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John Harrox Primary School, Moulton, makes December its 'Hatvent' season




A Moulton schoolteacher has turned the tradition of advent calendars on its head, bringing smiles to the faces of youngsters, parents and staff.

Anita Capper, learning mentor and teaching assistant at John Harrox Primary School, is now a fashion model in her own right after taking on the idea of "Hatvent" during December.

For the past seven years, Mrs Capper has worn a range of Christmas-themed hats while welcoming children at the school gates ahead of their day's learning.

Anita Capper with two of the pupils who gave her ideas for the 'Hatvent' season at John Harrox Primary School, Moulton. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG-181219-025TW.
Anita Capper with two of the pupils who gave her ideas for the 'Hatvent' season at John Harrox Primary School, Moulton. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG-181219-025TW.

The "Hatvent" tradition even has an online presence, with a social media site called "Mrs Capper's Festive Hats" on which photographs of her headgear are posted, drawing followers from North Wales and Spain.

Mrs Capper said: "Hatvent started seven years ago with one hat which I wore because it was cold and wet outside.

"One of my jobs every morning is to open the school gates which is where I do my 'meet and greet' with children and parents.

Moulton's 'Hatvent' teacher Anita Capper makes two pupils smile at John Harrox Primary School. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG-181219-021TW.
Moulton's 'Hatvent' teacher Anita Capper makes two pupils smile at John Harrox Primary School. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG-181219-021TW.

"I had lots of comments about the very first hat I wore so I went out and bought a bobble hat with a Christmas design on it.

"Now on December 1, instead of having an advent calendar, we have Hatvent where I get to wear silly hats that make the children smile."

Festive themes worn by Mrs Capper this year have included a reindeer, turkey, snowman and Brussels sprouts.

Each hat served as a build-up to the last day of term on Thursday when Mrs Capper opened the school gates wearing a hat featuring Father Christmas and a reindeer.

John Harrox Primary School, Anita Capper and pupils for 'Hatvent' Christmas initiative at school, Anita with the two who bought hats (no names) (24610335)
John Harrox Primary School, Anita Capper and pupils for 'Hatvent' Christmas initiative at school, Anita with the two who bought hats (no names) (24610335)

"I add things to the hats based on what the children tell me, turkey with Brussels sprouts, reindeer, a present or a hat with flashing lights and holly," Mrs Capper said.

"It's good to see how Hatvent has rubbed off on parents because there are some who we don't engage with as much as others.

"But the hats make everybody smile and it helps me to engage with parents throughout the year."

Head teacher Daniel Pilsworth said: "Mrs Capper is a familiar face to our school community, greeting children and parents at the school gates each morning.

"For the last seven years, she has added a little fun to the run-up to Christmas and what started with a simple bobble hat has caught the imagination of the children and parents alike.

"It has certainly helped children in looking forward to coming to school each morning in anticipation of what hat will be worn that day.

"The hats become more outrageous as the days progress, starting with a zebra bobble hat featuring a little holly through to Christmas puddings, trees, the obligatory turkey and a full Santa’s hat costume."

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