The Head of Yarm Preparatory School is calling on schools across the country to return to performing the traditional nativity story after it was revealed that a shopping centre in Scotland has banned the manger scene.

A survey* carried out by parenting website Mumsnet found that only a third of UK schools invite parents to watch their children in a classic nativity play, 47 per cent of schools offer an ‘updated nativity’ while one in eight have dropped Christian references completely. However, two-thirds of parents whose school does not hold a traditional nativity would like it to.

The shopping centre in Scotland has this year outlawed the nativity scene to avoid upsetting non-religious people and a school in America has boycotted Christmas carols that mention the name Jesus. Even Sainsbury’s Christmas TV advert this year depicts a glitzy, jazzy school concert instead of the long-established Bible story of Jesus’ birth.

The pupils at Yarm Preparatory School are bucking the trend and performing the age-old Christmas story, starring Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, three wise men, angels and shepherds.

Bill Sawyer, Head of Yarm Preparatory School, said: “It is incredibly sad that the nativity has become the exception rather than the rule and I believe that schools have a big part to play in its return. Our children thoroughly enjoy enacting the Christmas story as much as their parents enjoy watching it.

“The reasoning that it offends people of different religions is questionable and there is little evidence that the vast majority of people of different faiths feel this way.

“Banning Christian observances to be ‘politically correct’ is divisive and does not inspire unity or integration.

“We talk to our pupils about Christmas, Ramadan, Diwali, Hanukkah and other religious or cultural celebrations and encourage them to be accepting and open-minded and are very proud of our beautifully performed, humorous but definitely traditional nativity play.”


For further information contact Caroline Walker on 01325 363436