April 16 2014 Latest news:
By KATHRYN BRADLEY
Sunday, December 15, 2013
The annual Christmas play is the highlight of the year for many families and is the chance for children to show off their performance skills in front of a room full of proud parents and grandparents.
So when nine-year-old Lahlee Painter discovered Oulton Broad Primary School would not be putting on play this year, she launched a petition for it to be reinstated.
The youngster, whose siblings Shine, seven, Xanthe, six and Margot, three, also attend the school in Christmas Lane, said she was disappointed to discover she would not be getting the chance to appear on stage.
The petition was signed by 60 of Lahlee’s classmates and presented to head teacher Jamie White this month.
The school was being inspected by Ofsted when it was contacted by The Journal this week and Mr White was not available for comment.
However, it is understood the school had staged a nativity play in previous years and this was the first time it would not go ahead.
Lahlee, who lives in Noel Road with her family, said: “I thought it was a bit disappointing because we have had one every year and we were looking forward to it.”
She said her friends were disappointed too and thought the petition was a good idea.
She added: “Mr White didn’t say why it was cancelled. I hope he will change his mind for next year.”
Lahlee’s parents Duncan Wain and Claire Painter also have two older children – Olivia Painter, 20, and Claude Painter, 18 – who attended Oulton Broad Primary and appeared in nativity plays there.
Mr Wain said: “Our children have been at Oulton Broad for 16 years and there has always been a nativity play.
“There was no mention of it until a couple of weeks ago when one of the teachers said to us they were not having one.
“The teachers said they were prepared to do it and we found out that members of the school council weren’t asked about it so Lahlee decided to do a petition.
He added: “People have time off work to see their kids in the nativity. You don’t expect a Hollywood production and are just happy to see your child stand there for two minutes and say a few lines and sing Away in a Manger.
“We were so disappointed about it and a lot of other parents that we have spoken to are disappointed too.
“We are gutted about it but we thought our little girl was really brave to do the petition.”
Mr Wain said previous Christmas productions at the school had raised money for charity and had supported Quidenham Children’s Hospice in the past.
Children from Oulton Broad Primary School will be performing at a carol concert at St Michael’s Church in Oulton Broad on Monday.