The festive joy of a door-decorating competition

What better way to bring some festive cheer to the end of the year than a door-decorating contest?
16th December 2020, 2:22pm
Claire Nuttall

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The festive joy of a door-decorating competition

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/festive-joy-door-decorating-competition
Festive Door

Christmas has to be one of the most magical times of the year.

It follows, therefore, that working in a primary school has to be one of the best places to celebrate Christmas. It's all about the children, the awe, the wonder, the excitement, the glitz, the shows and the full-on Christmas spirit.

Normally at this time of year, we would be practically at fever pitch in school, with our Early Years Foundation Stage children practising their Christmas show (never a dry eye in the auditorium), our choir singing at the local care home, and in the Christmas market in the centre of Luxembourg: an event celebrated by so many of our parents and community.  

Year 6 would be preparing a charity Christmas gift service, and of course, the "surprise" Staff panto would be secretly rehearsing, creating much hilarity and mischief in its wake. (Oh, no they didn't! - Oh, yes they did!)

Sadly, this year, many of these traditions have had to be scaled down or cancelled.

What's on the door?

However, there is one tradition that has not only survived but is stronger than ever: the Christmas door competition.

This year at St George's International School, the competition is fiercer than ever, as doors across the school are decorated in festive colours and themes.

Snowdoor

All around the school you can hear voices saying, "Have you seen 1A's door? It's amazing! Ours need to be better!" (And that's just the teachers).

Already we have elves, shoemakers, tangram trees, paper-cup snowmen, mathematical advent calendars, Stone Age Elfie-selfies, pop-out doors, 3D doors and so much more. Creativity and humour abound, with a good sprinkling of fun and a massive dose of Christmas spirit. 

A door for 2020

But there is one door that really reflects the times.

Year 2 Bettembourg have created a Lockdown Survival Guide door, complete with advice to endure the lockdown period and work created during their recent week of quarantine. Messages, written on penguins - of course - advise a positive mindset:

  1. Be motivated.
  2. Do cooking with Mum and Dad.
  3. Find fun activities to try with your family.
  4. Get enough sleep.
  5. Enjoy spending time with the family.
  6. Get fresh air.
  7. Eat healthy food.
  8. Talk to your friends about how you feel.
  9. Challenge yourself.
  10. Walk in the forest with your brothers and sisters.
  11. Be special.
  12. Be the best you can.
upbeat door

The perfect 2020 tonic

Teacher Cathy Thomas explains that her inspiration came from the amazing attitude the children showed when in quarantine for a week. "They were so positive and caring toward each other. I felt their Christmas spirit just had to be shared!"

We found it difficult at home, explained the children. We really missed our teacher and we could not see our friends. Working on your own is not easy.

To support the children, Miss Thompson encouraged them to share strategies that made them feel better. She was thoroughly impressed away by the thoughtful responses she received from her class.

And so 2B's Christmas door was created - the perfect topic, with messages of care and support signposted on their door for all to see!

This may be a very different Christmas, but the spirit of loving and giving and caring for others is alive and well in our children.

Claire Nuttall is headteacher at St George's International School in Luxembourg

Door 3

 

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