A headteacher has defended his decision to make changes to Christmas nativities at a Norfolk primary school after a petition was set up online by parents.

Ryan Freeman, headteacher of Moorlands Church of England Primary Academy in Belton, near Great Yarmouth, told parents that there will no longer be nativities for children in years three to six as part of the school’s new Christmas itinerary.

It led to 80 parents signing a petition calling for him to reverse his decision so their children, who missed out during the pandemic, could experience what it is like to take part in the traditional festive show.

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Mr Freeman said: “Christmas is a wonderful time of year for our pupils and to celebrate this year we have produced a more than usual list of Christmas productions, performances, jumper days and lunches. 

“We are in fact doing more this year to celebrate than other years.

“This year we have decided to ensure that all of our children can take part in a high quality production. 

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Moorlands Church of England Primary Academy, in Belton, near Gt YarmouthMoorlands Church of England Primary Academy, in Belton, near Gt Yarmouth (Image: Google Maps)

“Our smallest children in Nursery, Reception, and Year 1 and Year 2 will be taking part in four of the classic Christmas Nativity productions.

"Similar to other schools, the older children will be performing in Christmas productions which this will be Years 3 to 6, taking part in alfresco Christmas Carol performances accompanied by fairy lights, music and Christmas in poetry and rhyme written and performed by the pupils. 

"We have just changed the type of performance for the older children from a nativity to a musical Christmas performance. 

"The older children will also get to perform Christmas poems to their parents."

"We are proud of our Christmas itinerary and we hope that parents will enjoy the wide range of opportunities that we have created to celebrate the Christmas season together.”