Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

In My View

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

In My View

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Roberts

A COLLEAGUE told me this week that she had spent the previous evening desperately scouring her wardrobes looking for a suitable costume for her son to wear in the school's nativity play.

He was to be a rat, but not just a common or garden rat (a bit of fur would have fit the bill), but a 'biker rat'.

It's that time of year again.

Nativity plays - or lack of them, have been hitting the headlines.

A recent poll in a national newspaper indicated that only one in five primary schools was planning a nativity play.

The creativity involved in putting together a nativity play, whether it involves angels in tinsel or rats in leather, is part of growing up. It's also something that parents and children of all backgrounds have looked forward to and in my case, look back on with fond memories. It seemed to involve teacloths on heads, as I remember.

And this leads me on to another issue in the headlines: the worry that our children are missing out on their childhoods because they are not allowed to play like they used to. Schools without playgrounds were highlighted.

The Government has just unveiled its Children's Plan, which aims to make our country the best place in the world to grow up. It promises more safe places for children to play, with upgraded playgrounds and more supervised adventure playgrounds. The strategy is not just about improving learning but about improving wellbeing for all children. It signals the end to a 'no ball game culture'.

I welcome anything which enables young people to grow and flourish. The options open to young people are growing all the time and there is more choice now than ever before. The needs of our young people are being placed higher up the agenda.

Learning should never be a chore and ensuring that young children are given the time to be creative at school and the opportunity to play is important.

Whilst on creativity and Christmas, I notice Christmas cards now come in all shapes and sizes: traditional cards, home-made cards, emailed versions with music and attachments, texts and podcasts. …

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