District News, December 31 2021

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Rhunahaorine pupils re-enact the Nativity

In the run-up to Christmas, Rhunahaorine Primary School’s pupils learned about the birth of Jesus through storytelling, exploration and drama.

The initial story of Angel Gabriel appearing to Mary was introduced in the classroom and children worked in partners to re-enact the scene.

The Church of Scotland’s Drama Kirk was also used for discussion and to give the children more ideas for their own improvisations.

This was especially useful for the shepherd characters when they were sitting in the farmer’s field beside the school; they dressed up over their waterproofs and went up the hill to the nearby Old Largie Castle ruins in search of sheep.

In their costumes, they play acted parts and even during their free time at the castle, they acted out parts of the Nativity.

The children were excellent at remaining in character and playing their part. They did not follow a set script but thought themselves what the characters may have said in the various scenarios.

Even the donkey and camel looked on lovingly at the doll baby Jesus.

On returning to the school, the children in the Early Learning Centre joined in, dressed as the wise men.

They regally walked around the playground, following the star.

On arrival at the stable – normally used as a ‘wee shop’ – the wise men presented Jesus with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

‘This all worked well, even though some of the costumes got a bit muddy up in the field!’ said head teacher Catriona Brown. ‘The donkey had decided to be a ‘donkey’ and roll down the hill, forgetting that the flock of sheep had just been there!

‘The angels wanted to climb on the castle walls which we are always careful about, as they are ruins, and the camel and the star were quite happy sitting up the tree.

‘The children do self ‘risk assess’ and great fun was had by all.’

Asked what they learned from their Nativity activities, pupil Emme Scott said: ‘We celebrate because Jesus was born on Christmas Day,’ and Cayden Cleland added: ‘I learned that it’s not all about us, but it’s about Jesus.’

Shepherd Austin O’Hanlon said he had most fun running down the hill while fellow shepherd Stuart Byers enjoyed holding a crook for the first time.

The pupils admitted the experience wasn’t without its challenges, however.

‘My cloak was really long and I almost tripped up on it when I was running down the hill,’ said Stuart.

And star Camille Loganbill added: ‘I found it hard to move as the star kept falling off when I was walking round the playground.’

But they all agreed it was a very memorable experience.