Christmas starts at Pipers Vale

CHRISTMAS has come early - but not too early - for youngsters at an Ipswich primary school.Children from Pipers Vale School have, this week, got their Christmas celebrations underway by decorating their tree and delivering their cards.

CHRISTMAS has come early - but not too early - for youngsters at an Ipswich primary school.

Children from Pipers Vale School have, this week, got their Christmas celebrations underway by decorating their tree and delivering their cards.

The school hit the headlines last month after The Evening Star reported that headteacher Sue Lines sent a newsletter home to parents stating that Christmas would not be celebrated at the school until December 7.

She put a ban on all things festive to avoid distracting youngsters from their school work.

The Star story last month prompted letters from support from people across the country.

John Humphries also publicly backed the idea on Radio 4's Today programme.

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Mrs Lines said: “We had a lot of support from the parents and enormous support from a variety of people.

“We have had lots of letters, cards and e-mails and they have all been very supportive

“We have had letters from Darlington, Gloucester, London and Hampshire.

“I spoke to my school council about it last week with representatives from years one to six and asked if I had got it wrong and should we start earlier but they were unanimous that it shouldn't start in November because they would be bored by it.

“They said if they were talking about it too much they wouldn't be getting on with their lessons.”

Now that Christmas has arrived at the school youngsters have been posting their Christmas cards which have been sorted and delivered by older students in the school.

A Christmas tree has been put up and decorated by the reception class and a host of activities are planned to pack the next fortnight.

A community Christmas coffee morning, Christmas dinner and nativity play will take place next week.

Children will also be performing songs sung at Christmas during the Second World War to coincide with their history lessons.

Before the end of time youngsters will also visit All Hallows Church for their annual carol service and there will be parties held at the school.

Kyle, a year six pupil at Pipers Vale, said he was in support of the school's festive stance.

He said: “Those people who started in November will be bored and will go back to doing their normal work.”

Ellie, from year four, agreed: “If you talk about Christmas too early people will not get on with their work.”

Year two pupil Mai added; “I don't think Christmas celebrations should start until advent.”

Mrs Lines said one of the highlights of this year's festivities would be a trip to the Royal Opera House in London to see The Nutcracker.

More than 100 youngsters will travel to the capital on December 17 to see the Christmas ballet.

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