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Rock Challenge 2016

On the 23rd of February over 100 excited Hillingdon students, travelled to Stevenage to compete in the national Rock Challenge competition. The Rock Challenge is a global initiative that encourages children to get involved with the performing arts and experience challenges out of their normal comfort zone. Each school is tasked with creating an 8 minute performance based around a theme, story or issue of their choice. After much creative collaboration, we decided to create our piece around climate change and the potential dramatic consequences upon our lives. Through the launch assemblies and meetings with parents, we discussed the storyline and the importance of telling a story/teaching the audience through the piece. We made the piece both contemporary and relevant, including news footage of the flooding over Christmas and the Paris climate march. The title “Too little too late?” connected with our efforts now to try and stop global warming and climate change.

Rock Challenge is about a team coming together and celebrating and promoting a wide range of skills. As part of the rehearsal process and day itself, we created a soundtrack, designed and constructed set and props, designed and operated the lighting, choreographed the performance, created costume, as well as working on the dance and performance skills! We were lucky enough to be able to include all of our year 5 and 6 students in this venture; with 102 coming on the actual day.

The day itself was a whirlwind of rehearsals, energy, excitement and getting to know other schools. It was a tremendous experience for students to perform on a professional stage in front of their peers in the day and then to a sold out crowd in the evening competition. Students were a true credit to the school, embracing the ethos of the event and enjoying every moment. During the lunch break we went to a local restaurant, where students (and staff!) were complimented on their manner and positivity. This was a highlight for some of our students, who had not been to a restaurant before. The whole experience provided students with a wealth of new opportunities and a platform for them to shine!

The icing on the cake came at the end of the show when the awards were announced. For us the whole experience had been enough, but to come away with 9 awards of excellence (choreography, entertainment, lighting, video, costuming character, soundtrack, positive inclusion and educational awareness)  and overall third place was truly incredible.