do you decorate your school? Are children and teachers encouraged to decorate their classrooms? As Christmas starts in earnest during November on the television and other media, when can classrooms be tinseled?  Does tinsel detract from  formal learning at this time?
Christmas parties
Does each class hold a party? How do you make sure  any allergies are catered for? Do parents send food in and is there an equal response for each class across the school? If not, how do you cover it or does the kitchen do something for everyone?
What about staff? Do they go out and celebrate? I found that often by the end of the term they were very tired and not too keen to give up a Friday or Saturday night. Of course there is always Thursday but then there is school the next day.
Christmas presents
Another tricky one! Do parents feel obliged to buy a present for their child’s teacher? How do teachers feel about all  the little nick-nacks they get and do they make it out of the building? Is your school in an affluent area where parents try to out do each other on the present buying front?
Do your staff run a Secret Santa? Can they be trusted not to embarrass the recipient?
Bah humbug!
I’m not the Scrooge I sound with these questions but the world has got very commercial and things can get out of hand. Schools are no longer in the position of collapsing the timetable to accommodate Christmas (should they ever have been?).
Christmas provides such a wonderful opportunity to teach so many things that providing it has been planned, ‘proper learning’ (ouch!) can still continue. It is a time to consider all faiths and get children thinking about society at this time of year.
So, you can see that celebrating Christmas in school can be tricky and you may want to sit down and plan it!

How do you approach celebrating Christmas in school?

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