This summer, the junior children of Fritchley CE Primary & Nursery School put on a wonderful production of the musical Oliver!. All of the children had an acting and singing part in the production – from the ‘knife grinder’ to Fagin himself – and they even helped to paint the background scenery, too.
Back in the autumn, the children had studied Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens within their topic ‘What did the Victorians do for us?’, and had seemed to identify with this tale of a poor orphan who becomes embroiled in the criminal underworld of Victorian London. So when the teachers were deciding on a production to put on in the summer, there was really only one choice.
The children worked hard at learning the song lyrics for their homework and practised singing them at home – with many parents joining in with the well-known songs. Learning their acting parts was trickier, but once again the children’s dedication shone through in their performances.
‘It was really fun and everyone tried their hardest to do the best they could.’ Dylan Toplis (Year 6) aka ‘The Artful Dodger’
It was evident throughout the rehearsals just how much the children enjoyed singing the songs. Many of the parents, grandparents and friends who watched the two performances said that their singing was outstanding and it was the best production they’d ever seen.
Singing is a major part of our daily worship at Fritchley School and the children are given an exciting range of songs to sing. Although we do not have a school choir as such, the whole school is our choir and singing will continue to be part of the lives of every child, even as the Year 6 children leave us to go to secondary school.
‘I really enjoyed performing in the play, it was one of the best performances we have done so far. Doing these productions has inspired me to want to be an actor when I leave school’. Tate Hallas-Brown (Year 6), aka ‘Fagin’
The Year 3 and 4 children at Fritchley School have been learning to play the flute; singing and rhythm games were part of their sessions, too.
The finale to their lessons for the year was a super concert for parents and classmates. They performed brilliantly and showed the audience just how much they’ve enjoyed learning to play this instrument.
In recent years, the junior children at Fritchley have enjoyed playing a variety of instruments, including Fabulous flautists the violin, viola, trumpet, trombone, Djembe drums and ukulele.
They’ve been taught by specialist teachers from the Derby & Derbyshire Music Partnership, which also provides the instruments. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the children to try out different instruments and decide what they might like to carry on playing in the future.
by Karin Baker, Head of Frtichley School
Photos by Chris Baker