Celebrating birthdays under lockdown

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Clockwise from top left, Isaac Scott, George Drummond, Grace Silva, Ellie and Archie Millward, Oliver Fahey and Tatiana Murawska.

 Jane Tailby, Headteacher at Bridgetown Primary School, looks at how to mark birthdays during the crisis.

HOW do you mark a birthday celebration during lockdown? One thing that strikes me is how creative and resourceful everyone has had to be in order to make them memorable.

Mum Rebecca Butler said: “Birthdays are a pretty big deal when you’re five.” For her son Jude, in Reception, family and friends sent videos which were made into a short film for his big day.

Mimi Knight, also about to be five, had a party at the farm park in Henley planned but now has a rainbow party for immediate family, including a rainbow cake, as well as a Zoom party with grandparents.

In the Puar household, Poppy’s parents are planning a treasure hunt and will be decorating the house with balloons for her fifth birthday, while Isaac Scott, who has also just turned five, spent the morning building Lego while neighbours sang Happy Birthday.

Maisie Smith (Y1) will be leading quizmaster for a family quiz on Facetime for her sixth birthday next week. And for Arthur Smith (Y2), instead of a party at Jump in Warwick, he had a visit from Stratford police – as a huge emergency services fan, this made his day.

In the Derbyshire household, William’s living room will be turned into a movie theatre with popcorn and ice cream for his eighth birthday next week. Grace Silva, also eight, and her mum enjoyed the Trolls World Tour film karaoke-style and a rendition of Happy Birthday from family via WhatsApp.

George Drummond (Y3) was thrilled when friends dropped presents and cards through the door. His friend William even made him a frog birthday cake.

Poor Tatiana Murawska (Y3), however, had a trip to Poland planned for her eighth birthday, but the flight was cancelled, as was Daisy McLean’s (Y4) Lake District holiday. Ellie and Archie Millward (Y4 and Reception), who have birthdays on consecutive days, enjoyed a long walk by the river and lots of cake.

Josh Peters (Y5) entered double figures by receiving a mobile phone sooner than he would have done, meaning he can keep in touch with his friends. Charlie Jones, also ten, worked hard the day before his birthday so he could take the day off to enjoy his favourite foods.

Oliver Fahey, who turned 11, simply valued the fact that all his family are well, enjoying a small party at home. Henry Nock, also 11, was unfazed by the lockdown too – he’s already missed a rugby residential tour, his Y6 residential trip to north Wales and a family skiing trip – but footie in the garden is fine by him.

Staff with names on the birthday calendar continue to get a shout-out in our weekly email updates. We also have a staff WhatsApp group, and a real fuss is made of the birthday person with GIFs, video clips and messages.

Perhaps our children and staff have not done too badly out of it after all…