Broadway World West End Awards - and six West End in Schools actors are nominated!

Congratulations to six of our fabulous actors who have been nominated in the annual Broadway World West End Awards. And there are a couple more nominees who we hope will join us very soon! 

Broadway World West End Awards

The nominees are:

Amelia Cormack - for Next Thing You Know
 (Best Featured Actress in a New Production of a Musical (Fringe))

Dylan Turner - for The Tailor Made Man
 (Best Leading Actor in a New Production of a Musical (West End))

 Gary Wood - for A Chorus Line
 (Best Featured Actor in a New Production of a Musical (West End))

Kieran Brown - for Pipe Dream
  (Best Leading Actor in a New Production of a Musical (Fringe))

 Scott Garnham - for [Title of Show]
  (Best Leading Actor in a New Production of a Musical (Fringe))

 Sophia Ragavelas - for [Title of Show]
 (Best Featured Actress in a New Production of a Musical (Fringe))

  You can vote for the winners in these and other categories on the Broadway World website.

Back to Before Rehearsals

Welcome back! Our cast and creators are thrilled to be back for another school year full of learning, literacy, arts and fun - and so our new literacy musical, Back to Before, is in rehearsals this week!

We are pleased to welcome back some old friends to the cast -  from A Chorus Line which has just closed at the Palladium, from Trevor Nunn's Kiss Me Kate and from a huge new production of Rebecca in Germany. And with new colleagues who hail from Australia and Scotland with fabulous voices and great experience in the West End and Sydney it's no surprise that rehearsals are going well. 

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Characters and themes from the featured titles come around while our heroes use the books to beat the timekeeper at his own game! This is an extraordinary adventure, full of stories, catchy songs and important lessons, not to be missed.  

The show is ideal for a book week or a treat, and will be performed for the whole of the primary age range in schools around the country until July 2014. And the teacher resource pack, full of fun activities, is ready too!

To make an enquiry or a booking please click here.

 

Teacher Resources - The BFG

While George's Marvellous Medicine features in our new literacy musical Back to Before, we thought we'd give you some suggested teacher resources for another of Roald Dahl's all-time classics, The BFG

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  • Create some new giants to join the horrible crew that Sophie and the BFG have to deal with in the story
  • The early part of the book refers a lot to dreams and nightmares.  Draw up a list of dreams and nightmares that children can remember having.
  • Write a newspaper report of the campaign to capture the fearsome giants
  • Create some imaginary recipes for a giant’s cook book – delicious recipes for human beans and the like.
  • Write a dictionary for the BFG’s words explaining what he actually means by some of the unusual words he uses.

Teacher Resources - The Heart and the Bottle

Another freebie this week! Here are some suggested activities based on Oliver Jeffer's The Heart and the Bottle, which features in our literacy musical What's Your Story?, the last shows of which are fast approaching!

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What does the ‘empty chair’ represent in the story?

What is it that makes the little girl put her heart in the bottle and why is it so difficult for her to get it out of the bottle after it has been in there for all those years?

Why is the little girl able to get the heart out of the bottle when the person who owned the heart couldn’t?

Tell the story of ‘The Heart In The Bottle’ in your own words explaining the things that happened and why.

What sort of things could make other people put their own ‘heart in a bottle’? Create a list of these things and/or the people who may have their ‘heart in a bottle.’

Create a list of ways to help people retrieve their hearts if they are hidden away in a bottle.

End of Year Show

For six days spread over the month of June, West End in Schools lead choreographer Mairi Cowieson worked with the children at teachers of KS2 at Berkeley Primary School, Gloucestershire to create an end of year show inspired by Michael Morpurgo's The Butterfly Lion.

The Chair of Governors, Nathan Wolstenholme, said "The performance brought all the children of all abilities in performing together, building self esteem and confidence whilst show casing the very talented in music, dance and acting. It was professional, inspirational, dedicated, enthusiastic and infectious".

The Headteacher's thoughts have been captured below - we're thrilled!

Teacher Resources - Where the Wild Things Are

Today, we're giving away a freebie! Here are some suggested activities based on Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are .

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  • Where does the forest, boat, ocean and indeed the place where the wild things are actually come from? What are some other places from stories that you know that may come from the same place?

  • There are a number of exciting and fantastical wild things illustrated in the book. Create a ‘wild thing’ of your own and draw it. Perhaps the class can create a collage of wild things.

  • Imagine that you were a wild thing. Create a frozen stature using your body and facial expressions to show the rest of the class what kind of wild thing you are. Get a number of other students to create a ‘sculpture garden’ full of statues of wild things they have created using just themselves.

  • Write a story in which you visit the place where the wild things are and tell of your own adventure there.

  • Imagine that Max didn’t go to the island where the wild things are. What other place might he have sailed to in his boat? What might he have found there and what adventures would he have had? 

Recording in the West End!

On Wednesday 19th July, while some were performing What's Your Story? in a nearby Essex primary school, and Singing in the Rain made its exit from the Palace Theatre (see the photo below!) , we made our way to the 4th Floor to record the tracks for our next literacy musical, Back to Before. 

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West End stars Shona White and Simon Lipkin, and writer and composer Craig Christie, gave their voices to be heard by children learning to sing along to our performances all over the country!

A sneak preview of the music will be available on this website shortly - watch this space...

Using Music as a Stimulus for Creative Writing

As part of our Free Primary Masterclasses, on 6th June, West End in Schools and some inspiring teachers met at RADA to discuss Using Music as a Resource for Creative Writing.

Led by the composer and writer of our literacy musicals, Craig Christie, the masterclass began by sitting in silence for 20 seconds and identifying the sounds around us. It was good to be reminded of the importance of listening!

Craig played a piece of music a few times - once for listening and then to inspire the teachers to write a series of things:

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One of the comments that arose from conversation was a difficulty in finding resources for music to be used in the classroom. And so we have compiled a list below - by teachers for teachers! 

'The more the merrier', so if you have any websites or album suggestions please add them to the 'comments' section at the bottom of the page.

Music Resources

Oxfam- lesson plans for unit on global music: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/education/resources/global-music-lessons-for-ages-5-7 
 http://www.oxfam.org.uk/education/resources/global-music-lessons-for-ages-7--11

Music samples for Foundation and KS1: http://www.nancymusic.com

Website containing downloadable songs, chants, nursery fhymes, accompaniment only section as well. Useful Hints and tips on delivering music to preschool and KS1 children.  Also available are downloadable recorder books and a very simple "theory" book: http://www.musicisfun.biz

Free Music resource site, including audio files to help teach samba, Brazilian History and Geography. Also Black History studies. Especially useful for KS2 pupils in conjunction with electronic whiteboard: http://www.primarymusicteacher.com

A virtual orchestra website: http://www.ngfl.northumberland.gov.uk/music/orchestra

BBC musical mysteries- for KS2: http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/schools/4_11/music/mm/

Music games: http://www.dsokids.com/2001/rooms/games.html

Matching music with instruments: http://www.ngfl.northumberland.gov.uk/music/index2.htm

Great site to get children creating own music: http://www.creatingmusic.com/new/playing/index.html

Soundtracks: Gladiator and Brick Lane

Nina Jackson: The Little Book of Music for the Classroom

Another interesting website: http://www.literacyshed.com/index.html