February Focus: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe


Mr. Tumnus (Director of Play Frank Sheehan) and Head of School Virginia ConnorAs the temperatures drop and the polar vortex descends on New York City, St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's embraces the wintry weather and celebrates with a schoolwide focus on the classic tale, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis.

Head of School Virginia Connor launched this initiative in Chapel on Feb. 1—which was, serendipitously, World Read Aloud Day—with a dramatic reading of Chapter 1 in Chapel.  The students even met one of the story’s beloved characters, Mr. Tumnus—in the form of Frank Sheehan, the school’s Director of Play, who came in from the playdeck and donned a costume to inhabit the role.

“This initiative invites creativity, collaboration, and whimsy, all of which our faculty has in full,” said Ms. Connor. “We look forward to seeing how our students and faculty are inspired!”

This Chapel presentation set the stage for a month full of playful explorations of the story. In addition to classroom read-alouds (older grades will hear the traditional novel; the teachers of younger students with will use picture-book versions of the story), activities will include dramatic play, cooking, mask-making, map-drawing, music, and more. The P.E. department joined in the fun with “Narnia Dodgeball,” featuring lions, the White Witch, and the Castle. 

Students can look forward to some surprises on the playdeck as well, involving costumes, props, and other items that will inspire more complex and imaginative play.