It’s traditional in many schools across the UK to perform their own rendition of the nativity play around Christmas time or take part in a performance, but is it time to broaden our horizons when it comes to celebrating the ‘most wonderful time of the year’? 

At our Mackenzie Thorpe Centre school in Middlesbrough, teachers filmed the Christmas show in bite-sized chunks and sent it home to parents to avoid the stress of a one-off performance in front of an audience.

"In a mainstream setting, the Christmas play might be practised every day throughout the second half of the term. But we introduced the idea slowly so pupils can prepare," says interim vice principal Lucy Sinclair.

"We didn't have a lot of rehearsals and it was very ad hoc. We gave pupils the storylines and just went with what they wanted to say.

"We did the Christmas Carol and we had lots of old Victorian costumes in the classrooms so they could see them first rather than just say 'right, you're wearing this'.

"We did the films in really short scenes because if you do a long play, pupils might lose concentration and their anxiety might build up waiting for their part to come up. Then we put them all together and sent them out to parents, so the children can sit with the parents and watch it with them."

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