Children across Redbridge tell the nativity story from school halls to a horse-riding arena

Youngsters in the borough have been dressing up and temporarily turning themselves into angels and shepherds to recreate the nativity story this Christmas.

From stories which include sign language to an around the world take on the traditional festive nativity, pupils from various schools have been performing in front of delighted family and friends.

Avanti Court Primary School, in Carlton Drive, Barkingside welcomed special guests Cllr Alan Weinberg, leader of the council Cllr Keith Prince and Roger Evans, assembly member for Havering and Redbridge, to their very first nativity yesterday.

James Biddulph, headteacher at Avanti Court, said: “We are a Hindu school but we value all types of festivities.

“This is the first time we have done a Christmas play, and it is our first statement to the community.

“With this play we wanted to give a message of light and hope which is very important for this story. The values of the story are shared by all faiths and through this we are inclusive.”

About 90 reception children took to the stage at Gearies Infants School for their special nativity which also included sign language, to aid those with hearing problems.

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The whole year group at the school in Waremead Road, Gants Hill, took part as actors, narrators or members of the choir who sang Christmas classics such as Away in a Manger last week.

Laura Smith, a reception practitioner, said: “I thought it was a fantastic performance and we are all very proud of them. Everyone who was involved was very happy with the children and the parents’ comments.”

The award for most authentic nativity would have to go to the children at the Chigwell Riding Trust, Grange Farm, High Road, Chigwell who performed their nativity in their horse-riding arena complete with a floor of hay and real horses.

More than 350 people were at the performance, which was conducted by Rev Tony Miles, a trustee at the riding trust.

Gearies Junior School, Gants Hill Crescent, Gants Hill were not going to miss out all the fun and hosted their Around The World nativity on Friday.