Leading up to Christmas at Woodside, while maintaining our usual high standard of education, we taught children many of the traditional carols that are their heritage together with some exiting modern carols and carols from around the world and gave them the opportunity to develop their confidence and performing skills while thinking about others. This began. with performances by our choir at Grays Court Care Home, and at Lakeside, where they collected for St Francis Hospice. Our Christmas Jumper day took place without as collection for this as we had recently done some major fund raising money for Children in Need but infant classes held their own Christingle services collecting for the Children's Society. We also took children to some seasonal entertainment. Year 3 went to see the Royal Ballet Company's Nutcracker at Covent Garden as part of their Chance to Dance collaboration with ROH Trailblazers, we took year 4 to the pantomime of Jack and the Beanstalk and Thameside Theatre, and year 5 and 6 to the end our term show at Thames Park School. All our children enjoyed an in-school performance of Cinderella for all children on the last day along with parties and a traditional Christmas lunch.
Children have also had the chance to perform themselves. Each of our Infant classes presented a simple nativity with well-known carols to their parents while each Junior year group presented a traditional carol service at St Mary's Chadwell, as well as singing carols outside in the time honoured way at the end of specified days. This year we have focussed on the more traditional carols which are part of our heritage, with our own accompaniments involving children playing instruments rather than using commercial backing tracks. We have included some newer carols, including John Rutter's Angel's Carol and the originally Ukrainian Carol of the Bells and an international element with El Burritto Sabanero sung in Spanish and Silent Night in Spanish, German and English with British Sign Language.