School’s talent show was something special

Adam Crawshaw, 16, Jake Livingston, 14, music co-ordinator Hanneke Van Der Merwe and Kieron Higham, 12
Adam Crawshaw, 16, Jake Livingston, 14, music co-ordinator Hanneke Van Der Merwe and Kieron Higham, 12
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A medley of chart-topping hits brought the house down at a special school in Havant when it staged its annual talent show.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller and blockbuster movie soundtracks were among the tunes performed by boys at Prospect School.

Guitars, drums, keyboard and voices boomed out from the stage as students and their teachers took turns to entertain a hall packed with parents.

Teaching assistant Nasser Ssemuwemba says: ‘It was an incredible event and we are all so proud of these pupils.

‘For me the best thing was seeing boys who are normally a bit shy or struggle with communication really coming out of their shells and having a great time.

‘The nice thing about music is that it brings out a lot of talent and good feeling in children who sometimes struggle in the classroom.

‘One 13-year-old boy who has real difficulty speaking at all belted out the tunes and brought tears to his mother’s eyes – it’s been quite emotional!’

This is the second year the school has put on the talent show, supported by Portsmouth-based Rocksteady Music Group and with funding from the government’s Aimhigher short break funding scheme.

Kieron Higham, 12, who rapped Eminem’s Cleaning Out My Closet, and maths teacher Alan Pounds’ ensemble with a song entitled We Are Poor But We Are Honest took joint first prize.

Kieron says: ‘Performing made me very happy and I was over the moon when I was announced joint winner.

‘It’s the first time I’ve entered the talent show and I was so thrilled to have my mum and my grandma in the audience.

‘I felt pretty cool rapping on stage and I will definitely do it again next year.’

Music co-ordinator Hanneke Van Der Merwe, who organised the show, says: ‘The atmosphere was fantastic and there were a lot of very proud parents in the audience.

‘When you consider some of the difficulties that our boys have and how they performed, it is simply amazing. They are a very talented group.

‘I am so pleased we were able to put on the talent show a second time. This year many more boys took part in it and there was some excellent teamwork.’

Mike Heelan, director of Rocksteady, adds: ‘The level of talent and dedication from the students is outstanding.’