Shepherds dressed in old sheets, Christmas carols and the competition to see who will play Mary and Joseph? nativity plays have been a feature of British primary-school life for generations.
But a survey has revealed that headteachers are watering down or ditching the centuries-old Christmas story in favour of secular tales to avoid upsetting pupils of other faiths.
Pupils at King Road Primary in Manchester put on their Whoops-a-Daisy Angel, school nativity plays under threat
Changing Christmas: Pupils at King Road Primary
in Manchester put on their Whoops-a-Daisy Angel
Only one in five schools are ?planning to perform a traditional nativity play this year. They are now outnumbered by schools that say they will be either putting on a non-religious play, such as Scrooge or Snow White, or giving no performance at all.
Almost half the schools said they planned to put on modern reinterpretations of the Christmas story, with extra characters, new songs and modern themes, such as The Bossy King, Whoops-a-Daisy Angel or The Hoity-Toity Angel.