A SOUTH LONDON specialist school for children with autism saw their gardens transformed into a winter wonderland this week – complete with a visit from some very special visitors,
Brookways School in Sutton supports children with autism spectrum conditions and each year holds special Christmas celebrations including pantomime visits, special assemblies and concerts with families invited and lots of other fun events.
This year, because of COVID-19, those were not able to happen but Head Teacher Melanie Whitfield and her team were determined the children should not miss out and set about creating a wintery scene right in the heart of Sutton.
They were joined by Father Christmas, who took a break from his very busy schedule, to meet with the children, even bringing with him some of his trusty reindeer for the young people to meet.
The Christmas look and feel was completed with fake snow, fairy lights, an inflatable snowman and Santa's grotto. Each class had their own time in the Winter Wonderland Christmas Grotto where they enjoyed hearing Christmas stories, singing, playing games and having hot chocolate and gingerbread men.
Melanie said: “Christmas is always a very special time at Brookways. Many of our young people have previously missed out on enjoying Christmas activities in their mainstream schools, and so we always go the extra mile to make sure there’s lots for them to take part in and enjoy.
“This year, because of COVID, we weren’t able to do the usual things we normally do like having a large end of term gathering with family and friends, but we didn’t want it to be any less special.
“We were delighted when Santa agreed to pop in as he knew how hard the children have worked throughout this most difficult of years and wanted to give them an individual present each. The children loved meeting the reindeer, it was a real highlight for them. The reindeer handler Jamie and the reindeer Snowy and Magnus were the stars of the show!”