Canvey Junior School to perform a nativity with a twist

First published in News

COPS and robbers are not your usual suspects in a Christmas production, but one school is putting a new twist on the traditional nativity play.

Canvey Junior School’s Christmas production features a nativity, but the story initially starts with two daft robbers stealing jewels that are hidden in a manger in a school hall, which are then found by children rehearsing for their Christmas play.

Ultimately, good triumphs over bad and the robbers are not on the run for long before they are snared by police, but one parent, who doesn’t want to be named, has complained to the school about the content of the play.

Traditional carols, such as Away In A Manger, have alternative lyrics which they do not think are appropriate for a Christmas play performed by seven to 11-year-olds.

However, Janet Vaughan, headteacher of the school in Long Road, has defended the production, which is a published play and was downloaded from an “appropriate website” used by teachers.

“It is very very funny and nothing more than a light-hearted version of events,” she said.

“The outcome is that the robbers are caught and banged to rights and the true meaning of Christmas comes across very strongly with a nativity at the end.

“It is nice to have a fun element to any sort of Christmas production and we always have a religious basis to it as well.”

After receiving the complaint, Mrs Vaughan wrote to all parents saying if they had similar concerns their child could be withdrawn from the play.

However, she said despite one child not taking part, other parents have been supportive of the production.

She added: “Our productions are always absolutely excellent, the kids get such a lot out of it.

“It’s a nonsense to say those words are anything other than tongue-in-cheek and the children perfectly understand that.”

Unfortunately the play comes at a time when Canvey has suffered a spate of armed robberies, but Mrs Vaughan said making any link between the production and the crimewave was not appropriate.

Comments (15)

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5:13pm Mon 3 Dec 12

Curbishly says...

The Sunday nationals picked this story up, and almost without exception panned the school for glorifying crime.

But, if you live on the Island why should you be surprised?
The Sunday nationals picked this story up, and almost without exception panned the school for glorifying crime. But, if you live on the Island why should you be surprised? Curbishly
  • Score: 0

5:46pm Mon 3 Dec 12

Olivia2847 says...

Another miracle play then! A copper? Forgive me Father .....
Another miracle play then! A copper? Forgive me Father ..... Olivia2847
  • Score: 0

6:17pm Mon 3 Dec 12

rouliere says...

So wish I could go and see this play - forgive me if this is wrong but can't help but want to see it - maybe the school will consider a public performance !
So wish I could go and see this play - forgive me if this is wrong but can't help but want to see it - maybe the school will consider a public performance ! rouliere
  • Score: 0

6:19pm Mon 3 Dec 12

Hoyster says...

As a parent of a child that attends this school, I cannot believe how the national newspapers have, as usual, mislead their readers with incorrect information. They have completely blown this story out of all proportion.

Also to set the record straight, there was only ONE formal complaint and another parent disagreed with the choice of the production. The parent of the formal complaint, has removed their child from the production.

To the comment above regarding 'what do you expect from Canvey'? The school has been graded a grade 1 Ofsted. Not what you would expect from Canvey eh? If you're going to comment, please make it constructive and not insulting. Also, do your homework before you comment!!!
As a parent of a child that attends this school, I cannot believe how the national newspapers have, as usual, mislead their readers with incorrect information. They have completely blown this story out of all proportion. Also to set the record straight, there was only ONE formal complaint and another parent disagreed with the choice of the production. The parent of the formal complaint, has removed their child from the production. To the comment above regarding 'what do you expect from Canvey'? The school has been graded a grade 1 Ofsted. Not what you would expect from Canvey eh? If you're going to comment, please make it constructive and not insulting. Also, do your homework before you comment!!! Hoyster
  • Score: 0

6:22pm Mon 3 Dec 12

Jackieberkeley says...

My daughter goes to this school and has a part in the play . I have nothing but good things to say about the school . I dont have a problem with the play or what its about. in the end good overrides bad .One parent out of the whole school complained .
I will be going to see the play like all the ones before it will be fantastic , keep up the good work CJS
My daughter goes to this school and has a part in the play . I have nothing but good things to say about the school . I dont have a problem with the play or what its about. in the end good overrides bad .One parent out of the whole school complained . I will be going to see the play like all the ones before it will be fantastic , keep up the good work CJS Jackieberkeley
  • Score: 0

6:34pm Mon 3 Dec 12

John T Pharro says...

Curbishly wrote:
The Sunday nationals picked this story up, and almost without exception panned the school for glorifying crime.

But, if you live on the Island why should you be surprised?
There will probably be more police in the play than seen on Canvey for years.
[quote][p][bold]Curbishly[/bold] wrote: The Sunday nationals picked this story up, and almost without exception panned the school for glorifying crime. But, if you live on the Island why should you be surprised?[/p][/quote]There will probably be more police in the play than seen on Canvey for years. John T Pharro
  • Score: 0

6:36pm Mon 3 Dec 12

John T Pharro says...

