Children experience the 'magic of Christmas' at Fatfield Academy Winter Wonderland Forest
Children at Fatfield Academy have been experiencing the “magic of Christmas” in the school’s enchanted Winter Wonderland Forest.
Unable to host their Nativity, Carol Service or Christmas Fair due to ongoing Covid concerns, staff were worried children may miss out on “the most magical time of the year”.
Not to be beaten, staff at the school decorated their on-site forest with Christmas decorations and lights and created enchanting animal homes for badger, fox, rabbit and owl – key characters in the book Mouse’s Christmas.
The local community also helped to create the mystical wonderland with parents helping to build a tree house and local company ArkTek providing the festive lights free of charge.
The children, who had made their own Mouse character, then had to follow the story’s journey through the woods.
In keeping with the story, mouse is left saddened as he calls at each of his friend’s home’s only to find out they are busy with other tasks. The story eventually comes to an end at owl’s house where mouse finds a surprise party with presents, hot chocolate and cookies made by all his friends – items which were then enjoyed by the children.
Reading the story for the children was headteacher Tracey Pizl who said: “Covid has had a big impact on what we have been able to do and so wanted to give them something to make Christmas more magical – it’s important children get such experiences.
"We even had some of the Year 6 pupils dressed as some of the characters in the book.”
"At the end of the school day, the parents could join the children who would guide them around the forest.”
The experience certainly seemed to have the desired effect with Year 6 pupil Grace describing the forest as “magical”, while Lucas, nine, said “today has been an epic day”.
After enjoying cookies and hot chocolate in the forest, the pupils returned to the school library where they had a further surprise with a visit from non other than Santa himself, laden with gifts.
Mrs Pizl said: “The children were absolutely elated with the fact Santa was in their own school library.”
Martha, four, said: “I loved seeing Santa at the end," while classmate Ben, also four, added: "I liked seeing Santa, it was a surprise."