15 December 2016:
Students spread the spirit of Christmas and brought seasonal smiles to pensioners’ faces when Saint Paul’s extended their Christmas cheer to the elderly of the parish by inviting them to join with the school’s students and staff in celebrating Christmas.
The Tea and Tinsel event provides a valuable link with the older generation in the community The school has a culture of teaching its students respect in a happy environment and the Christmas party is the perfect way to combine those two really important elements of the school’s philosophy. The event was hosted by the high school students who greeted the guests as they arrived then kept them entertained throughout the afternoon.
As well as well as a hearty festive feast, there was a visit from Santa who had a gift for every guest. Saint Paul’s students sang their favourite Christmas carols around the tree then the school and its guests enjoyed a raffle with wonderful food hampers as the special prizes.
"It was a lovely afternoon; it was wonderful to see the students interacting with the older generation who really enjoyed themselves,” said Mrs Angie Holland from Saint Paul’s. “The choir put on a great show and we would like to thank everyone who took part.”
Mr Ric Slater, Lay Chaplain at Saint Paul’s, commented: "The success of an event like this is hugely reliant on the enthusiasm of our amazing students. Before the event, the choir have been rehearsing since September; every Year 7 designed and coloured in a Christmas card for each of our guests and students have been busy at lunch times wrapping selection boxes for Santa! During the event itself, our specially selected Year 7 and Year 10 students made us so proud, serving the food and sitting at the tables with the guests. It's such a wonderful sight to see them enjoying each other's company."
Local pensioner Jimmy Carson, who is a regular at this event, said: "It is lovely to be invited to Saint Paul’s every year; there is always a warm welcome. This year, the two students I was speaking were particular lovely. The choir was a highlight and got me into the Christmas spirit"
“The school is a vital part of the community and we are proud of the efforts the students make to fulfill that responsibility,” said Mr Tony Billings, Executive Headteacher at Saint Paul’s. “The Tea and Tinsel party aims to create community cohesion between the school, its students and the elderly. Our students have benefited enormously from the opportunities to build links between the two generations. I am very proud of our students and the effort they put in for this wonderful event."