The Great Alleyn's Chocolate Drop

Students at Alleyn's School put into an action an idea to spread some positivity and combat loneliness as they came to the end of the first half-term of the year. Recognising that Year 7 pupils might be finding it tricky to feel fully settled in having had an unusual - and remote - start to their first year at Alleyn's, the School Captains and Prefects conceived the 'Alleyn's Chocolate Drop'.

Each Year 7 pupil received a small package including a chocolate surprise hand-delivered to their door - something that was intended to spread some joy amongst the younger pupils! The package was accompanied by a note which read:

Dear Year 7 pupil,

This must have been a most strange and perhaps difficult start to your first year at Alleyn’s, so we hope this little chocolate box brings a bit of excitement and happiness and reminds you that you are very much part of the whole school community – even from afar. We can’t wait until we can see you back in school and all together again. Happy Valentine’s Day! The School Captains and Prefects 😊

School Captain Morgan Le Fevre, alongside Vice Captains Jonny Wanyanga and Jules Lanari-Collard, fine-tuned the secret drop, which took place across Valentine's Weekend. Safety was carefully considered, and the chocolate was delivered by a senior Prefect living within the same local area as a Year 7 pupil, either by foot or bicycle within their permitted one-hour daily exercise slot. Prefects, some in costume, sanitised after each delivery, whilst also wearing a mask and always maintaining social distancing.

Morgan said: "The student prefect body realised virtual learning must be particularly hard for the new year 7 pupils who don’t know each other or the school that well. So, we wanted to do something to make them feel welcome and more a part of the school community that we, as older students, know and love. We hope it was a lovely surprise for the year 7s and lifted their spirits. It definitely gave the year 13s something exciting to plan and look forward to, away from all the talk of exams!"

Head Jane Lunnon, who joined Alleyn's as its first female Head in January of this year, said: "One of the most heartening and exhilarating aspects of our tricky times, is how much resourceful, creative and compassionate thinking it has led to, in finding solutions to problems. And we have seen it in spades from the wonderful student leaders at Alleyn’s. What a tremendous response to the challenge of keeping the school connected and the student leadership visible and relevant in the middle of a lockdown!  And as they cycled round S.E London, delivering chocolate treats and good cheer to younger students, they not only shared the love on Valentine’s day, they also showed how energy, positivity and a sense of fun can keep a school going, even in the most demanding times."

One pleased Year 7 parent wrote a note back to the School Prefects, saying: "Thank you so much for the sweet delivery that came this afternoon - it made our daughter's day. Such a thoughtful idea!"

Parents of Year 7 pupils were advised of the plan in advance and asked to provide their consent for the secret hand-delivery. Those that could not be hand-delivered were sent in the post.