Energise your school community with Advent Angels!

Alex Fairlamb
Alex is an Associate Assistant Headteacher (T&L) and a History SLE. She’s the National Coordinator for @TMHistoryIcons, Lead Teacher for Girl Kind and an EdNorth Lead Advocate. She co-runs @EduBookClub1. She’s passionate about gender equality and diversity within the curriculum.

Follow @lamb_heart_tea

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Image credit: Pixabay. Image credit: Pixabay.

Christmas is a great opportunity to take the time to be thankful for those who are part of our learning community, and to channel our festive spirit and cheer into contributing to a positive environment full of thought and goodwill. At our school, all of our members of staff (teaching and non-teaching) are invited to take part in our ‘Advent Angel’ initiative. After signing up, volunteers are secretly and randomly given the name of another member of staff who is also taking part. Our only caveat is that we aim to make sure that it is not someone with the same department or office, so colleagues across the school have the opportunity to learn something new about someone, which builds into our community ethos.


During a one week period, staff then will try to think of different thoughtful, fun or creative ways to make that week special for their given person. Our staff are wonderfully kind and giving; we do say “The gestures, actions and gifts need not cost anything at all.” that the gestures, actions and gifts of that week need not cost anything at all. It is the thought that goes into it, and the moment that they create for the person is at the heart of what we aim to do (if staff do wish to spend money, we suggest a £5 cap).


HLTA Debs Hudson shows off her Advent Angel.


Over the years that Advent Angel has been taking place, it’s been amazing to see the buzz that it brings to the school – both to staff and students. Advent Angels can either do daily things, a few things or one thing. Full ownership is given to each Advent Angel. Such gestures have included:

  • A cup of tea and biscuit delivered to a member of staff during their break duty.
  • A class spontaneously breaking into a Christmas carol after the register (orchestrated by the Advent Angel).
  • A tree decoration to hang with a picture of the person and their loved ones inside.
  • A specially made Christmas CD mix.
  • A homemade candle with a festive ginger scent to burn.
  • Some festive cookie cutters so that the person can make some Christmas treats.


What’s so heart-warming about Advent Angels is the thought and effort that goes into what each person does for the other. Staff really take the time to find out a little more about that person from secret sources like other members of staff and students.


It’s a great to sometimes see the investigative work and imaginative ways that staff will drop questions about certain things in front of the person who they are being the Advent Angel for, in the hope of gaining more information about them without being caught out...


Ooh I don’t know about you, but I love a Scandi style theme to my Christmas decorations. Which style are you partial to?” A rather unusual question to ask when normally you’ve previously traded conversations about how you’re incorporating numeracy into the curriculum, or would they mind if you took the last chocolate digestive from the staff room break-time tin!


It really does create a magical vibe around the school. Staff excitedly discuss gestures that they have received, as well as sharing their appreciation of the thought shown by another. The students love it too, as “The students get to be secret deliverers and participants.”they get to be secret deliverers and participants. It’s great to model to them the positivity of goodwill and thought in an upbeat atmosphere, it really helps to raise their festive cheer too. What I love about Advent Angels the most if the enthusiasm that staff show towards it and it reminds us of how fortunate we are to work within such a community.


Want to receive cutting-edge insights from leading educators each week? Sign up to our Community Update and be part of the action!

Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now
Login

Latest stories

  • How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country
    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"