Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
December 13, 2017

Festive Sing Along

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Festive Sing Along

Setting the scene…

Festive Sing Along “We are going to do some singing. All the boys and all the girls are going to sing Jingle Bells, Up on the House Top, We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Ms. Dickson is going to play the piano. All the teachers and mums and dads are going to sing and the big sisters and big brothers are going to sing with us.”

Setting the scene…

Singing seems to be a natural language for children, providing a playful and emotionally satisfying context for building relationships. Everyday we observe the children singing and sharing songs together. Sometimes the teacher suggests songs but the children quickly discover that they can re-invent the songs and innovate them with their own words to create their own which have meaning for themselves or the group. We proposed to the children that they might like to invite their parents to school for a festive sing-along. There was much excitement at this and the children enthusiastically suggested ideas.

Thinking of others…

This led to discussions in both EY1 and EY2  about a special celebration for their parents.

“It’s Christmas!” (Alex)

“We could have a party.” (Theo)

“We need a cake.” (Olivia)

“We need goldfish.” (Theo)

“We put up balloons.” (Juliette)

“Make some party food. Cake. Sandwiches.” (Holly)

“We can put some cupcakes on the tables.” (Theo)

“We can get juice for them.” (Atharv)

“How about a Christmas party?” (Olivia)

“Snow.” (Olivia)


“We can have some masks.” (Talia)

“Funny masks.” (Karma)

“We could bring our Christmas hats.”(Theo)

“A sign, like when its somebody’s birthday.” (Alex)

“A Christmas sign.” (Freya)

“It could say ‘Merry Christmas’.” (Isabella)

“We could put a Christmas tree out.” (Henry)

“Have sausages.” (Louie)

“How about some Christmas songs, like ‘Jingle Bells’?” (Olivia)

Planning and organising…

Having decided that a special time for singing was necessary, the children began to think about how to make their idea a reality. There was contagion. The idea of creating something special for the parents 

captured their hearts. We honored the children’s suggestions and committees were formed to work on the ideas presented. The children made decorations and special food. They decided on songs that they felt their parents would enjoy singing and practiced them themselves. Gwen and Theodore wrote their own song to put to the tune of Frere Jacques. Their friends were very excited to sing this new song. The children realised that the mums and dads may not know all the right words, so song sheets were created. To make sure the families knew when to come, a invitation was made. The special event began to take shape.

“We need 100 chairs.” (Freya)

“And 100 tables.” (Louie)

“No we don’t need tables.” (Isabella)

“If there was a hundred people, some could sit on chairs and some could sit on the floor and some people on their mum’s laps and their dad’s laps.” (Freya)

“If we don’t have enough chairs we can get them from the other classes.” (Freya)

“Some of the mums and dads can stand.”(Bilal)

“My sister would like to sit.” (Holly)

"My dad could play his instrument.”  (Freya)

“We can sing when the music is on and copy the music." (Aurea)

"I think the children shall stand up and the grown-ups can sit down or it’ll be hard for the grown-ups to see.” (Lara)

“My mum can join in." (Yara)

“We can write on a card to come.” (Sara)

“Mums and dads can take pictures when we sing." (Freya)

"I think we need to move everything away and put a stage in there." (Lara)

"I want to wear my Elsa dress.” (Sara)

"Or a party dress." (Holly)

“A Santa hat." (Karim)         

Santa’s Coming 

Santa’s coming, Santa’s coming 

Children sleeping, Children’s sleeping, 

Waiting for the presents,

Waiting for the presents, 

Hip hooray,

Hip hooray. 

Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, 

Happy year,

Happy year,

I love Christmas,

I love Christmas, 

Happy year,

Happy year. 

A Christmas song by

Theodore and Gwen

What are you excited about?

“In one more sleep! “ (Theo)

“Singing.” (Dorar)

“The parents are to come and they will like it.” (Martina)

“We are going to sing a lot of song.” (Nola)

“The Christmas tree.” (Nail)

“Invite our parents to eat with us.” (Laila-Rose)

“The sing along and wearing costume.” (Olivia)

“All of the parents and all of the kids to join the song. And can sing ‘Merry Christmas’. All the boys and girls are going to wear their favourite costume. Costume mermaid, costume of princess, ninja costumes or prince.” (Martina)

“I excited because my mum and dad are going to come and I love my mum and dad.” (Talia)

“Sing with us altogether.” (Nola)

The special day arrives….

And it had actually snowed! The children were beside themselves with delight. It was just what they had dreamed of.

Finally it’s time. The children excitedly carried out the finishing touches and changed into their special clothes and waited in anticipation.


To all the children a common treasured thread of the festive sing along was the coming together of the parents and the children and the feeling of togetherness; and a sense that the parents also felt this.

“I was with my friends. With Lara.” (Valeria)

"A shooting star. Jude made it.” (Anna)

“I like when we sing.” (Valeria)

"When we singed the songs.” (Blaike)

“When I saw my mum and she sang with me and my little brother.” (Jude)

"Cause my dad was here. Daddy like when I was singing.” (Gwen)

“My mummy was singing along with me.” (Noah)

"I liked when I saw my mum and dad.” (Juliette)

“When she sing with me.” (Jude)

“When they were at the singalong and everybody was singing.” (Valeria)

Time together...

Importance is given to the concept of parents as partners where we believe the exchange of ideas and skills parents bring to Early Years result in a spirit of collegiality and collaboration that offers the opportunity to further understand and strengthen the connection between home and school. In Early Years, we know it is important to focus on the children, but we feel this is not enough as we consider both families and teachers are also central to the education of the children. So it was with such delight that we were able to support the children in their desire to invite their families to school. Such an invitation, coming from the children, shows how much the children value sharing the experience of school. A time for child-parent interaction, where parents can experience the lives of their children, their interests and desires – things that are important to them. Put another way, it is an invitation from the children for the parents to feel at home in the atmosphere of school that provides a positive receptiveness to all concerned based on relationship and participation. The smiles on the children’s faces were delightful as they saw their parents walk into our centre and be amazed by the atmosphere and ambiance. The children’s smiles reveal to us their deep desire and happiness to live and share their moment together. By making this time to spend together, we hope that the children and parents will make further connections between home and school.

Loris Malaguzzi reminds us,

 “I believe there is no possibility of existing without relationship. Relationship is a necessity of life.”                                          (p. 287, The Hundred Languages of Children)