Magical memories and festive fun at St Nicholas Primary

Santa visits St Nicholas youngsters

Children at St Nicholas at Wade CE Primary will be getting festive gifts from each other on Christmas morning.

To underpin their love of reading, children took part in a Secret Santa book swap – every child pulled another’s name from a hat to gift a book to.

After wrapping their special present, St Nicholas arrived at school to deliver the presents to children to put under their trees at home, with excitement mounting as pupils wonder who the gift is from and what sort of book they will be able to enjoy in the holidays.

The book initiative was just part of a busy and exciting build up to the festive break at school.

A memorable trip to see  panto Aladdin at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury had a special star guest – St Nicholas teacher Alex Ford was invited on to the stage.

His cameo appearance had the whole theatre roaring with laughter and cheering (staff hope he doesn’t give up the day job though). Children claimed it was “our best day ever” afterwards. The trip was arranged by Hannah Howard from the school office.

Meanwhile the little ones in Reception class enjoyed a story around the school’s cosy fire pit and lit the Christingle objects they made to symbolise the advent story, with parents invited along to share the special moment and find out more about the meaning of Christingle. The Christingle service was led by Early Years Foundation Studies teacher Abigail Hall.

A carol service at St Nicholas at Wade Church for junior pupils included the story of the birth of Christ told through giant Christmas cards delivered to the main characters.

Pupil’s Christmas artwork

The Christian Ambassadors read prayers and the choir performed, led by Music and RE Lead Collette Palmer who arranged the carol service. They were joined by the British Sign Language club who signed along with the programme, while the recorder and glockenspiel players also performed.

The school also took Christingles to the village church to add extra sparkle to their carol service.

A popular St Nicholas tradition is to decorate the tree each year with the children’s own bauble. The decoration has special significance as it stays with the pupil throughout their time at the school – when they leave in Year 6 they take it home as a lasting memory life at the school.

Before hanging the baubles, children were read a Christmas story by Head Teacher Taralee Kennedy and this year’s tale was A Visit from St Nicholas.

The school’s hard-working PTFA once again staged a fantastic festive fair with the hall and each classroom hosted numerous stalls and games. The one and only St Nicholas was in residence in his magic grotto chatting with children and giving them presents. Local companies including Monty’s greengrocer and wholefood shop and Wantsum Brewery help support the event with raffle prizes.

St Nicholas kitchen crew

The PTFA also ran a Christmas shop where children could buy pre-wrapped gifts for their family members.

Mrs Kennedy said: “We have enjoyed a lively, happy Christmas celebration, with our children at the heart of all our celebrations from decorating the hall with festive hoops bearing their wonderful creations, through songs, carols, panto fun, parties and our church services. It has been truly magical for us all.”