Two thirds of parents want schools to hold a traditional nativity

The website Netmums has found that parents aren’t happy that the traditional story of the Nativity is not being shown in schools and has been replaced by ‘Winter Celebrations’ or an ‘End of Year Concert’. Two thirds (65 per cent) of parents whose school doesn’t hold a traditional nativity would like it to, with just one in five feeling the Nativity is ‘unimportant’. A further 13 per cent planned to teach their child the Christmas story at home. 

Netmums says in its article: ‘The traditional nativity used to be as much a part of Christmas as mince pies and stockings, but it seems that it is on the wane. As adults we have fond memories of the school nativity play. We were read the nativity story and practiced our songs and lines for weeks, whilst our parents busily cobbled costumes using tea towels and gold tinsel ready for the Christmas nativity play’.

The poll also found that only one third of schools now hold a traditional nativity play at Christmas time. The most common school Christmas celebration (for more than half of all schools) is now an ‘updated nativity’ with modern characters including recycling bins, footballers and punk fairies.

Netmums also says that the show is not even called the nativity anymore with many schools calling it a 'Winter Celebration' ‘Seasonal Play’ or ‘End of Year Concert’ instead.

Last Christmas a Bible Society survey found that one in 10 people aged 25 to 34 think that Father Christmas is mentioned in the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus.

Rachel Rounds, Head of Media & Communications said: ‘We are thrilled that parents want their children to engage with the true story of the Nativity. We don’t have a problem with schools using inventive ways to tell the story; but it’s clear from our research, which showed that one third of children didn’t know the Nativity story was from the Bible, that children get confused because they aren’t being taught the scriptures in their classrooms – and it would seem the Nativity is symptomatic of this problem.’ 

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