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Updated Dec 4, 2020

Covid causes England schools to drop nativity plays

Around half of schools will not be performing a nativity play this year due to pressures concerning the coronavirus pandemic, and most performances that still plan on going ahead will be virtual.

Less than 5% might hold a live socially distanced nativity according to responses from a survey by the Teacher Tapp app, but many are looking into filming the nativity.

Some schools are filming the nativity outdoors, with footage shared with parents and local care homes. Whilst some nativity activities are being filmed and edited into the form of an advent calendar.

Sedbergh Preparatory School in Cumbria, which normally puts on a nativity play involving reception-year pupils, started trial filming in November. They plan to film in scenes, and will feature actual stables in one, and shepherds in fields of goats in another.

Emma Goligher, part of the school's marketing and admissions team said: "It’s been an experience that has also prompted us to think about things a little differently this year, so that will be reflected in what will also hopefully be a fun way".

The survey by Teacher Tapp which was answered by 1,483 teachers recorded that 50% of those in the east of England and 53% in the Midlands were not holding a nativity. In the south-east 56% said they were running a nativity activity, though it would be virtual.