Pupils celebrate Christmas in May after school plans cancelled

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A Merseyside high school has celebrated Christmas almost five months late due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Elves and Santa have been spotted in the corridors of Formby High School this month, with some sneak peek images teased on social media.

New starters in Year 7 usually start their year with rehearsals for a Christmas panto, to help them make new friends, learn new skills and build confidence.

Because of the pandemic, restrictions, and various lockdowns, this couldn't happen in time for the festive season.

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Children continued with digital rehearsals, and the production team adapted their delivery by posting choreography videos, songs and film clips.

Bedrooms became stages, singing was a challenge with time delays, but all 55 pupils turned up to rehearse and connect.

This month, the students performed the show, fully costumed in fur and tinsel, in front of a film crew from North Star Digital.

The local community rallied to the show's support with costumes, set and props.

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Plans are in now in place to stream the show online for parents and the community, with a socially-distanced red carpet film première for the performers later this term.

Victoria Harrocks, community arts coordinator at Formby High School, said: "The project has been a real testament to the resilience, positivity and enthusiasm of all involved at a time when lockdown and the pandemic has curtailed so much creativity in schools and across communities.

"The students were thrilled the show reaching its grand finale and get their performance. We could not be prouder of our hard working students who have stuck together to see this project through to completion, aided by a diligent production crew and parent volunteers.

"The show is sure to be a great success with much talent on display. ‘Elf’ in May will have everyone rolling in the aisles, or perhaps this year in gardens in groups with the TV outside when our online streaming dates go live for all to enjoy!"