You know Christmas must be coming when the infant classrooms are full of tinsel, tea towels and the sound of our youngest pupils’ voices belting out jazzy renditions of a very familiar story. How refreshing it has been to be preparing for a live performance. Last year the children rose marvellously to the challenge of creating a film, but nothing can replicate the joy of an appreciative audience full of parents, grandparents and friends.
The Nativity season is characterised by collaboration across the School. Whether it is the AV department providing lighting and staging, our Art department creating scenery and props or our Junior School colleagues supplying all manner of support, it truly is a team effort.
As well as the adults around them, the children demonstrate the importance of cooperation throughout the process. From the very beginning, the children realise that to make the Nativity a success, everybody is equally important and has a valuable part to play. No matter their age, the character they are playing or the number of lines they have to learn; they could not do it without one another.
This year’s production is entitled ‘A Midwife Crisis’ and follows the story of a Bethlehem midwife and her loyal companion, Steve the Donkey. Having received the news that an important baby is being born, they embark on a journey to find him. Along the way they meet Kings, camels, shepherds, census-takers and angels, and see some beautiful stars. Form Two take the lead in narrating and acting the majority of the play whilst Form One and Reception support in their own ways. Form One are present throughout, adding volume to the singing and presenting a line each within a scene. Reception appear on stage towards the end of the performance, delivering a poem altogether and singing their own song.
This journey from Reception to Form Two enables children’s confidence, stage craft and maturity to grow over the years. It is always wonderous to see those individuals who find it particularly overwhelming in Reception shine on stage in a bigger role in Form Two. It can also give opportunities to children to show off talents which aren’t always visible in the classroom.
After hours upon hours of rehearsals and preparations, the true joy of the Nativity is seeing the children’s faces when they perform on stage and the faces of delight in the audience. As the curtain falls on the final night there is a real sense of accomplishment from all involved, staff and children alike.
Main image: Programme artwork by Year 2