Year 1 Star on National Theatre Stage

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Both Year 1 classes put on an amazing performance during our recent show on stage at the National Theatre. This was part of a project that the pupils have been working on since the start of the summer term.

We have been helped with this work by the local composer John Webb and his team of professional musicians. Zoe and Becky’s class both performed their own songs, as well as a collaboration between the two classes come the close of the show.

What has been so special about this project is that it has been the Year 1 children who have come up with the ideas. John and his team listened to some thoughts for a possible storyline and lyrics. They then helped the children by writing the music.

The production was called The Girl Who Never Looked Up. It told the tale of Tansey, a young girl who learns to love nature when she meets a baby dragon. Along the way Tansey is able to see some bullfrogs and baby birds. This is where the Year 1 children came in!

Our weekly workshops focussed on these animals. John asked the children how bullfrogs and birds might move. This also led to ideas about how they might think. This knowledge was then added to the words in the songs.

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John was also able to arrange for a team of professional puppeteers to visit Michael Faraday School. Zoe’s class then made some puppet bullfrogs, whilst Becky’s class were able to make some puppet birds. These were used during the National Theatre production.

The final outcome was a fantastic day out for Year 1 along the South Bank. As well as the show, we were able to take in many of the sights by the river. We also captured some photos and videos to share below.

As this was a professional theatre, we were unable to record the show itself. Our friends from the National Theatre are going to send us some photos of the performance that we will be able to share in future weeks.

Many thanks to John Webb and his team for helping the Year 1 children to have the confidence to perform. We would also like to thank the many parents and carers that were able to come along to support the children.

Here’s what happened on the day of the show…

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The morning started off with one final rehearsal at Michael Faraday School. The children sung their song, and made sure that they knew what actions to perform with the puppets.

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Then it was time for the short walk to the Walworth Road, and all aboard the 176 bus to Waterloo Bridge!

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It was a short bus journey, but we had plenty to see. The children enjoyed pointing out their favourite shops along the Walworth Road. We were also excited to be able to see the London Eye from the top of the bus.

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There were plenty of stairs to walk up and down once we arrived at the South Bank.

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The National Theatre was a fantastic venue for the children to showcase their talents. We were all very excited when we first saw the building. We felt like professional performers!

Once we were inside the Theatre, a quick game of Simon Said helped to focus the minds.

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Some stretching then took place, to make sure that we were alert for the day ahead.

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Lunch time! All performers need to make sure that they have the right energy on board. A choice of delicious chicken, cheese or tuna sandwiches were on the Michael Faraday menu.

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The children has a little time to spare ahead of the show. We made good use of this by exploring along the South Bank.

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The riverside views were wonderful. It was low tide. Some of the children were surprised to see that London has a beach.

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The children counted how many boats they could see on the river.

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Thankfully the rain stayed away for the day.

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This fairground ride looked fun. Some of the older children on the ride waved at Year 1 as they went round and round.

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The Michael Faraday children were fascinated by this lady. We were all convinced that she was a statue placed by the river.

And then this wonderful moment happened!

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One of the highlights of the South Bank walk was this duo of brilliant performers. They were just as pleased to see us, as we were to see them! They put on a special show for the Michael Faraday children.

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Back at the National Theatre and it was time to prepare for the show. Each class member was handed the puppet that they had made. We had a final group talk about how we have all worked so hard for this show. Now was the time to impress!

It will comes as no surprise to hear that both Year 1 classes were absolutely amazing. It was great to see Karen and Paul also coming along to show their support. Many of the parents commented on how professional the performance was.

We will be happy to share the photographs from the show as soon as they are made available by our friends at the National Theatre. In the meantime you can watch a couple of short videos below capturing the reaction from the children.

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And then it was time to climb those endless stairs once again, and catch a bus back to Michael Faraday School.

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We had a lovely bus driver who was incredibly kind and helpful for the children and staff – the perfect end to a perfect day.

A few more photos from the Year 1 big day out are featured below.

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