On Friday 2 February, thirty-five Year 9 students and four staff members had a very early start to their day. At 6.40am, they started their journey to London for a weekend of Drama activities and trips, stretching their understanding of the career paths in the Performing Arts industry.
The coach journey experience was lively and energetic, with all students eager to arrive and start exploring the theatre district. The first activity undertaken was a West End Stage Combat Workshop delivered by Richard Gittins. Richard, currently a professional actor in London, commented on the fantastic enthusiasm and behaviour of our students. The students learnt a range of stage combat techniques, and thoroughly enjoyed the demonstrations. In the evening the whole group enjoying a meal at the famous Planet Hollywood, followed by a professional performance of ‘School of Rock’ at the New London Theatre. It was great to see our students show such a level of respect and admiration for the actors on stage, and appreciate the varied age range of the talented performers.
On the following day, we worried the students may be lacking in energy due to the busy day before, and no doubt late night conversations in their hotel rooms. This was certainly not the case! They explored every inch of the London Dungeons, joining in the role plays with laughter, screams, shrieks and enjoyment (although this may be down to Miss Parkes and Mr Kirsfelds often being the victims of the pranks). We then ventured out into the rain, for a three hour walking tour of London. Miss Parkes was keen to wish special thanks to the students and staff during this tour as the weather conditions made it very difficult and dreary but the students continued their curiosity and grit, taking in all of the famous London landmarks along the way.
On arrival back at school late Saturday night, the smiles on the faces of the students and positive comments to their parents made every minute of the trip worthwhile. Miss Parkes also received some really positive feedback about the interest and friendly demeanour of our students, so a big thank you to all those involved, especially the solid team of staff (Mr Kirsfelds, Mr Batley and Miss Twentyman) to support the students and ensure that the weekend went as smoothly as possible whilst maintaining enjoyment for all. A thoroughly enjoyable trip, and now it is time to think about next year!