The end of term came with the bang of a Christmas cracker and a mince pie when forty members of the local community joined staff and students for a festive celebration.

As has been the tradition for twenty years, students at Rivers Academy West London hosted a Christmas tea party that perfectly captured the spirit of the season. Invited guests included residents of Bristol Court, members of the Royal British Legion and grandparents of pupils at the school. All were welcomed by students who had laid on a tea complete with mince pies, turkey sandwiches and christmas crackers.

The event, instigated and overseen by Head of Careers, Will Berryman, has become a much anticipated date in the calendar for the local community who welcomed its return after the three year hiatus caused by the Covid epidemic. 

“The idea is just to give something back to our local residents and for them to come in and be served by the students,” explained Will.  “Our neighbours are very supportive of the school so it’s nice to be able to do something for them, especially at this time of year.”

In a busy programme which included performances by the choir under the direction of Laura Harvey, a singalong organised by teacher Rasandeep Sagoo and Bingo,  residents enjoyed food prepared and served by Food Technology students.

“This is a great chance for our GCSE students to put their learning into practice,” commented Claire Beadle who supervised the catering. “They’ve had a great experience planning, prepping and serving the food!” 

The afternoon was topped off by a visit from Father Christmas who had chocolate treats for everyone in attendance.

Amongst the guests were Tony and Jane, who thoroughly enjoyed their visit: “The two hours of food and entertainment was fantastic,” they said, “we’re very grateful for the time and effort that went into making it such a memorable afternoon.” 

Year 10 student Ethan was happy to be able to share in the day too:  ‘It was really nice to have the opportunity to give something back to the local elderly residents and to show them some of the good work that we do.’

The tea party signalled the end of term and the start of a well deserved Christmas break. Speaking after the event, Will Berryman reflected on its success:

“This is a wonderful event. It is lovely to see our students take pride in themselves and enjoy singing, talking to and serving all of our guests. I must thank all of the students and staff who helped and a big thanks to Skyline Freight (UK) Ltd. and Wates for their kind donations which made this possible.”