Jackieberkeley wrote:
My daughter goes to this school and has a part in the play . I have nothing but good things to say about the school . I dont have a problem with the play or what its about. in the end good overrides bad .One parent out of the whole school complained .
I will be going to see the play like all the ones before it will be fantastic , keep up the good work CJS
Well said.
[quote][p][bold]Jackieberkeley[/bold] wrote: My daughter goes to this school and has a part in the play . I have nothing but good things to say about the school . I dont have a problem with the play or what its about. in the end good overrides bad .One parent out of the whole school complained . I will be going to see the play like all the ones before it will be fantastic , keep up the good work CJS[/p][/quote]Well said. John T Pharro
  • Score: 0

6:44pm Mon 3 Dec 12

marshman says...

Merry Winterfest.
Merry Winterfest. marshman
  • Score: 0

6:50pm Mon 3 Dec 12

John T Pharro says...

Hoyster wrote:
As a parent of a child that attends this school, I cannot believe how the national newspapers have, as usual, mislead their readers with incorrect information. They have completely blown this story out of all proportion.

Also to set the record straight, there was only ONE formal complaint and another parent disagreed with the choice of the production. The parent of the formal complaint, has removed their child from the production.

To the comment above regarding 'what do you expect from Canvey'? The school has been graded a grade 1 Ofsted. Not what you would expect from Canvey eh? If you're going to comment, please make it constructive and not insulting. Also, do your homework before you comment!!!
I can understand your indignation actually the school was rated "outstanding" by Ofsted which sounds far better than 1. Actually at least one other school was rated outstanding on Canvey as well. Also the relationship between all the schools on Canvey because of the School's Partnership is considered unique and long may that continue. Would love to see the play and bet all the places are taken up.
[quote][p][bold]Hoyster[/bold] wrote: As a parent of a child that attends this school, I cannot believe how the national newspapers have, as usual, mislead their readers with incorrect information. They have completely blown this story out of all proportion. Also to set the record straight, there was only ONE formal complaint and another parent disagreed with the choice of the production. The parent of the formal complaint, has removed their child from the production. To the comment above regarding 'what do you expect from Canvey'? The school has been graded a grade 1 Ofsted. Not what you would expect from Canvey eh? If you're going to comment, please make it constructive and not insulting. Also, do your homework before you comment!!![/p][/quote]I can understand your indignation actually the school was rated "outstanding" by Ofsted which sounds far better than 1. Actually at least one other school was rated outstanding on Canvey as well. Also the relationship between all the schools on Canvey because of the School's Partnership is considered unique and long may that continue. Would love to see the play and bet all the places are taken up. John T Pharro
  • Score: 0

8:57am Tue 4 Dec 12

Brunning999 says...

I appreciate teachers for the excellent work that they do of which I fully back them and accept they earn their pay.

However I do not value their opinions or experience of real life, they live in a child's world and have little experience of life.

With several robberies occurring on the Island is it not foolish to treat robbery so lightly especially when used in conjunction with the very foundations of Christianity?

Sorry a mistake of the first order.
I appreciate teachers for the excellent work that they do of which I fully back them and accept they earn their pay. However I do not value their opinions or experience of real life, they live in a child's world and have little experience of life. With several robberies occurring on the Island is it not foolish to treat robbery so lightly especially when used in conjunction with the very foundations of Christianity? Sorry a mistake of the first order. Brunning999
  • Score: 0

9:02am Tue 4 Dec 12

Brunning999 says...

I appreciate teachers for the excellent work that they do of which I fully back them and accept they earn their pay.

However I do not value their opinions or experience of real life, they live in a child's world and have little experience of life.

With several robberies occurring on the Island is it not foolish to treat robbery so lightly especially when used in conjunction with the very foundations of Christianity?

Sorry a mistake of the first order.

I am not surprised parents back the school, not to do so would be a big mistake, if there is one group in society that do not like being criticized it is teachers and they hold a grudge for years on entire families.
I appreciate teachers for the excellent work that they do of which I fully back them and accept they earn their pay. However I do not value their opinions or experience of real life, they live in a child's world and have little experience of life. With several robberies occurring on the Island is it not foolish to treat robbery so lightly especially when used in conjunction with the very foundations of Christianity? Sorry a mistake of the first order. I am not surprised parents back the school, not to do so would be a big mistake, if there is one group in society that do not like being criticized it is teachers and they hold a grudge for years on entire families. Brunning999
  • Score: 0

2:05pm Tue 4 Dec 12

Nebs says...

Surely it would be more true to life if the robbers either escape uncaught, or get caught and then let off scot free.
Surely it would be more true to life if the robbers either escape uncaught, or get caught and then let off scot free. Nebs
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Tue 4 Dec 12

John T Pharro says...

Brunning999 wrote:
I appreciate teachers for the excellent work that they do of which I fully back them and accept they earn their pay.

However I do not value their opinions or experience of real life, they live in a child's world and have little experience of life.

With several robberies occurring on the Island is it not foolish to treat robbery so lightly especially when used in conjunction with the very foundations of Christianity?

Sorry a mistake of the first order.

