For the 7th year running, the whole of Cheltenham Prep has collaborated on a special festive project – decorating the Dining Hall’s five Christmas trees. The vision behind this collaboration is that every child at The Prep gets to see their own hand-made decoration on one of the five trees.
Each year, Head of Art at The Prep, Mrs Alayne Parsley, comes up with a new theme. This year, the teacher was overheard lamenting her lack of inspiration… thankfully, after a chat with Mr Patterson, The Prep’s new Head of Religious Studies, the idea of the 6 six main world religions was suggested. However, there are only 5 trees! ‘Easy,’ thought Mrs Parsley. ‘We’ll do them all except Christianity, which can be represented by the Star in our beautiful stained-glass window – genius!’
The trees are now on display in the Dining Hall representing Sikhism (by Years 5 and 7 who illustrated the 5 Ks; the Year 7s also drew inspiration from the work they have been doing on artist, Micheal Craig Martin), Judaism (by Years 6 and 1; Year 1s made Stars of David out of lolly sticks and the Year 6s made Menorahs out of sparkly pipe cleaners), Hinduism (by Lower School, who made Decorated hands and elephants out of paper and clay), Islam (with mosaics designed and created by most of Year 8 and all of Year 2) and finally, Buddhism (represented by colourful bunting and Dharma wheels created by Nursery and Reception boys and girls).
This year’s theme has been received exceptionally well across the school community, due to it's inclusive nature, which is both welcoming and understanding of all religions. It embraces the Christian values of our school as well as the many races and religions which make up our body of pupils. For many, Christmas is about family and sharing love, no matter what beliefs you follow, and we are delighted to share this time of festivity and celebration with followers of other religions. Merry Christmas everyone!