February Focus: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

 

Some new friends stepped “out of the wardrobe” to greet students and parents of St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s when they arrived for school on last Friday. Aslan the Lion, Mr. Tumnus, The Pevensie children, The Professor, and Jadis the White Witch—portrayed by members of the faculty—were assembled in the lobby, a living tableau of characters students have come to know and love during the school’s month-long exploration of C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

In Chapel that day, Head of School Virginia Connor and other members of the faculty brought to life scenes from the classic fantasy novel. To the delight of students in first through eighth grades, the stage was set with artificial snow and an actual “sledge” that carried the White Witch. Students witnessed Edmund Penvesie’s fateful first encounter with the White Witch, assisted by “The Dwarf,” her servant. Later, junior and senior kindergarten students visited the Chapel and had a chance to meet the characters and take a turn in the sledge.

The students also enjoyed a special snack that day—the school’s own version of Turkish Delight, the treat that the White Witch used to entice Edmund.

It was the culmination of the school’s celebration of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. All month long, teachers read aloud to students (older students hearing excerpts of the traditional novel; younger students hearing picture book versions of the stories). The focus on the novel encouraged students to dive into the classic title of children’s fantasy literature and inspired imaginative play in classrooms, in the gym, on the playdeck, and even at home.

“This initiative invited creativity, collaboration, and whimsy, all of which our faculty has in full,” said Ms. Connor. “We were thrilled to see our students immerse themselves in the world of Narnia and embrace the possibilities that great children’s literature inspires.”