Like so much of this year, Christmas 2020 will be an unfamiliar experience for many people, and in some cases, one lacking in seasonal cheer.
But Year Seven pupils at Springwood, part of the West Norfolk Academies Trust, have done their bit to put a smile on people’s faces by making a nativity scene that is on open air display at King’s Lynn Minster.
Under the guidance of the school’s head of art Lee Eveson, they have made and decorated wooden characters depicting the nativity scene that will be displayed in the churchyard.
“COVID restrictions meant the staff of the Minster couldn’t visit local schools as they normally would at this time of year, so they contacted us asking if we would like to be involved in making this display for the local community,” he explained.
“Initially we were making the figures, with pupils from another school decorating them, but when they had to pull out the whole project fell to us.”
Normally at this time of year, our pupils would be involved in making the set for the school winter production, which had to be cancelled this year, so this alternative project was perfectly timed to fill the creative gap.
When Mr Eveson was in isolation, he designed the pieces, which were then made by Springwood's design technician Pete Catlin with wood donated by Andy Reeve and decorated by the children.
“The Minster is a lovely building, so it’s great to be able to give something back to the church and the local community after what has been such a tough year for everyone,” he said. “Anything that puts a smile on people’s faces is always worth it, and I’ve already seen how much enjoyment the pupils have taken from doing it.”
But it is not just a project for the local community; Mr Eveson said it was beneficial for the pupils to, after such a disrupted year.
“The students have missed out on so much this year, because we’ve not been able to take them on visits or anything like that, so this is a great outlet for them to do something creative and enjoyable, from which we can all take satisfaction.
"They should be proud of what they’ve done for themselves, for the school and for the local community.”