Hats off as schools keep Easter tradition alive

From drive-by teacher visits to virtual parades, students have ensured the survival of their much-loved Easter hat.

09 April 2020
Huskisson Public School students’ virtual parade with their recycled creations.

When Huskisson Public School moved to learning from home recently, one of the biggest disappointments for students was that the annual Easter hat parade would be cancelled.

Principal Greta Lewis said the Easter hat parade at Huskisson Public School was a much-loved tradition by students and the community.

“Our school Easter hat parade is one of our most popular events of the year with every one of our students, even our senior students, designing a hat and wearing it in the parade,” Ms Lewis said.

“We are also joined by the local preschool, who wear their own creations during the parade.”

However, with more than 180 students of the total population of 192 learning at home, and strict social distancing policies in place, Ms Lewis said the event was in danger of not taking place this year.

“We have been having weekly virtual assemblies and recess catch-ups, and virtual excursions in an effort to keep our students connected, and students made the suggestion that we should look at doing a virtual Easter hat parade,” Ms Lewis said.

The school, located on the shores of Jervis Bay on the NSW south coast, has a strong connection to the local environment and is active in reducing the amount of plastic waste pollution. In keeping with this ethos, students were encouraged to make their hats out of recycled, reused and repurposed items.

“We asked all our students to avoid creating more waste in our environment and to use their critical and creative thinking skills to design an innovative hat,” Ms Lewis said

Ms Lewis said the community had experienced a stressful summer period with bushfires surrounding the region from November to January. The COVID-19 pandemic had brought more stress and great uncertainty to students and their families.

“Parents and students are feeling anxious and overwhelmed, by what is happening in our world and all of a sudden they have been thrown into the deep end with their children learning from home,” she said.

“Everyone is doing such an incredible job, and we saw that now more than ever, we needed to have a bit of fun.

“By putting the effort into making this virtual Easter hat parade a success, we are letting our students know that we are still here, we care for them, and we will all get through this together.”

The students were asked to take a picture or send in some video of their hats, with the school compiling the work into a video which was shown at its virtual assembly yesterday.

A group of students wearing decorated hats.
Image: Menindee Central School students with their Easter hats during the drive-by photo parade.

Menindee Central School helped its community get into the Easter spirit by encouraging a drive-by Easter hat parade.

Principal Fiona Kelly said the school had delivered packs of craft with which to create an Easter hat to primary school students on Monday.

The school did a drive past student houses and photographed and videoed the creative results.

“We knew the students couldn’t come to the school, so we thought we would go to them – it was a fun way of ensuring our annual hat parade went ahead and was a way of bringing the community together,” Ms Kelly said.

The school also took the opportunity to deliver a hamper of food, complete with Easter surprises, to help families through the four-day weekend.

Lavington East Public School also took a drive-by approach, but in this case it was the teachers putting on a show for the students.

The teachers, dressed in Easter outfits, decorated their cars and in a convoy drove around the school catchment in Albury dropping off Easter eggs and good wishes.

“We decided to run this initiative as a way to connect with our students and community,” principal Nic Williams said.

“Our school is a very important part of our students’ lives and for many, we are the constant in their lives.

“To show that all our students are known, valued and cared for at this challenging time, it was a way to keep that connection alive.”

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