Pantomime roadshow helps Gosport pupils get used to going to new school

(l-r) Alan Magor, and pupils Toby Redford and Elle Clements. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142890-7)
(l-r) Alan Magor, and pupils Toby Redford and Elle Clements. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142890-7)
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Changing from primary to secondary school can be an exciting time in a child’s life, but can also be stressful for some children, writes transition co-ordinator at Brune Park School Steven Paul.

By providing opportunities for children to come into the school during their final primary year, we can lessen the potential for difficulties later on.

We run big Easter and summer holiday schools for potential pupils.

Last week, each of the primary schools were offered the opportunity to bring their Year 6 students to Brune Park for the day.

It gave them a chance to experience a day in secondary school.

We had more than 300 children over the week taking part in different activities from maths challenges to science, geography, history and ICT.

They got to see how the teachers operated and how Brune Park works.

They were invited back for a pantomime roadshow last Friday.

It’s an excellent opportunity for the children to mix with pupils from other junior schools.

It means that they can meet some of those children with whom they will share a class when they come to us in September.

The Mayflower Theatre brings the Pantomime Roadshow into schools.

Aimed at Key Stage Two primary schools it offers what may be the first experience of theatre to pupils in a comedy performance that will both entertain and educate.

The show is produced, directed and presented by Nigel Ellacott and Andrew Ryan, who are two of the country’s leading pantomime dames.

The roadshow is a fun, engaging and educational experience for schools.

They got to watch a 45-minute pantomime and then they got the chance to go and dress up in some of the costumes.

It went fantastically well. From the perspective of the school we are looking to get people interested in signing their kids up to Brune Park well in advance of the time that they actually come to the school.

We are going to do the same sort of thing with Year 5 pupils.

We want to do this to give parents the opportunity to see what we do at Brune Park and the difference that we make with all the initiatives that we do here.

It means the kids can be confident when they come here and aren’t scared or worried about it.

It’s a seamless transition for them.

What the pupils say

Ben Gunnell, 10, Year 6 at Brockhurst Juniors

‘My best bit was putting on the costume and going on stage. When I first went up I felt nervous and I was shaking with fear, but I was the evil guy.

‘I liked dressing up and I was looking at the crowd. I learned that just because you’re shy, it doesn’t matter, have a go.’

Kelly Thomas, 10, Year 6 at Siskin Juniors

‘I really enjoyed the pantomime, especially when they were doing the poetry competition - it was very funny. I learned some new language today all about the stage and acting.

‘I found it fun dressing up as Snow White and I hope that my mum will see.’

Toby Redford, 10, Year 6 at Elson Juniors

‘I went to the pantomime at Brune Park Senior School.

‘A pantomime director told us all about the different stories that were told through pantomimes.

‘He also told us that only five of them were British.’