I am not surprised parents back the school, not to do so would be a big mistake, if there is one group in society that do not like being criticized it is teachers and they hold a grudge for years on entire families.
That just shows you how little you know about teachers at schools. What a nonsense lot of statements.
Many, many teachers do not go simply from school, university then back to school which I think you are implying. Neither do they hold grudges for years against families. As a matter of fact most schools have a parent council where they can put forward ideas.
They most certainly live in he real world.
Just in case you thought it I am not a teacher or ex teacher.
[quote][p][bold]Brunning999[/bold] wrote: I appreciate teachers for the excellent work that they do of which I fully back them and accept they earn their pay. However I do not value their opinions or experience of real life, they live in a child's world and have little experience of life. With several robberies occurring on the Island is it not foolish to treat robbery so lightly especially when used in conjunction with the very foundations of Christianity? Sorry a mistake of the first order. I am not surprised parents back the school, not to do so would be a big mistake, if there is one group in society that do not like being criticized it is teachers and they hold a grudge for years on entire families.[/p][/quote]That just shows you how little you know about teachers at schools. What a nonsense lot of statements. Many, many teachers do not go simply from school, university then back to school which I think you are implying. Neither do they hold grudges for years against families. As a matter of fact most schools have a parent council where they can put forward ideas. They most certainly live in he real world. Just in case you thought it I am not a teacher or ex teacher. John T Pharro
  • Score: 0

10:01pm Thu 6 Dec 12

SiH1978 says...

John T Pharro wrote:
Brunning999 wrote:
I appreciate teachers for the excellent work that they do of which I fully back them and accept they earn their pay.

However I do not value their opinions or experience of real life, they live in a child's world and have little experience of life.

With several robberies occurring on the Island is it not foolish to treat robbery so lightly especially when used in conjunction with the very foundations of Christianity?

Sorry a mistake of the first order.

I am not surprised parents back the school, not to do so would be a big mistake, if there is one group in society that do not like being criticized it is teachers and they hold a grudge for years on entire families.
That just shows you how little you know about teachers at schools. What a nonsense lot of statements.
Many, many teachers do not go simply from school, university then back to school which I think you are implying. Neither do they hold grudges for years against families. As a matter of fact most schools have a parent council where they can put forward ideas.
They most certainly live in he real world.
Just in case you thought it I am not a teacher or ex teacher.
If you really appreciated the work of teachers, you wouldn't have wasted your time moaning about them on here. It's very easy for someone not in the education industry to criticise when they know nothing about what it's really like. All CJS,like all other schools worth their salt, have done is deliver a tale of morality in an innovative way. This is something that OFSTED would positively encourage as it captures the children's attention and appears to have no baring on religion whatsoever. I'm in total agreement Mr Pharro. As a teacher myself,I can assure you that I served my apprenticeship in the real world before going into the classroom and know that my pupils have benefitted from me doing so. As for holding grudges, we most certainly do not. However,the tone of your post indicates that you seem to have a grudge against teachers. Perhaps against a former teacher who obviously failed to teach you how to use basic spelling and punctuation conventions?
[quote][p][bold]John T Pharro[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Brunning999[/bold] wrote: I appreciate teachers for the excellent work that they do of which I fully back them and accept they earn their pay. However I do not value their opinions or experience of real life, they live in a child's world and have little experience of life. With several robberies occurring on the Island is it not foolish to treat robbery so lightly especially when used in conjunction with the very foundations of Christianity? Sorry a mistake of the first order. I am not surprised parents back the school, not to do so would be a big mistake, if there is one group in society that do not like being criticized it is teachers and they hold a grudge for years on entire families.[/p][/quote]That just shows you how little you know about teachers at schools. What a nonsense lot of statements. Many, many teachers do not go simply from school, university then back to school which I think you are implying. Neither do they hold grudges for years against families. As a matter of fact most schools have a parent council where they can put forward ideas. They most certainly live in he real world. Just in case you thought it I am not a teacher or ex teacher.[/p][/quote]If you really appreciated the work of teachers, you wouldn't have wasted your time moaning about them on here. It's very easy for someone not in the education industry to criticise when they know nothing about what it's really like. All CJS,like all other schools worth their salt, have done is deliver a tale of morality in an innovative way. This is something that OFSTED would positively encourage as it captures the children's attention and appears to have no baring on religion whatsoever. I'm in total agreement Mr Pharro. As a teacher myself,I can assure you that I served my apprenticeship in the real world before going into the classroom and know that my pupils have benefitted from me doing so. As for holding grudges, we most certainly do not. However,the tone of your post indicates that you seem to have a grudge against teachers. Perhaps against a former teacher who obviously failed to teach you how to use basic spelling and punctuation conventions? SiH1978
  • Score: 0

12:53pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Jackieberkeley says...

Just been and seen this play it was FANTASTIC . The robbers got found and put away . It had the whole Christmas story carols and local councilors deputy mayor all supporting CJS ..
Yet another great show put on my a great school .... Well done
Just been and seen this play it was FANTASTIC . The robbers got found and put away . It had the whole Christmas story carols and local councilors deputy mayor all supporting CJS .. Yet another great show put on my a great school .... Well done Jackieberkeley
  • Score: 0

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