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Home   Gravesend   News   Article

Pupils at Whitehill Primary School in Gravesend banned from talking about Christmas by head teacher Jane Porter

28 November 2013
by Thom Morris

Jane Porter, head teacher at Whitehill Primary School in Gravesend

Jane Porter, head teacher at Whitehill Primary School in Gravesend

A head teacher has defended her school's policy of banning children from talking about Christmas until December.

Pupils at Whitehill Primary, in Gravesend, even face losing "golden time" for discussing the festive season "prematurely".

But the rules upset some parents, including one who branded the ruling "wrong and immoral".

Father Robert Dalton said: "Kids have Christmas rammed down their throat by TV advertising from as early as September and yet they can be punished for mentioning it at school?

"I feel this is wrong and immoral. If the kids are caught saying the word Christmas they stand to lose their golden time, which is used as a reward for good work and behaviour."

Head teacher Jane Porter said children were expected to come to school to learn – not discuss Christmas.

She said: "I'm not joking when I say this started 2,000 years ago. It has always been the case that Christmas, a Christian festival, starts on the fourth Sunday, and that's December 1.

"It's always been the case at our school. It's been like that since I started here in 1997 and it was like that before then too. I would have to question why people would want it to start any earlier."

Pupils at Whitehill Primary School are banned from talking about Christmas

Pupils at Whitehill Primary School are banned from talking about Christmas

The school was rated "good" this year by Ofsted and praised teachers and pupils, adding: "The clear vision of the head teacher has been pivotal in improving the school.

"Her high aspirations and focused development have been pursued with rigour and resulted in clear improvements in pupils' progress, behaviour and the quality of teaching."

Mrs Porter said: "The long and short oWhat do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments belowf it is that one of the golden rules is to work hard so if the children are not working hard, talking about Christmas for instance, then they will lose their golden time.

"That would be the case with anything not related to school – they shouldn't be talking about David Beckham.

"If they're talking about something they shouldn't be, they’re not working hard. We're a school, we're about education, not retail."

Despite the argument over when Christmas should start, Christmas Day is actually the first day of Christmas and continues until Epiphany, the 12th day after Christmas.

The Christmas season continues until the feast of the Presentation of the Lord which takes place on February 2. 

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