EACH year, schools across the country have the difficult job of selecting the perfect festive show, rehearsing it for weeks, helping the children learn their lines and find costumes to fit, and then staging it to parents, carers, and the school community.

Sadly, last year, for most schools this was an impossibility due to restrictions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

But the nativity story - in all its various forms - was back stronger than ever this year, as Andover schools dressed to impress, and performed to their very best for audiences across the area.

In an early December press conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We are not saying we want kids to be taken out of school before the end of term – not that there is very long to go now – and we don’t want nativity plays to be cancelled.”

From shepherds to wise men, Mary, Joseph, and the donkey - and a few more unusual additions - these youngsters got into the festive spirit ahead of the school holidays and gave their all to their respective performances.

Here, the Advertiser has compiled our traditional nativity supplement, featuring youngsters from nine primary schools and nurseries.

We hope it brings families across Andover a little bit of joy after a tough year, and puts smiles on faces to see such happy little ones.