Staff at a Southport school created a Christmas winter wonderland for their pupils in a secret garden discovered during lockdown.
Children at St John’s C of E school in Crossens were sprayed with snow before a trip to see Santa, with their head teacher dressed up as a naughty elf.
A singing reindeer, teddy nativity and life size donkey were just some of the treats instore and the day was made even more magical with the appearance of a giant rainbow in the sky.
Deputy head Linda Thomson came up with the festive plan as way of giving pupils a special treat after such a difficult year.
“Because of Covid rules we couldn’t do our usual Christmas events but were determined to make is as magical as possible’
“Our school motto is JOY and children had been working hard to spread the Christmas spirit in the community even with the restrictions we are under.”
Instead of performing carols at local care homes pupils handmade Christmas cards which were delivered to residents at Dovehaven and Dovecot Manor and collected hundreds of chocolate bars to donate to Southport Rotary club for less fortunate families.
They also completed a mile long Santa Dash to raise money for Save the Children and the PFA and made messages of hope to display on the school railings to spread joy in the local community.
Mrs Thompson added: “Our children are so caring and we wanted to show them how amazing they are and make Christmas super special for them.
“During lockdown we found an over grown area outside my classroom and we found an garden buried underneath complete with a Christmas tree which first gave us the idea of transforming it into a winter wonderland.”
“Once we started talking about the idea just grew and grew and we were overwhelmed with the help and donations we received, from lights and decorations to selection boxes and a singing Santa in the bath.
“Governors and the PFA sneaked in to decorate the garden in secret and we were given a snow machine i and even a life size paper mache donkey called Daphne.
“Father Chris from St John’s C of E church agreed to stand in as Father Christmas assisted by our two elves, head teacher Mr Thomson and one of our TA’s, Mrs Maxwell.
“It was made even more magical when a rainbow suddenly appeared as the children came out to see Santa and visit the garden
“Governors, Robert and Karen Corbett were amazing. They lent us a giant inflatable snowman and Santa and even created a nativity scene from teddy bears which was just gorgeous. We couldn’t have done it without them”
Local businesses Tesco, Asda, Fylde Road Co-op, Dunelm all donated as well as locals and friends of the school who heard about the plan.
And it was such a success the school are hoping to recreate it next year – even bigger and better.