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Nativity Or No Nativity


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just heard from someone that Ofsted are supposed to be favouring those schools which do a traditional Nativity. :o Sounds a bit odd to me, has anyone else heard similar whispers?!

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just heard from someone that Ofsted are supposed to be favouring those schools which do a traditional Nativity. :o Sounds a bit odd to me, has anyone else heard similar whispers?!

Well they can stuff that up their jumper!

 

We're in pre-school and we don't do a nativity - we do a christmas performance of songs preceded by me giving a short review of the year and then the children walk down to the 'stage' as I read out a little rhyming couplet that has been specially written about them. I can't bear the thought of doing a traditional nativity with two year olds.

 

We do have a lovely song about a baby being born in Bethlehem though - complete with wise men, shepherds and two of the loveliest angels you ever did see (boys)....

 

Can't wait....

 

Maz

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I love this forum - we can speak freely and know that we aren't offending! I can happily support the opposite view to Maz...

 

We are a Christian pre-school and, naturally put on a traditional nativity each year! Clearly our stated Nursery aims and ethos would underpin our strong Christian attitude and we ensure that it we celebrate other non-christian festivals when they are culturally relevant to the children in our setting.

 

We keep our nativity incredibly short and very simple - no speaking parts at all but lots of singing and actions. And Maz, we have 2 year olds - we give them easy parts like stars (inevitably become shooting stars but that's all part of the fun). Each year the pageant is really well supported not only from our parents and families but the local school Reception classes love to come too! It really helps with the singing when all my little lovelies are too stage struck to move, let alone sing!!! Afterwards we have a big buffet for the nursery families and invited guests and we regularly have over 80 attend so they must be happy with what we do. I should say that less than 5% of our families are Christians....

 

I strongly believe that we are Christian country irrespective of our personal views, but that we are allowing our values to be eroded by endeavouring to be politically correct. That's why I do currently, and will continue to put across the true meaning of Christmas regardless of what blooming Ofsted try to tell us!

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The reason I'm asking is because I really can't believe that our multi-cultural Christmas event would be shunned by Ofsted. After all we've done it to promote inclusion and diversity! :o

 

We all love the traditional theme, but this year thought we'd include the backgrounds of all the families, glooy, what a laugh - we are doing a weak theme of Noah and the animals will come in two by two (we've got tigers, pigs and Winnie the Pooh)! xD

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We are doing the nativity in our nursery for the first time as the first year we were setting up the nursery, second year listened to another nursery about how awful it is to do with little ones and this year we are just going for it. I really believe that it is important to maintain tradition of the christian faith even if you do not believe as this is the main faith of our country. We have set the story to the song of 'There was a princess long ago'. It is very simple and the children can cope with this.

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I agree, the main faith of the country should be represented. When I lived in Portugal as a child, my parents expected me to join in Catholic practice (and the celebrations were fantastic) - you can't change the customs and traditions of the world, however, I also feel this year we have discussed it and thought about it in great depth.

 

The Noah theme is obviously Christian and it is the manner with which it will be done which is important. All parents are invited to join in, bring in a cultural dish (we already have sushi on the way) and to make it a celebration of the time of year and season.

 

Can Ofsted be this pointed? Has anyone else actually heard of them marking down settings and schools who have not followed a tradional nativity theme?

 

Golly, what a laugh, maybe they will be scoring us if we have a masculine, not feminine Santa - after all we'd be meeting the laws of equality...lol. xD:(:(:o

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we are doing a traditional very short nativity which I think after todays performance may turn into a superhero's performance. What a disaster, legs kicking, one child laying on the floor refusing to stand or sit up, one child shouting out = not again we did this the 'uver' day! and moans of when is it snack time. all good fun :o

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I feel that each faith/tradition needs to be respected and presented as what it really is. For example, the same way we are careful and respectful with the Indian community around their Diwali celebration, Hanukkah for the Jews or Eid for the Muslims... we should keep the essence of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ.

 

It is sad :o to see that Christmas sometimes becomes just a feast around winter or Father Christmas/Santa Claus and the presents received.

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Guest MaryEMac

As long as all our children don't go down with chicken pox, we will be performing a Nativity Tableau in church next monday. Our playgroup is linked to a Church of England school and all of our children will be going there, so we like to stick with the Christian theme at this time of year. It also introduces the children to the church so that when they go with the school it s not strange. We do also look at other faiths over the year. So I agree with you LJW.

 

Mary

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I have to agree with SmileyPR when we celebrate Chinese New Year or Diwali we don't attempt to make it multi cultural so why when we celebrate Christmas do we have to feel guilty?

 

We had our first nativity today and EVERYTHING went wrong xD:o

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Ours is a very simple Nativity, traditional costumes, a theme based on the tune 'there was a princess long ago' plus a few favourite songs. Followed by cake and coffee. I think it is important that we celebrate our culture in this way.

 

We have asked parents to share their family traditions which we have shared with children at register time.

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I do understand that we should keep Christmas as a celebration of what it really is, however, I'd also like our church to offer the children in for a visit, or maybe donate some time from the vicar or even a free session so we could hold the Christmas party without charging (we are in the Church Hall).

 

Last time I invited the Vicar in, he held up a bottle of blackcurrant stating it was blood etc etc! Frightened the children and the staff's faces were a picture! I wouldn't mind, but he is in his early 40's with 5 young children - should know better.

