Secondary school Christmas

Christmas at secondary schools is much less intensive than at primary school.

 

It’s Christmas…nearly. So that means school-related Christmas events and demands. Secondary school is a relatively Christmas-free zone compared to primary school which can be a bit of a relief. There are no presents for teachers, cards for the whole class and so forth. There may be Christmas fairs, but no-one wants to go – at least not in our house. There may also be Christmas events, but again my experience is that young people tend to say they are not anxious to be associated with them because they are deeply uncool.

Except…this year. Only son, having refused point blank to perform in his music club’s ensemble for the music festival back in the summer suddenly and unexpectedly decided that he did want to take part in the Christmas concert. The day after the deadline. I was keen to encourage this turnaround because only son has had a lifetime aversion to performance of any kind and it was kind of refreshing to see him show willing to submit to the public gaze. This is the boy who protested loudly against being Steve the [comedy] Donkey [a leading role, no less] in the nativity play back in the day and on amount of encouragement could make him change his mind. He ended up being a centurion with no lines at all and he couldn’t have been happier. This is also the boy who, when asked what he would ask David Attenborough, said his first question would be ‘how on Earth do you stand being so well known?’.

So I contacted the school and got him into the concert and managed to get the last ticket to watch him. The main selling point for him was that he got the day off school to rehearse, missing something called Enterprise Day which sounded a bit like a school version of The Apprentice – in theory fun, but not for only son who last year unenthusiastically pitched curry-flavoured crisps.

He spent the whole day in the church followed by three hours of walking round and round the village where his school is in the pouring rain. He is reconsidering the positives of Enterprise Day as we speak. I went into the church around five minutes before the concert started and managed to find a seat just across from where only son was sitting with his friends. He gave me a look that said ‘don’t you even remotely think of approaching or smiling at me and identifying me as your son’.

The concert began. It was a host of form-related music groups, the school orchestra and more singing and performing Christmas songs, Only son’s group did ‘So here it is Merry Christmas’. I videoed it, but true to form only son had his head down and was skulking at the back. Nevertheless, he played a fine guitar riff despite saying he hated the song. Maybe he has been inspired by his sister, who is in a band. Only son loves music with a passion. Perhaps this is the beginning of his musical career.



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