The title of this post is that of our Nativity play at school but in my eyes reflects the achievements of all of our children who, metaphorically and literally, earned their wings today.
The Nativity play in school traditionally tugs on the heartstrings of parents and teachers alike. For us it is especially poignant because in their mainstream settings our kids are the ones who are on one to one outside class or sent home or sheep number 3 sitting closely guarded by a TA on the outer reaches of a bench near a door ready to be whisked away at a moment’s notice! I often refer to our kids as being on the fringes of society and at this time of year it becomes even more apparent….but not , thankfully, for our little gang!
Practising for a Nativity play is fraught with difficulty for our kids….They struggle to sit….They struggle to listen….and concentrate…and remember their lines. They are not used to being the centre of attention; the concept of being a star or even a bit part is totally alien to them! Some, despite our best efforts, refuse to engage and some actively disrupt proceedings as a way of expressing their distress and disconnectedness from the season of goodwill; they often manifest unhappiness with their world at this time. And who can blame them? Christmas in dysfunctional families and for those in care is often a time of strife and bitterness, wrenching memories and small sadnesses. Yet for others it can signify hope and renewal and a chance to reinvent themselves.
So what of our kids this year? First off I want to say how proud we are of all of them! They rose to the occasion magnificently! Our Little Angel was amazing! This little one came to us in distress but has grown into a confident girl who sings and dances like a dream and is definitely a potential X factor contestant!! Listening to her singing her little solo in a pure and beautiful voice brought tears to our eyes!
Then there were our little animals! One young boy was not expecting his mum to come due to the distance and lack of transport. Fortunately I was at a meeting in the morning and able to arrange a family worker to bring her….It was magical…..He was so happy to see his mum and couldn’t stop smiling..you just can’t bottle it!!
One boy took over a main part at short notice but didn’t expect his dad to come; I rang him and he turned up with the lad’s sister aswell; cue smiles and happiness!
A young boy didn’t want to take part but loved doing jobs – he was meeter and greeter for visiting families!
Another young man was supposed to be at his mainstream school today but wanted to be with us to support us. He ended up volunteering to be Mary because the little girl was poorly! Mr Bravery has represented us on our local Pupil Parliament and conducted himself immaculately. …no change there then!
I could go on….angels who can often be little devils….but not today! Shepherds and lamb who have been lost but are now found! Kings who are a credit to the East…of the county….and little Joseph who sat still for the first time !! Also some fab narrators without whom the story couldn’t have been told! And the singing….The singing was super !
I could burst with pride at how our children performed and all who saw them added their lovely positive comments. Our management committee reps (governors to you) were delighted and the children were so proud they had done well!
So what can we learn from this? ‘All children have their strengths’ is a key conclusion for me! In a nurturing and small environment all children can achieve their potential; the dynamics surrounding this need to be discussed in more detail.
The parents and carers who came to our concert today were blown away by the performances of their kids and the potential they all showed. Is it too much to ask that we look at this in a wider sense and examine more closely our mainstream provision? No child deserves to be written off but it can happen for a variety of reasons.
At the end of our play the Little Angel brought the gift of love to Baby Jesus and that is His magical legacy to us all.
Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year!