Children at Drighlington Primary School celebrate last day of term with a big birthday bash

Children at Drighlington Primary School were greeted at the gates by a dinosaur and a rainbow balloon arch for the last day of term.

By Emma Ryan
Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 6:00 am

No it wasn't an April Fool, it was the 'BIG Drighlington Birthday party' where normal lessons stopped for the day on Thursday and children were allowed to make up for all the lockdown birthdays and missed parties over the last year.

Encouraged to come to school in fancy dress and party clothes, it was a chance for the schools 420 kids to catch up on life experiences they have missed and staff and friends at the school pulled out all the stops.

Nicola Abidi, deputy headteacher, dressed up as a dinosaur giving out birthday stickers. There were banners and bunting outside the classrooms which had been decorated with donations from Asda, local families and creations made in school by staff and children, trainee teacher, Shelbi Hoole, sang songs in the playground, there was an all day disco in the school hall, an ice-cream van turned up and children made birthday cards to give to children in another year group.

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Deputy head Nicola Abidi with head Sue Jackson in the groove at the 'Big Drighlington Primary Birthday Celebration as a well-being activity to make up for all the birthdays that children and adults have missed out on over the last year.

There were traditional party games such as pass the parcel, musical chairs and statues and even a party tea with old-fashioned tray bake cakes and a party bag and Easter egg each to take home.

Some special birthday messages were sent to the school via video to play to children from teachers, school pets, local church leaders, ex staff and Luke Gale from Leeds Rhinos.

Ms Abidi said: "It has been absolutely fantastic and we have had a lovely day. It wasn't the weather I ordered but that is typical British weather for you. There has been lots said about children missing out and catching up and yes it is important to think academically but they have missed so much in terms of childhood experience and we have seen that in their return to school.

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Jessica Turner enjoys an ice cream at the 'Big Drighlington Primary Birthday Celebration',

"We asked them, it had to be COVID safe, but said 'what can you come up with?'. They wanted big banners, party hats, a card, party bags, karaoke, dancing - but we could not do the swimming pool.

"When we walked into classrooms there was a real sense of absolute joy that they were getting something back. "

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Year 5 children dancing away at the all day disco.
Mrs Louise Kavanagh with Armarni Dale, back left , Nate Keighley, and twins Seb and Ellis Benedict who all celebrated their own birthdays on the school party day.