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To think a nativity play should include every child in some capacity?

(124 Posts)
hattyyellow Fri 22-Nov-13 14:44:39

50 kids in top half of DD's primary school. Not a lot surely? As always, they are putting on a lengthy production with song after song. This takes up most of this half term.

DD came home to tell me that she had no part and that a third of the children weren't included but would sit at the front of the audience and sing along with the she will spend most of this half term sitting on the floor watching rehearsals.

She doesn't want a star part or even to speak. She just wants to dress up as a random stable animal or be one of a host of angels/stars and wander on stage and off again. Teacher said there is no "capacity" for extra children to be involved, within the restrictions of the script..

In the 80's, every kid got to stand on stage in some kind of costume. Surely? I'm convinced our school stretched the stable guest list to about 20 stable animals and a vast amount of angels - all in basic homemade costumes.

Now, it seems to have become a big extravaganza instead. Don't most parents only attend the nativity to see their kid up on stage, however small their contribution is - rather then to attend some imminently transferring to the west end lavish production, centring around a few main kids.

I can see that at secondary school you might attend a school production for its artistic merits. But at primary, surely it's about involving all the kids? Meh.

Manchesterhistorygirl Fri 22-Nov-13 14:46:06

Same in ds1's school numbers size, but every child does something, be it a Shepard or random crowd member or Mary.

Isthatwhatdemonsdo Fri 22-Nov-13 14:47:06

At our school the reception children do the nativity and the rest of the school sing songs. However, YANBU.

BettyandDon Fri 22-Nov-13 14:51:11

I agree but I have just thought haft done schools here take 90 reception kids. How on earth do they manage that? I think there is even a school a few miles away that has 150...

I was an angel in mine as were most of the blonde kids!

Apileofballyhoo Fri 22-Nov-13 14:51:12

YA definitelyNBU. I'm actually quite shocked that this is considered acceptable by the school.

maddening Fri 22-Nov-13 14:51:23


And wrt "in the capacity of the script" - the teacher needs to accept that she didn't and will never make it in the westend!

SeaDevilscanPlay Fri 22-Nov-13 14:52:43


150 in KS1 is DD's school, all of them are included. Many of them are animals or stars, but they are all included.

How mean for the children who are not included sad

SeaDevilscanPlay Fri 22-Nov-13 14:54:14

Sorry for my over use of the word included blush

nf1morethanjustlumpsandbumps Fri 22-Nov-13 15:01:40

YANBU even when I was at school in the 80s all children did something should have been they ended up a villager or even a tree at one point. Several years ago now my son's previous school banned the children with SEN from taking part as they were not capable apparently, you would have though it was a Broadway production to hear the way they got on and we were told to keep our kids at home that day and they were kept in a classroom with an assistant during rehearsals.

I would imagine most people would want to see their wee ones taking part regardless of the role. I prefer a typical kids play with all the daft things that can and do go wrong happening rather than a perfectly produced play.

ProfondoRosso Fri 22-Nov-13 15:05:43

YANBU. When I was at school, anyone who didn't have a main role (me included) just brought in a tea towel and a elastic headband/bit of ribbon and was a wee singing shepherd! Bloody millions of shepherds visiting Jesus in Bethlehem that day. grin

ProfondoRosso Fri 22-Nov-13 15:07:44

God, I cannot BELIEVE your DS's school did that to the SEN kids, nf1!! I'd be fucking raging! Honestly, the whole charm of school nativities is in how ramshackle and sweet they are. Not bloody production values. What did they want, a Tony award?

Alreethinny Fri 22-Nov-13 15:08:17


Having done a few Reception Class nativity plays over the years, it doesn't take much to make sure every child feels involved. For those not playing the main parts you just use a little imagination. Innkeepers wives, whole shepherding families guarding those sheep and the amount of animal masks I've made over the years for creatures that have probably never set foot in Bethlehem is nobody's business grin

hattyyellow Fri 22-Nov-13 15:08:39

nf1 - all the children with SEN told to stay at home that day!!! Now I do feel unreasonable in comparison... That's just ridiculous!

TalkToFrank Fri 22-Nov-13 15:08:57

YANBU, 50 kids can be included in a nativity - they don't have to all be on stage at once, just get up on stage for their bit then sit back down, just have the 'key' characters for the end scene.

Angel Gabriel
The Star
Narrators x6
Wise Men x3
Camel x3
Angel x8
Shepherds x5
Sheep x8
Innkeeper x6
Cow in stable x2
Mouse in stable x2
Ox(?) in stable x2

Voila. 50 kids.

WestieMamma Fri 22-Nov-13 15:11:55

YANBU that's really mean. My daughter got to dress up as a sheep at all of hers.

AndYouCanDance Fri 22-Nov-13 15:12:50

Yanbu. It would be easy to do... Even if the 'seated choir' got to stand and sing facing the audience.

picnicbasketcase Fri 22-Nov-13 15:14:10

DD goes to a big primary school but last year all of the children who weren't actually on stage still stood at the front as a choir and were all dressed as lambs. Very cute and they all felt included. There's no reason why they can't at least all he dressed as something.

FreakinScaryCaaw Fri 22-Nov-13 15:16:50

That's awful poor dcs sad I've never known this and ds2 went to 2 different primary schools. Everyone was included in the second school as they had less than 90 dcs in total. First one had over 600 and it was reception and yr 1 who did nativity. Rest of years did school play or carol singing.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 22-Nov-13 15:17:48


I was a Christmas tree standing at the back ( there were several of us!)

Primrose123 Fri 22-Nov-13 15:18:06

The same thing happened in our primary school. One third of the children were in the actual play, and the rest sat around in red tops and black trousers singing the songs. Half a term was spent watching rehearsals and being bored stiff. My elder DD was very shy and would never have wanted a big part, but she would have liked to do something small in the show and to feel included. I think a lot of the other children felt like this.

Unfortunately it was the same few every year. I know they were confident and had clear voices, but it's not about talent surely, it's about including everyone and encouraging them to do something out of their comfort zone.

One teacher was great. When the children were in her class, they all got a part. They all dressed up and had something to do, unless they really didn't want to. The shy ones had maybe a few words or an action, but they were all part of the show.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 22-Nov-13 15:19:02


DS1's infants do a play for each class so that every child gets to take part and there is room for parents, siblings and whoever else wants to come along.

MerylStrop Fri 22-Nov-13 15:19:02

Really mean
Really skewed
Really no sense of the meaning of Christmas or community
Serious complaint in order

FreakinScaryCaaw Fri 22-Nov-13 15:19:13

nf1 shock

hattyyellow Fri 22-Nov-13 15:20:23

Primrose it is the same few who get the star parts here, whether its in assembly or other school events. I do see that children volunteering should be encouraged and that some children want to be up on stage much more than others, but i think including other quieter children in non speaking parts is essential. To get them slowly used to standing in front of an audience so that public speaking isn't so scary as they move up to big school and into adult life.

You're all right. How hard is it to create a whole load more parts who shuffle on and off stage sad

sandfrog Fri 22-Nov-13 15:27:06

YANBU. Of course they should all be included. If there are "restrictions of the script" hmm then they need to adapt or get a different script.

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