Published: 06:00, 24 November 2020
A primary school is going above and beyond to ensure children can still mark their birthdays as the pandemic continues to hamper celebrations.
Head teacher Matthew Reynolds has announced the last Friday afternoon of every month at Northbourne Primary near Deal will be party-time.
Not only will the youngsters be given time off from their academic studies to play and have fun, the parties will be complemented with presents and cake.
And to make it feel even more like a genuine party, school uniform will be scrapped.
Those who are celebrating their birthdays will be allowed to wear their own clothes - party dresses included.
The initiative is being led by teaching assistant, Hayley Lamb, and will run until the end of the academic year.
The first bash will be held on Friday.
Mr Reynolds told KentOnline he was inspired by a school in the Midlands which has adopted the idea.
He said: "We felt, as a staff, that this was a simple solution that would provide some welcome cheer and celebration during what is a very challenging time for everybody."
In a letter to parents on Friday, he highlighted that "children have already had so many changes and have had to adapt to new rules and regulations, both at home and at school, their social and emotional wellbeing is something that is very important to all of us."
He continued: "Therefore, we would like to give them the opportunity to celebrate their birthdays in school, with their classmates.
"We have decided that we will hold a birthday party, in each class bubble, on the last Friday afternoon of each month.
"A short party, to celebrate all the children’s birthdays that have taken place in that month, is the idea.
"The children celebrating their birthday that month will receive a small birthday gift, kindly provided by the Friends of Northbourne.
"Our school cook will provide a cake for each class."
The party will not last the full afternoon, with some learning and an assembly also included.
This Friday's celebration ties in with a tag day and will celebrate all pupil's birthdays from September, October and November.
He added: "We have received some very supportive comments from parents, who recognise that these are exceptional times and it is important to focus on pupil wellbeing and community."