ANGELS, Shepherds and Calypso Kings have heralded the advent of Christmas with the greatest story ever told.

Nursery and reception pupils at West Park Academy, Darlington, took to the stage to perform a traditional nativity play to a delighted audience of parents, grandparents, carers, family and friends.

Dressed as shepherds, stars, camels, sheep, donkeys and innkeepers, the 60 students, aged from three to five, recounted a word perfect performance of the birth of the baby Jesus, with songs including Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Hey You Come Back Here (the sheep song) and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

Reception teacher Victoria Harrison, who directed the play alongside nursery teacher Hayley Woodcock, said: “Christmas really isn’t Christmas without a traditional nativity play and it’s a great reminder to the children of the real meaning behind why we give each other gifts at this time of year.

“We learn a lot about different religions and cultures in school so the nativity is a great way to learn about Christianity while also performing and having fun.

“The children have worked so hard to learn all the songs, even signing some of the words, and the final performance was absolutely fantastic.”The starring roles of Mary and Joseph were played by five-year-old Bobby Dulson and Evie Garraway, three, with Brooke Pearson, five, taking on the role of the donkey.

Proud mum Carla Garraway said: “Evie has been so excited about being Mary in the school nativity and has been singing all of the songs non-stop. It was very emotional seeing her on the stage for the first time.

“All the children were brilliant and it’s great to see how much hard work the teachers have put into creating such a wonderful nativity.”

West Park Academy Principal Sam Hurst added: “Our nativity really marks the official start of Christmas.

“We are incredibly lucky to have so many delightful children here at West Park Academy and I am incredibly proud of each and every one of them. Their performances were outstanding and they are all absolute stars.”