Junior School students lit up the stage at the end of Term 1 with their production of The Wizard of Oz.
The production was part of the Primary Years Programme inquiry into “How We Express Ourselves” and relates to the IB Learner Profile skills “Communication” and “Risk-Taking”.
Head of Junior School Kathleen McDonnell says the students learn communication through collaborating within the production.
“Children that participate in the Arts are consistently being challenged to solve problems. They develop skills in reasoning and understanding which they naturally transfer to other areas of learning,” she says.
“The development of collaborative skills is reflected in all programmes, especially in the arts as we see students working together through musical productions and other activities.”
Year 6 students Grace Bicknell, Milly Burns, Sophie Roberts and Sumsum Tsui played some of the lead roles in the production and say they enjoyed the chance to work together.
“I really enjoyed the collaboration in the show,” Milly, who played the Scarecrow, says.
“My favourite part was the dance and drama; I love being dramatic and being able to act,” Sophie, who played the Cowardly Lion, says.
The group say they learnt to take risks through creating the production.
“I had to really step out of my comfort zone and roar as loud as I could as the Cowardly Lion,” Sophie explains.
As well as taking part in the production students had the opportunity to watch performances through SchoolFest, a mini festival for schools held every two years alongside the New Zealand Festival.
Year 5–8 students watched Ka Tito Au, a one man show about Kupe by treasured local poet and storyteller Apirana Taylor.
Year 4–6 students attended Peter and the Wolf, at the Soundings Theatre at Te Papa.
The re-imagining of Sergei Prokofiev’s beloved musical fairytale featured a six-piece band, puppetry and live videography.
The students described these events as a great chance to learn more about performing arts alongside their production.
“The show at Te Papa was really interesting because it showed us that there are lots of different ways that people can perform,” Grace explains.
“Through watching the SchoolFest productions we learnt that you can create shows independently, as well as with other people. It was really cool to see Ka Tito Au performed by one person but we
definitely could not have done The Wizard of Oz like that, we needed to collaborate,” Sumsum says.