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Christmas Victorian style

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By Lizzy CourtneyYear 1 teacher at Christ Church Infant School, Bristol

Explore the festive frolics of the Victorian era with these lively and engaging ideas for Christmas

Schoolchildren cooking

Year 1 children cook up a fabulous figgy pudding

One of the best things about Christmas in school, for me, is the feeling that I am passing on a set of traditions that I first experienced when I was a schoolchild. Traditions such as eagerly awaiting my turn to open the class advent calendar, sneaking home the Christmas card that I’d made for my parents and famously hitting the wrong note on the glockenspiel during the introduction to ‘Away in a Manger’ at the school carol concert.

Christmas can be a bit of a crazy time in school. Practising Christmas carols seems to start the minute the harvest festival contributions have been boxed up, and there’s certainly no time for literacy and numeracy once rehearsals for the nativity have begun! So last year I decided to take a different approach. I was just beginning my second year following a topic-based curriculum and wanted to make sure I kept to our topic, without losing Christmas along the way. A topic on the Victorians seemed ideal since many Christmas customs were established at this time. I could many National Curriculum boxes, as well as delivering my lessons practically and creatively.

Setting the scene

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