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Under The Sea

Visitors to the school this week to see the Foundation Stage Summer Production will have left singing this lovely song from Disney’s The Little Mermaid because it was the music played to the grand finale as, line by line, over 100 children took a bow to rapturous applause. Readers not yet at the school will understandably ask ‘What does the term Foundation Stage mean?’ It means that the youngest performer was not yet 3 years old and the oldest child was a sturdy 5!  The Foundation Stage is our Lower School.  A visiting friend who is a teacher at a Secondary School always laughs when I introduce ‘the big children’ in our Upper School who are all of 6 and 7. At 7 years  old our Year 2s are indeed ‘the big children’ at the top of the school with impressive roles such as Head Boy and Girl, giving speeches at Open Mornings, House Captains collecting the weekly Housepoints and Lunchtime Monitors uttering the magical words ‘Yes, you can go out to play’.  Their maturity is a delight to behold as they take on these duties with relish.

So, back to the Foundation Stage.  Their colourful play was set under the sea and the children acted, sang and danced through the show with terrific enthusiasm.  The decision behind creating some of the characters could be described as ‘original’.  Finding that your child would be appearing as a crab or a starfish would have been unsurprising whereas to discover your child had been cast as a piece of seaweed or a bristleworm must surely have caused hilarity at home!  In any event the beautiful seaweed dance was a delight to watch and the energetic ‘Bristleworm Bop’ brought the house down.

On stage, at every performance, small miracles ocurred.  The child who hardly spoke when he first started school just two short years ago was suddenly centre stage remembering lines and delivering songs with gusto.  The child who cried at the first time on stage at the dress rehearsal warmed up as she adjusted to the hearty applause and leapt on with vigour for the actual show. Children who had joined in with rehearsal dances in the second row, wiggled through to the front row, the delight evident on their faces as they savoured this early experience of stage life. Performing is a skill for life.  Whether you were cast as the lead starfish or the ‘piece of seaweed third from the left’ you were a vital part of the show and the experience will always remain a treasured one.  Well done to everyone involved in this wonderful show.

Annie Thackray