Home > Commentary, Drama, Music, Teaching, Theatre > Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens

Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens

Last night I attended a school production of Elegies for Angels Punks and Raging Queens. It was a production put on by pupils in Y11 and the 6th form from my school to raise awareness of AIDS and to raise money to fund a trip they are undertaking to Malawi next summer to help with many projects out there. The production blew me away, the talent and the passion shown by the pupils was immense.  This is the third school production I have seen since arriving at this school, and probably the best, although all three have been superb. The first was a whole school production of Cats last year, as far as I’m aware it was the first ever sanctioned amateur production of Cats, and it blew my mind how a school production could be so good, it was as good as some professional productions I’ve seen. Last week I went to a foundation school (Year 7 and 8) production of Bugsy Malone, that was superb. The head of school asked me afterwards what I thought and the first sentence that came to mind was “Imagine how good they’ll be in Y11 if they can do that now.” Last night though, was the pick of the three.

Before I started at this school I’d been to many, many school productions, at leafy lane suburban schools, at sixth form colleges, even some at the local grammar school where pupils are steeped in privilege. Most had been decent, some good and the odd one truly shocking. So the productions here were a real eye opener to how good school productions can be. Our catchment is one of the most deprived in the city, when the y11 and sixth form pupils started our school was in special measures (a lot of hard work from staff and pupils alike has meant we were judged good with outstanding leadership at last years Ofsted), these pupils are the life blood of the school. They have refused to conform to a stereotype that would see them become forgotten. They have worked hard to turn the school around and to turn their own lives around.

Watching these productions has reminded me how lucky I am to be in this profession, to be in this school, to work with such amazing pupils.

My year 13s say I’m well rounded because I love maths, music, theatre and rugby. They are my four principle hobbies, and here, at this school I have the opportunity to do them all. I teach maths, I play in the staff band performing at assemblies and the like, I get to see some awesome productions and I get to run the year 8 and 9 rugby training. There is no other job in the world that could be more perfect.

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  1. April 18, 2014 at 7:34 am

    A very enjoyable read, thank you!

    It always frustrates me when I hear of schools or individual teachers who discount the value of extra-curricular activities to the ethos of an institution. For many children, school is a place they go to fail unless we provide opportunities to the contrary. Clearly, the pupils at your school are lucky to have dedicated staff who give up significant amounts of their limited free time to provide such wonderful experiences.

    Much is made in the media of a lack of role models for children; well-rounded teachers such as yourself, with a diverse range of interests, amply fill those shoes but, despite there being many of us trying to do so, it isn’t news so doesn’t get reported.

    • April 18, 2014 at 8:21 am

      Thanks for your kind words, and I agree wholeheartedly!

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