This week begins the season of Advent and the important getting ready to welcome baby Jesus. Though school is very different this year, we are going to make this season as special as we always do, but there are some inevitable differences.
Sadly, we will not be having any families into school or church to help us celebrate as a community. We will do our very best to make sure that we share photos, Tweets, etc. of the children so that you still feel part of their school celebrations. There are lots of events planned, so I am setting out when things are happening in school, so you can prepare the children at home.
Monday 30th November starts off our celebrations with a recording by Father Liam blessing the Advent wreath. Each child will have been asked to think about a way they can prepare for the birth of Jesus by doing something positive or kind for someone else.
Advent is also the season of Posada; this year the children will bring a picture of the travelling crib home with suggestions of prayers and readings for the whole family to share together.
During Advent, the children will be collecting money in each class for CAFOD gifts. On the last week of term, the classes count up their money and together, using the CAFOD site, choose the gifts for others in the world less well-off than they are. This is always a really lovely thing to do and the children always give generously of their own pocket money.
This year our classes will be having their Nativity celebrations as class or year groups to comply with our bubbles. The younger children will still be invited to have parts and dress up as they traditionally do. The older children will have collective worships where they will reflect on the Christmas story and the impact on the world.
The dates for each groups are:
Nursery. 8th December am and pm – Role Play Nativity in costumes as part of RE.
Reception. 9th December am and pm & 10th December am – 3 classes, 2 songs each and perform to other Reception classes.
Year 1. 14th December – Children dress in traditional costumes for their Nativity
Year 2. 10th December – tableaux Nativity in costumes, performing carols with Makaton signing.
Year 3. 15th December – Mini Nativity as distanced year group
Year 4. 10th December – Collective Worship – What is the true message of Christmas this year?
Year 5. 14th December – Collective Worship with Holy Night
Year 6. 15th December Collective Worship
In addition, we also have other events for you to note the dates.
December 11th is Christmas Jumper Day with a Santa Dash. The children will be asked to bring in £1.00 to take part. In the afternoon, there will be Christmas parties. The PTA will provide the food and drink for these.
On 15th December, year 4 & 5 will be attending a closed school mass in church at 11.15am. Father Liam has kindly agreed to allow the children who will be taking part in sacramental events next year to gather in church. With strict distancing rules in church, it is not possible to invite anyone else to attend.
On 16th December, our kitchens will be cooking the annual Christmas dinner – always a good day!! There will be an invitation to children who do not usually take a school lunch to join us that day. Further details will be sent out soon.
This year, with restrictions on sharing things from home, we felt that if the children did want to bring in Christmas cards each class can have a box in class where they will be quarantined and will be exchanged on one day all together. This year it might be a good idea to discuss with the children not sending cards, but donating the money that might have been spent on cards to CAFOD.
Finally, school will finish on 18th December at lunchtimes. Nursery’s last day is 17th December.
Apologies for the length of the letter, but there are a lot of dates and details to share. As always, please check our school website and Weduc for updates.
I would like to thank you all, parents, pupils and friends of St Oswald’s, for your continued support and to wish you and your loved ones a healthy and happy Advent period.
Mrs M Walsh