Sheffield school’s Christmas song spreads festive cheer

Almost 500 children from Oasis Academy Don Valley (OADV) have been celebrating the festive season by recording their own Christmas album.

After their normal Winter West End-style concert was cancelled due to Covid-19, children from nursery up to Year Six, have put their own spin on well-known seasonal songs to record ‘Now That’s What I Call an OADV Christmas’.

The album’s lead single, ‘Finally Christmas’, is an original song written by teaching assistant and musician, Jesse Lasonder, with the help of Year Four pupils.

Claire Michels, head of primary for Oasis Academy Don Valley, part of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, said: “The children have done a superb job of putting this song together. It makes you smile, and brings a tear to your eye at the same time.

“All the children loved putting the whole album together. After October half-term, a lot of students came back and were asking ‘when do we start practicing, when does the stage come out’ so we knew we had to think of a creative way to still celebrate this time of year.”

The song is part of a wider Christmas push by the Academy, the Oasis Hub Don Valley, to support the local community, including taking part in the #FeedGreatBritain campaign.

The Hub is calling out for food donations to put together 20 Christmas hampers to help feed struggling families, as well as launching a Crowdfunder page to raise £1,000 for Burngreave Foodbank.

Anyone who donates food will also be invited to join an online Christmas quiz on the 16 December.

The Hub is supported by Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park through community engagement manager Claire Fretwell, who sits on the Academy Council.

Claire said: “It’s wonderful to be able to support Oasis Hub Don Valley on all the Christmas community initiatives, and we’re very much looking forward to working together on future events, activities and projects to develop the community spirit even further.”

The children are also supporting local care homes through the #HeartsforHomes campaign, and will be drawing pictures, as well as writing Christmas cards and letters, to help those feeling lonely or isolated during the Winter months.

The Christmas album is available to download on the Oasis Academy Don Valley website here: https://www.oasisacademydonvalley.org/curriculum/primary/celebration-of-learning

You can donate to the foodbank appeal here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/oasis-don-valley-burngreave-foodbank