IF you are unsure what day of the week it is during lockdown, why not make it Christmas Day!
That is what happened at Little Parndon Primary Academy, in Harlow, when the catering team decided to shake things up and put smiles on pupils’ faces.
The school remains open for vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers.
Having seen the joy a special VE Day picnic brought to pupils, head cook Gemma Bell and assistant head cook Michaela Hester began planning further themed lunches.
Mrs Bell said: “For VE Day, the children had ham and cheese sandwiches, strawberries, cucumber and carrot sticks and a school made scone with jam, all in a takeaway box with a flag which they enjoyed on the field. We put up bunting and played 1940’s music. We instantly saw smiles on children’s faces.
“We thought if we could put a smile on a child’s face at this confusing time, we should do it more.”
Maymas – Christmas in May – was born as another way of entertaining pupils, complete with a festive tree topped with the sun, sunshine bunting and gift bags with Santa in shorts on the front.
Pupils had a roast chicken meal, finished off with Christmas tree shaped biscuits.
Mrs Bell said: “Pupils listened to music while eating and were so excited and happy.
“Children must feel so confused at the moment, so if we can take away the stress even for 20 minutes in the lunch hall, it’s definitely well worth every second.”
The school is also hosting a Mayloween – Halloween in May – themed lunch.
Headteacher Mark Evans said: “Maymas was an amazing idea.
“Gemma and Michaela are forever creating fun, exciting and often themed lunches for our children. They make lunchtimes fun and inject a lot of playful energy to our school days.
“We have a great team at Little Parndon and the two of them are such key players in that; they always go above and beyond. They have been in every day since we have been in lockdown and just go about making the day as fun and tasty as possible for the children.”
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