Wellies and Wonder

Wellies and Wonder

When we were told that singing indoors was not allowed, the first thing to come to mind was of course the nativity play. A rite of passage for all children, and a joy for all parents, this year there was no singing, no audience and no way to make it work…..unless???

Throughout this strange time, the safest place to be is outdoors, and so we decided to move the whole nativity experience outside. After all Jesus was not born in a cosy school hall and we had a handy wooden stable shaped shelter on our playground. Remove the toys and add some straw bales and fairy lights and hey presto….we had scenery to rival Hollywood! In the absence of an audience we decided to make a nativity movie and share it with our school family, by the powers of technology on the big screen.

The next step was to add animals. There were the inevitable children wearing masks and woolly tabards, but we were also joined by Bea the sheep, Molly the goat and her two babies and Tuppence the miniature Shetland pony, thanks to the kindness and support of our farming families. Their handlers even graciously consented to wearing costumes for the morning to fit in with the scene.

We called our film ‘Wellies and Wonder’. There was a lot of wondering….would it be a disaster movie?.....Would the animals behave?…….Would we be able to persuade the children that this was fun? We really wondered how we managed to miss out the scene of Jesus’ birth and only remember it at the very end.  Filming was a very different experience. We could do bits again, change the order of the scenes, take a break and wear thermals under costumes.  Despite a dry forecast, the rain arrived almost the minute we stepped out of the classroom door. Our very well behaved sheep then planted itself firmly in front of the camera, resulting in a lot of close up footage of a sheep’s bottom instead of shepherds and angels.

However with lots of patience and resilience on the part of all children, staff and parents, our film crew managed to capture the essence of our production. We haven’t seen it yet. The film premiere is next week and we have our posh frocks and red carpet ready. But we hope that we have captured something of the true wonder of that first Christmas, when patience, resilience and love were needed in abundance to produce the most wonderful scene in the greatest story of all time.

Karen Swinbank

Senior Teacher