‘Fantastique’ French feel to Lowestoft primary school Nativity

IT'S known the world over as probably the greatest story ever told.

The Nativity story is relived in a whole host of languages around the world.

But the globe is getting smaller every day as people migrate to new lands in search of work, adventure and a better quality of life for their families.

In Lowestoft, St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School now has pupils of 23 different nationalities.

So there was a truly multi-cultural atmosphere during two very special end-of-term nativity performances.

This year's Christmas production again included a French festive message to the town.

Pupils from St Mary's early-years classes, years one and two, dressed up as angels, shepherds, wise men and innkeepers as they took to the stage in a play that mixed traditional with modern.

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St Mary's year one teacher Samantha Barlow said: 'We tried to bring the true message of Christmas across to the audience, something that can sometimes be lost in all the rush-around preparing for Christmas.'

She said the pupils, aged from four to seven, had thoroughly enjoyed dressing up and bringing the Christmas story to life.

After performing to the whole school, the Nativity was showcased to an appreciative audience of parents.

And later it was the turn of the school's older children to present their Nativity performance.

This was spoken in French and also included multi-cultural Christmas greetings in the children's various different languages.

The school now features pupils from nationalities including Spain, Sri Lanka, Ireland, India, South Africa, Korea, Romania and Japan.

All joined in with the primary school's annual festive celebrat- ions.

For modern languages teacher Mary Hunt, this year's Nativity production for older pupils was the biggest one ever in terms of the number of different nationalities taking part.

'It has been a tradition in the school that years three to six pupils use their language skills to present the Christmas story in French, both in spoken word and in song,' Mrs Hunt said.

'I have been doing this for more than 20 years, and all the children who speak another language were involved.'

The whole Nativity was conducted in French, and even the carol Silent Night was spoken in French: 'Douce Nuit! Sainte Nuit...'

At the finale of the production, each pupil held up a card with a Christmas greeting displayed in their own native tongue.

'We also wanted all our diverse nationalities to share with us their Christmas traditions by each giving a seasonal greeting in their own language,' Mrs Hunt said.

'We received very good feedback and the children thoroughly enjoyed it. They all did really well: it was fantastique!'

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