 

As for celebrating Christmas, I'm trying to appease as many families as we can and I'm happy doing Noah's parade. We have a range including Muslim, Jehova's Witness, Catholic and Christians, all of whom seem happy to have a multi-cultural Christmas and I'm quite looking forward to it.

 

We had a rehearsal last year, where the children were all happy to do their bit - On the day however, half of them fought over the costumes wanting each others and the other half hid - what a laugh, it's the magic of christmas x :o

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In our early years unit We do traditional nativity, everyone dresses up ,all the part time children are either a shepherd or an angel . the full timers are usually the other characters and sing solos, duets or narrate.

we had our dress rehersal this morning and the rest of the school loved it :o .

Its what christmas is all about otherwise why are we celebrating, if not the birth of christ. xD

We also go into church for a full school mass on the last day of term which is wonderful.

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I'm not sure that our current format sprang out of a need to be multi-cultural - it started before my time. I do know the parents love it - probably because we make it so personal to their children.

 

We usually go into church also for a Christmas service but this year there is a new vicar and we haven't been invited. Must get that sorted for Easter - again the parents love this because it takes us into the heart of the community.

 

All your nativities sound just lovely - perhaps next year I'll be brave and attempt one...

 

Maz

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So what it the nativity play goes all wrong - surely that makes it more special, definitely more memorable!!! I long ago reached the conclusion that after loads of rehearsal, finally on the day I start at the beginning, finish at the end and what happens in the middle is beyond my control. That way I don't get up tight about it! This year our children are dead keen to the extent that I'm going to have an 'open mike' slot at the end for some lovely solo's!!!!!!!! Yesterday it sounded like a cat being garrotted when I left a karaoke machine for them to try during the nursery session. Hey, if the parents laugh and there are no rude words............

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Haven't done a nativity....we had a performance for parents last week with singing and roles to act out...I agree with the fact we should be celebrating Christmas for what it really is and yes we always celebrate other cultures so ours should be as important!

 

Maybe next year I will attempt one! We did however attend the schools christmas performance last week which ends with a nativity scene and songs. :o

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Last time I invited the Vicar in, he held up a bottle of blackcurrant stating it was blood etc etc! Frightened the children and the staff's faces were a picture! I wouldn't mind, but he is in his early 40's with 5 young children - should know better.

 

Sounds dreadful!

 

We take our children to church at harvest time and we talk about vegetables and fruit, and corn and bread! The vicar does seem to understand what level to talk to 2 to 4 years olds!

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To the tune of 'There was a princess long ago'

 

Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem,

Bethlehem, Bethlehem

Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem,

on a donkey.

 

Jesus was born in a stable warm,

stable warm, stable warm.

Jesus was born in a stable warm,

stable warm.

 

The angels la, la la, mind gone blank - will edit when I can remember

 

The shepherds went to see baby Jesus

see baby Jesus, see baby Jesus

The shepherds went to see baby Jesus

See baby Jesus.

 

The three Kings said let's follow that star, follow that star,

follow that star

The three Kings said let's follow that star,

follow that star.

 

So everybody's happy now, happy now

happy now,

So everybody's happy now,

happy now.

 

We start with Away in a Manger, follow with Twinkle, Twinkle, Down in the stable (tune of down in the jungle) the children love boogie, wooogie-ing to that one, then sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and share Birthday cake with everyone. With narration inbetween by the Leader.

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just heard from someone that Ofsted are supposed to be favouring those schools which do a traditional Nativity. :o Sounds a bit odd to me, has anyone else heard similar whispers?!

 

 

There's something very wrong with Ofsted if they think that. But then there's something vey wrong with Ofsted!

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This has been an interesting discussion-and quite true that we feel we can come on the forum and freely express ourselves. So I hope nobody gets upset by what is said.

I just wonder why you feel you need to appease families of other faiths cirhossa? Most major world religions believe that Christ existed, not as Christians do as the son of God , but as a religious man and a prophet. They should not, therefore, be upset or insulted by a traditional nativity.

In a country where we, on the whole, practice religious and cultural tolerance surely we should respect them all equally? And the true meaning of Christmas is the birth of Jesus.

Our Christmas concert is a tableau and involves animals, Mary, Joseph and Jesus, Father Christmas and Rudolph. No words to speak, just me narrating a story with songs in between. It will be enjoyed by all I am sure.

Linda

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As you know, in my job I dont have a setting so nativity or not isnt an issue but I would say this.

I'm in Birmingham where a few years ago the council caused outrage by calling Christmas 'winterfest' or some such ridiculous thing.

While we do live in a multi-cultural society that shouldnt mean Christians should feel they need to appologise for celebrating their religion. This is still a fundementaly Christian country, whether you believe or not and parents can always remove their child from the celebration if they wish, as I believe Jehovas Witnesses do.

I was taught the Lords Prayer at school and assumed it would always be taught, imagine my embarresment and surprise when my children not only couldnt join in at a family wedding, but looked at the rest of us as if we were alien. We all knew something they didnt. It never crossed my mind to teach them.

If we are going to change the nativity to suit what we think other peoples thoughts are on the matter then we need to see it from all angles. I once had a dad ask me why his daughter was making a card for diwali. I explained we are multi-cultural and celebrate others festivals. He replied 'we're not one of them'.

How would I be able to argue for Diwali, Chinese new year, Yom Kippor (sp), Eid... if I was changing Christmas?

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