Bringing fiction to life as students test their drama skills at school

ON STAGE Gregor Breen, eight, Jonathan Pratt, nine, Edward Beeston 13, Thomas Appleby 10, Elizabeth Thomas, eight, Katie Withers, six. Picture: Paul Jacobs (14204-1)
ON STAGE Gregor Breen, eight, Jonathan Pratt, nine, Edward Beeston 13, Thomas Appleby 10, Elizabeth Thomas, eight, Katie Withers, six. Picture: Paul Jacobs (14204-1)
Cllr Suzy Horton

Letter of the day

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A marvellous morning full of fun and fantasy was enjoyed by children of Boundary Oak Prep School near Fareham last Friday, writes Rachel Johnson, head of English.

The Image Musical Theatre Company came to visit in order to engage the children in the novel, written by Clive King, called Stig of the Dump.

The purpose of the morning was to bring the book to life for the children, using their imaginations to absorb the book’s material through a workshop session and then a performance. It really helped all the youngsters to access and enjoy the story.

Immediately capturing the children interest was not hard for the actors.

Some lucky pupils were given the opportunity to try out their acting skills by becoming part of the performance.

Meanwhile, the rest were taught songs and actions in order to explore the issues, so that they remained absorbed both in the rehearsals and the performance.

During rehearsals the actors helped the children to visualise what had happened in the story.

Enabling the children to practise using their imaginations helped to captivate their attention and soon they engrossed in building their own understanding of the story.

Learning songs involved some reading of lines, honing listening skills to hear how the words transformed into a song, using their bodies to add actions and thus aid understanding.

All this happened before finally having a full rehearsal of singing the song.

Music and movement created a core to the performance.

As soon as Stig entered there was a chorus of laughter and the children were captivated from then on.

Heads turned eagerly as they took in all that was happening on the stage, not realising that they were taking in all the events of the famous story that is Stig of the Dump.

All the Reception to Year 8 children at Boundary Oak, from five to 13, thoroughly enjoyed their morning.

Not only did they have fun using their imaginations to interpret the novel in new, exciting and different ways, but they also revelled in being out of the classroom and learning through a different medium.

The children, like the staff, recognise how important it is to participate in activities that see them trying new things in new situations.

This ultimately contributes to aim that all the members of the Boundary Oak family be happy and confident.