Posted: Sat 7th May 2022

Flintshire youngsters given insight into exciting world of performing arts

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, May 7th, 2022

Local primary pupils have been given an insight into the exciting world of performing arts at high school after participating in a series of workshops.

Jamie Jones teaches the subject at Flint High School and, with a few free teaching hours that became available, suggested Primary Outreach to Clare Millington, acting headteacher. 

After having her proposal agreed, Mrs Jones contacted Ysgol Gwynedd Primary School to see what they felt would be most beneficial for their pupils. 

Mrs Jones created tailored workshops based on Bugsy Malone, using extracts from the play to enable the pupils to learn the basic story, develop their drama skills and group work, and learn how to create a character.

Working with around 75 year 5 and 6 pupils in three groups, the hour-long workshops started with fun warm-up games to engage and focus the pupils, followed by a read through of the script for the session and a discussion about how to stage it. The pupils then worked in groups to rehearse the scene and perform it at the end of the session.

Mrs Jones said: “The groups were really talented and could even do a New York Italian accent! The pupils were so enthusiastic as they loved the script and accent and, if they weren’t confident reading in front of the others, they helped build a scene around the ideas discussed.”

Following on from the success at the school, Mrs Jones contacted Cornist Park School, liaising with the deputy headteacher.  She worked with the school’s three year 6 classes with around 29 pupils per group.  In sessions of only 45 minutes, the challenge was to build confidence in those who were not so keen in performing. 

Using praise cards and star of the week to engage pupils, as well as using small roles and comical elements to help build confidence, even the most reluctant or unsure pupils soon began enjoying the sessions and volunteering to get involved.  Some pupils were particularly keen on singing and dancing; they rehearsed songs from Bugsy Malone and put together a dance routine from one of the scenes.  

Following the success at the two schools, more planned sessions are due to take place at Flint High’s third feeder primary school, Ysgol Merllyn.  

Mrs Jones added: “I have really enjoyed working with our local feeder schools. One of the exciting things when I first arrive at the school is meeting siblings or family members! The pupils are so excited to tell you who they know at Flint High School. 

“They have been excited each week to continue their learning and have a session led by a member of ‘Flint’, as it is different to their normal routine. I hope to build relationships with future pupils and make the transition less daunting and more streamlined. 

“It would be great to see more subjects working in Outreach as secondary teachers are specialists in their subject and pupils are taught differently than in primary school but expected to ‘get on with it’ and adapt. 

“One of the most rewarding aspects of running these sessions is helping to build a student’s confidence, as that will benefit them in a lot of areas. It has been lovely just recently when pupils I have worked with have come to Flint High on transition tours and they have recognised me and said ‘hi!’

“The schools have had great feedback from the pupils who have loved the sessions, and looked forward to each week, keen to find out what we’ll be doing, which is fantastic to hear.”  

Clare Millington, acting headteacher, said: “’The transition from primary to secondary school is an important stage in the lives of our young people.  It is important that they get to know us before they arrive in September.  We will shortly be releasing our transition plans to year 6 students and parents, and we are very excited to welcome our new learners.   Mrs Jones’ work with the primaries has been a fantastic start to the transition work.”

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