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Created: 22 December 2016 | Last Updated: 22 December 2016 | Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version | Make Text Smaller Make Text Larger |

Festive School Shows Bringing Communities Together

24 December 2016

The EIS has today highlighted the importance of school festive shows in bringing communities together. These are important events for pupils, teachers, family and friends in communities across Scotland.

The experience of working together - with different classes, nursery and primary children, or even whole schools collaborating – provides young people with a great sense of achievement as they strive towards a common goal.

Teachers are vital to the effort, putting in an incredible amount of work to ensure that everything goes right on the day.

The support of the Instrumental Music Service is also frequently called upon at this time of year, with IMTs doing all that they can to assist young people with instrumental music and song.

The wider community is involved too – including parents, carers, wider family and friends offering their support in providing costumes, building sets and helping the star performers to remember and rehearse their lines.

For many schools, their performances are based on the traditional Nativity performance and the story of the first Christmas. Other schools take a different approach, incorporating the celebration of a variety of winter festivals – both religious and non-religious – or adopting a more general ‘end of year’ theme for their show.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "There is no absolute as to how best to approach end of year performances and schools will decide the format for their own shows, including how best to engage and involve the entire school community.

"It is important that there is an awareness of, and respect for, the diversity of beliefs within that community.”

He added, "The vast majority of schools will celebrate Christmas, and many will base their shows around the story of the Nativity, but are also careful to consider the needs of pupils of other faiths and those from families who do not follow any religion.”

Recent debates around ‘Brexit’, the US Presidential election, the refugee crisis and the tone of political debate on immigration, have combined to create a climate in which equality and human rights are at risk.

Mr Flanagan said, "Scotland has historically been a welcoming and inclusive society, and it is important that we continue to reflect this in our schools by celebrating the diversity of the people that make up our school communities.

"Recent political events have created an environment where it is more important than ever to reaffirm the inclusive nature of Scottish society in general and our schools in particular.”

He added, "The OECD report on Scottish education, published earlier this year, commended the highly inclusive nature of Scottish education and the success that schools have had in integrating young people from migrant backgrounds into our classrooms.

"While we should never be complacent, we can be justifiably proud that our schools are providing such a welcoming and caring environment for young people from all backgrounds and those who are new to this country, including young people from migrant, refugee and asylum seeking families.”