As part of St Lawrence College's 140th Anniversary celebrations, the Junior School decided to celebrate the festive season this year with 'Vicmas' – a Victorian Christmas.
The College was founded in 1879, so on 12th December, for one day only, the pupils from nursery to Year 6 stepped back in time to the Victorian era to follow in the footsteps of fellow pupils from that period.
The idea was the brainchild of Year 6 teachers Mr Chris Brown and Mrs Amy Mackman, who together with staff, parents and pupils pulled together a fascinating and thought-provoking day which everyone enjoyed. All the pupils experienced a range of activities, from singing carols and visiting the nativity scene, finding out about the decorations on a Victorian Christmas tree including dried slices of oranges, cinnamon sticks and wooden ornaments, and enjoying hot chocolate while listening to a Christmas story read by a rather strict Victorian teacher.
One of the key aspects to the day was reverse present giving, where pupils were encourage to make a donation of useful items which the local Salvation Army could distribute over the Christmas period to those who needed clothes, food and life's essentials at this time. Each class had a special visit with Father Christmas and his Elf helper where they presented their gifts to him for sending to the Salvation Army and, in exchange, he gave them wooden gifts for each class.
The St Lawrence College Reverse Christmas Poem – (paying tribute to the 12 Days of Christmas)
"On the 12th day of December St Lawrence College Junior School did collect:
Many bars of chocolate,
Useful prickly hairbrushes,
Pairs and pairs of warm gloves,
Tasty packs of sweets,
Sweet-smelling bars of soap,
Refreshing tubes of toothpaste,
Yummy chocolate coins,
Dozens of fresh toothbrushes,
Handy pads to write on,
Foamy shampoo for washing,
Fun games to play with,
Over 60 snuggly socks
Which were all donated to the Salvation Army...."
Head of the Junior School, Mrs Ellen Rowe, said: "This was such a special event that not only celebrated Christmas in a unique way by commemorating our 140th anniversary but also stayed true to the focus we have at St Lawrence College of giving back and thinking of others. I know the Salvation Army is grateful for the donations, which our children wanted to give to bring joy and hope to those less fortunate this Christmas. I am so grateful to my talented team of teachers, staff and parents who put together such a memorable and inspiring day. We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2020."
You can find a gallery of images from the Victorian Christmas here