Natasha Clemitshaw

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Natasha Clemitshaw, Year 6 teacher at Canon Popham CE Primary School in Doncaster is our guest blogger this week. She shares the benefits of staging musical productions at primary level.

“At Canon Popham CE Primary School our shared vision is to nurture our children within a happy, stimulating and caring environment. We pride ourselves on being a school where everyone is welcome and respected, where we expect and celebrate high standards and we nurture students’ self-esteem on a journey of self-discovery.

With this in mind, we offer students creative opportunities to be involved in school productions.

For the last five years, I have been addicted to using Edgy Productions’ Year 6 leavers’ musicals and the benefits have been numerous. Staging end-of-year/leavers’ musicals about school life means children can bring something of themselves to the parts they are playing and the lyrics they are singing. As a leavers’ or end-of-year show it’s also a celebration of their school life; they jump at the chance to play the roles of teachers, parents and other adults, poking fun in a sensitive way.

Moreover, this type of production makes it easier for teachers who don’t come from a background in drama or music because teachers can relate to the stories too! With Edgy Productions’ in particular, scripts are supported by clear costume and prop ideas, materials of which can be found easily around school. The same goes for the setting too, lightening the workload for the teacher or teaching assistant directing the production.

The final weeks after Year 6 students sit their SATs exams can sometimes drag. Staging a production during this time gives pupils a challenging yet fun project to focus on. It brings them together as a team and gives the children the opportunity to showcase their skills, as well develop new ones.

Once the production has come to an end the final song sung is often met with tears from both children and parents alike. This outpouring of emotion means that children will never forget their Year 6 leavers’ musical and how they were a part of bringing this to life. These musicals give the children a closure on their primary years in a positive way by providing a group bonding experience.

I can’t recommend staging a Year 6 leavers’ musical highly enough to other schools.”

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