This year there was no carol service at Grimsdyke First and Middle School in Harrow, Middlesex, The Telegraph reports. Instead there was an assembly, ‘Festivals of Light – a Seasonal Celebration’, but parents weren’t invited.
Headteacher Judith Luckraft decided to replace the nativity play because the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, the Muslims’ Eid ul Fitr, and the Hindu Diwali celebration all occur at roughly the same time. “We sang a song for each of the three faiths and four for the Christmas story, including We Three Kings and Away in a Manger. We have a fair ethnic mix here and while I would always wish to endorse the Christian nature of the school, I have to recognise the very real faiths of our population here.”
Christian parents claim that less than a quarter of the pupils are from ethnic minorities, and that separate assemblies were held for the three other faiths. One parent of a five year-old said: “Our son has come home and told us all about Diwali and Eid, which is fine, but Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ and there seems to be nothing about that.”
The school isn’t alone; more and more schools are dropping nativity plays for fear of offending pupils and parents from different faiths.
How did your school celebrate Christmas – with a carol service and nativity play or a multi-faith assembly? Share your experiences with us!