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‘I only got one line!’: Pupils take us behind the scenes at Miller Academy Christmas show

Caithness school Christmas show
Behind the scenes at Miller Academy Christmas show

Covid may have closed the doors on live school Christmas productions, but our two intrepid reporters are here to give you an exclusive insight into how Caithness pupils made sure the show went on.

Meet Alicia and Sam, P7 pupils at Miller Academy Primary School in Thurso, Caithness.

Caithness school Christmas show
Alicia and Sam, reporting from Miller Academy Primary School

Like schools across Scotland, Miller Academy, was unable to invite parents in to watch their annual Christmas show. Undaunted, the school decided to film the performances and upload them to Google Classroom for families to enjoy.

Headteacher Jacqui Budge feels the new format has still delivered some much-needed Christmas spirit, at the end of a tough year.

“It honestly has been so lovely to walk down the corridors and to hear their singing, to see a snowman running back from the toilet and to pop in to see how their rehearsals are going,” says Mrs Budge.

Behind the scenes

These little moments are part of what makes the Christmas show such a treat for pupils and teachers, but parents generally only get to see the final performance.

Here at the P&J, we wanted to capture some of that excitement and let people have a glimpse into the making of the show. Enter, Alicia and Sam.

In the run-up to Christmas, Alicia and Sam got behind the ‘curtain’, interviewing the stars, grilling the headteacher and filming the rehearsals – bloopers and all.

Mrs Budge says the Christmas show has given a real boost to the whole school community.

“All our staff approached this with great enthusiasm and creativity and each of the class treats was so much fun. Everyone has worked hard to make advent as much fun for our children as possible and our school is bulging with Christmas crafts that make you smile.”

Even one of the school lollipop men got in on the action. He dressed up as Santa, complete with lights on his lollipop stick, to cheer up everyone’s morning.

Caithness school Christmas show
Alicia interviews headteacher Mrs Jacqui Budge

Bring on 2022

Every class in the school put on a Christmas ‘treat’, from the school nursery through to Primary 7. “Our children learned songs, poems and actions, designed and used props and our P7 class performed a play,” says Mrs Budge.

The performances range from favourite songs like Santa Claus Is Coming To Town through to the play starring ‘the grouch’.

Here are Alicia and Sam’s rehearsal films – featuring some impressive dance moves!

The final performances are now available on Google Classroom for parents to watch.

Despite the challenges of the past two years, Miller Academy is feeling positive about 2022.

“I feel very fortunate that our staff team and families are so very supportive and positive,” she says. “No matter what 2022 delivers, we will adjust to ensure that our children have the best learning experiences they can.”

And what did Alicia and Sam make of their stint as P&J reporters? Their verdict is a practical one:

“We liked doing the filming but we couldn’t always get people’s heads in.”

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