STAR students set the stage for a seasonal spectacular to help celebrate the 12 days of Christmas.

Singing Santas, dancing elves and Hokey Cokeying reindeers, saw primary pupils from Beaumont Hill Academy, Darlington, serve up a festive feast of entertainment in front of a delighted audience of family and friends.

The 90 students, who each have a range of complex needs, used their own unique set of skills to celebrate Christmas, including playing Djembe drums, performing a festive rendition of the Cup Song and a non-verbal stage ensemble of early years pupils promoting the meaning of sharing.

Academy assistant head teacher and primary lead Gemma Elysee said: “We have 11 classes of primary children here at Beaumont Hill which gave us the idea of using the 12 days of Christmas for our school performance, with the teachers putting on a special treat for the 12th day.

“Because we know that some of our pupils get slightly anxious being in front of so many people we videoed the individual class performances earlier in the week, which we played on a big screen behind the actual stage performances, so there was no extra pressure on the children to perform on the day.

“They have all been rehearsing so hard since November and it has been wonderful to see the sense of achievement that each of them felt after being on the stage and the appreciation shown by all of the watching parents, grandparents, family and friends.”

The pupil-led show, which covered a broad spectrum of seasonal celebrations, also included a snowman choir, a Toy Story performance and a spoof 12 days of Christmas video with a dozen teachers leaping fully clothed into the school swimming pool.  

“I am so proud of everyone,” added Ms Elysee. “All of our teachers and teaching assistants at Beaumont Hill have worked so hard to help bring out all of the wonderful talents in our very special children.”