At Brook Infant School and Nursery, we love the sparkle and shine of this time of year, and we always spread the magic of Christmas to our families. However, when it feels like all schools and families are having to compromise on their Christmas traditions due to Covid19, we were determined to ensure the Christmas Production was not one of those traditions that we had to give up. Therefore we have simply worked to reimagine Christmas and with the help of a local business, we have succeeded.
We will still be having productions and we will still be having a special visit from Father Christmas as he has kindly agreed to comply with our Covid19 risk assessment.
About two thousand years ago, in a town called Bethlehem, a baby boy was born in a stable. Many of us are familiar with the scene. It is a quiet, starlight evening and Mary and Joseph resting in a stable alongside a sleeping baby Jesus when suddenly they are visited by many unexpected guests, including angels, shepherds with their sheep and wise men bearing gifts. It is a story that has been told and shared for many, many years and at this time of year, nearly every school across the land is preparing for some sort of Christmas performance. However, this year things might be different as Covid19 is making what had become tradition much harder.
Christmas performances are so much more than just shows, they are a way of bringing the community together and there is no bigger need for a strong community than now. Therefore, having decided to perform and film our performance in bubbles (before editing it together to then share with our parents via a link), we felt that we had to find a way to get the community feeling whilst maintaining Covid19 safety. Suddenly we had our own epiphany as we thought, ‘What if we could screen our Christmas Production as a Drive-In Movie’.
Having now had the dream, we had to work hard to make that dream become a reality and that is where from stage left, an amazing partner came into play in the form of Oliver Tully owner and organiser of Cinestock who provides the Indoor Drive-In Events at the South of England Event Centre and is in fact the UK’s only Indoor Drive-In. We asked if we could screen our performance to the parents as a drive-in event and Oliver Tully kindly said he could make that happen in between their busy schedule of hosting Drive-In Pantomime, Kids Elf & Santa Shows and their much loved and 98% 5-star reviewed Drive-In Cinema events. The indoor nature of this unique Drive-In makes it even better for this time of year as shows are weatherproof and can also happen throughout the day. Tickets for and further information about all their shows can be found at www.cinestock.co.uk.
We are so excited to be able to offer this to all of our parents for free due to the generosity of Oliver Tully. We however asking families to support the Indoor Drive-In Events by purchasing snacks and drinks via the ordering app. Oliver Tully and his company Cinestock have simply made our Christmas wishes come true and we cannot wait to see our children sparkling and shining on the big screen.
The reason we have given so much time and thought to this is because as a school we are aware of how important the Christmas Performances are at this time of year because of how much they add to our children’s overall well-being and development. Therefore to us, it has never been an option to simply not do the performances, it has instead been vital that we reimagine them and find a way to make them happen even in these challenging times.
Some families may think that these performances are highly enjoyable, but perhaps not essential. However, we have a different perspective and these performances are by no means trivial. They not only enable us to promote the Arts, which are central to our work at Brook Infant and Nursery, but they also add a huge amount to our little people’s personal development. For example, we know that participating in the performing arts helps children to develop a stronger sense of individualism, self-reflection and self-esteem. Performing encourages children to speak clearly and exercise their memory, in terms of learning their lines and recalling the order of events.
During rehearsals and performances, as educators we often directly witness the children grow in confidence. We know that confidence is vitally important because a lack of confidence can result in the children being reluctant to try new things due to a fear of failure. So even in these times when we hear a lot of talk about ‘catch-up’ and some might think it is simply best to carry on with the academic subjects, we believe that we need these performances to help develop the learning and life skills that children need to progress academically.
The show is set to screen on Monday 14th December 2020 and we have four screenings booked. As one of our year groups is now having to isolate, Cinestock has even offered to do a screening later in the week when the children are allowed out again.