Newsletter – Christmas 2018
A word from our Principal, Mr Yates:
With the Christmas holidays approaching quickly, I would like to thank all stakeholders of West Drayton Academy for their ongoing support. Whether we are governors, parents or teachers, we are committed to raising standards. Children learn holistically when fully supported by all sides.
The children have received a wealth of wonderful events this half term: A trip to the Beck Theatre to watch Peter Pan, the EYFS nativity, a festive lunch, parties, the Christmas Fair, ‘Carols by Candlelight’, the staff pantomime and many more. I would like to thank all staff and volunteers who work incredibly hard to organise events during this busy season.
Please do take care over the holiday period and enjoy your family time together. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Early Years Foundation Stage Nativity
One of many Christmas traditions in school is the Nativity play which really heralds the arrival of the festive season. This year, the Early Years performed ‘Away in a Manger’ which tells the story of a proud mule who has become rather attached to his manger and what a commotion it causes when he has to share it with a stream of visitors.
The children worked incredibly hard to learn their lines and the songs and the nursery children had their own special song to perform ‘ Big Star’.
All of the children were super stars and we were very proud of them.
All the Fun of the Fair
Thank you to the Friends of WDA, particularly Mrs Willey who calmly and efficiently organises everyone, for arranging a fantastic fair with so many stalls, activities and treats. Thank you to everyone who contributed their time and / or attended the event and helping us to raise an impressive £1400!
Guests into School
Thank you to Mr Henry, a part time Minister from the Uxbridge Gospel Hall, for hosting our Christmas assembly. Mrs Macdonald introduced the assembly and the question Mr Henry posed was ‘What can we learn from the Three Wise Men?’
Mr Henry gave us some interesting aspects to consider. Rather than arriving at the birth of the baby Jesus, with the shepherds, the Wise Men travelled from afar, on a journey which took them over a year, so they first met Jesus as a young child, not a baby.
The Three Wise Men were unwavering in their faith and persistent in their quest to find him. These relate to the values we hold today—such as perseverance and respect.
Faiths & Festivals
The children in Reception have been learning about different celebrations this term to develop their understanding of similarities and differences.
They have talked about birthdays, weddings, Christmas, Diwali and Eid and have had the opportunity to share photos of their family celebrations.
This week we were delight to welcome parents from our Muslim community into school to talk to the children about how they celebrate Eid in their families. The parents shared photographs of Eid celebrations and the children had the opportunity to ask them questions.
We have enjoyed celebrating the diverse community that we live in.
Carols by Candlelight
Thank you to the Music Team, Mrs Furzer-Pickett and Mrs Cattell for organising our Carols by Candlelight and to Year 6 for providing the ‘candlelight’ and story-telling. The narration and singing was a wonderful way to share the Christmas story, and the dimmed lighting really helped to set the scene.
Making a Drama out of Christmas
To help spread some festive cheer, Miss Brewer’s Drama Club put on a Christmas show called 'Santas Cookie Problem.' The children only had a week to rehearse but managed to put on a great performance! They worked so hard and were very excited to perform to KS2 in assembly. Performing the show was a lot of fun and definitely helped get all the staff and children in the Christmas spirit!'
Panto Season – O yes it is!
A very British tradition is to visit a Pantomime show at Christmas time. This year, Our Early Years and KS1 children had a visit from a theatre company performing an adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk.
There were the goodies and baddies with plenty of cheering and booing and the cast of 3, playing multiple roles, put on a really enjoyable show.
Our KS2 children had the opportunity to go to The Beck Theatre to see ‘Peter Pan’. Judging by the expressions on the children’s faces, the trip was a great success and hugely enjoyable. Thank you to all of the staff who gave up their time to accompany the children and to Mrs Warren-Searle for her meticulous planning.
‘Happy Never After’ – Staff Panto
To round off the Autumn term, teaching staff put on an amazing show for the children. In true panto style, the children saw their teachers in a whole new light! The cast performed brilliantly; it was full of our favourite characters from a variety of traditional tales all brought together in a unique and memorable way.
To deliver such a fun experience for the children took a huge amount of effort and commitment from the teachers and Mr Yates was rendered almost speechless to see such acting talent amongst his staff.
As the children left the hall, the teachers, in full costume, lined up on each side of the corridor and sang and clapped the children on their way back to class.
Festive Story Time Events
It’s always a delight to welcome families with their children into our beautiful school library and to celebrate the forthcoming festive season we held two after school Christmas story time events.
It was fantastic to meet so many parents especially those new to our school and to welcome them to the weekly routines of our school library.
Before long, our library was filled with the joyful voices of exuberant children excitedly showing their parents where they choose their library books. It was a total joy to then watch parent and child cosily settle down and to see them head-to-head, totally immersed in the pleasure of sharing a book together.
As the wintery afternoon darkened, the children and their parents snuggled together to enjoy our special, festive book - “The Littlest Reindeer” by Moira Butterfield. The atmosphere in the library felt full of seasonal joy as this beautifully illustrated story about Christmas Eve unfolded and captivated everyone.
Then to end our festive afternoon we all enjoyed a Christmas sing-a-long. The children treated their proud parents to a rousing rendition of their favourite festive songs and the children from Reception sang songs from their recent nativity play.
Thank you to all who attended both events and I look forward to welcoming more families to our next story time events.