The performances went very well indeed. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to all involved and big thanks to those who came along to watch it! Despite much absence at school last week due to illness, the performers who were there did brilliantly and covered for those who were sick very well indeed. Rather disappointingly, even though all local press and media had been invited, none came. However, those who did have been sending in some wonderful feedback:
"I learned a lot. I enjoyed the varied performances and the enthusiasm of the performers. It gives us great hope for the future." Christine McGowan, Centre Manager of NAC
“I just wanted to say "Thank You" so much for inviting me this afternoon. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I thought the quality of the learning that had gone into the whole thing was amazing. I found it quite emotional as our schools are quite similar! Can you pass on congratulations to all of the staff concerned and the children - it was brilliant.”
Lisa Thompson, Head teacher of St Andrew’s C of E Primary
“I enjoyed the performance immensely and I would like to congratulate the Year 5 and 6 pupils together with all the staff involved for working so very hard to produce such an excellent piece of work that I will remember forever. Everyone was very professional and I really hope that all involved enjoyed the performance as much as the audience did. Well done to you all you must be so very proud.”
Carole Betteridge, Governors’ Clerk
"Such a shame no journalists came - it certainly challenged the views of much of the media about the positive energy that diversity brings to us all. It was moving as well as entertaining and informative. The interplay of different media was highly engaging with outstanding puppetry and lovely music; and there was humour as well as inventiveness in the digital sections and live performance. Clearly Years 5 and 6 had a wonderful experience on all fronts and their enjoyment was palpable.
I witnessed classes of pupils aged 5 and 6 in the audience totally enthralled for over an hour - that’s a remarkable achievement!"
Dymphna Callery, ex Senior Lecturer, Drama Department University of Wolverhampton
"I thoroughly enjoyed the whole performance. The concept of the tree (our West Park tree) trying to withstand all that the second world war was throwing at it was very poignant and showed the research that had been done by the children. The elephant was fantastic and this is just two of the items out of the whole programme. The standard of the production showed the hard work done by everyone, children and staff. There were photographs and video footage that I did not know existed and made riveting viewing.
Well done to everyone!"
Eleanor Dunnett, ex secretary of WPPS
"It was brilliant. It made me laugh and it brought a tear to my eye too. It gave us the history honestly, sensitively, but no holds barred.
Without exception all the children performed well. They read, spoke, sang and danced excellently.
West Park has always been special, long may it continue to be so!"
Gerry Mills, ex head teacher of WPPS
"This was an absolutely brilliant presentation, with so many wonderful elements to it. The use of art, drama, shadow puppetry and music – instruments and song – was riveting. The staff and children did a fantastic job in creating the story of West Park School through such a challenging period of history. The whole event was a really powerful tribute to the real values of diversity, true multiculturalism and successfully living with difference – which most of the human race seems to find very difficult to manage. Shame on your local media for not coming, send that elephant round to hose them down! Can we have another one soon??"
Revd David Haslam MBE
"I thoroughly enjoyed the whole performance and in parts found it very emotional. Some difficult subject matter that is often shied away from was presented and dealt with in a way that really made the audience think.
I thought the techniques used to tell the story.... his story, her story, our story of West Park’s 50 years were very engaging. The shadow puppetry was brilliant, the original music really helped to tell the story and I enjoyed the IT techniques which I've never seen before. I loved the way the use of original old photos enabled the children to travel back in time and become part of history themselves.
The performance was clearly the culmination of some hard work, allowing the children to develop a huge range of skills as well as the acquisition of knowledge.
The children will no doubt value and remember this experience throughout their lives. It will have enabled them to see themselves as part of a wider community that has rights and responsibilities. The community has been enabled to contribute to the children's education and again everyone is a winner.
Well done year 5 and 6 children. You did yourselves and your school proud. West Park Primary School is a very special place and that's down to all of you."
Caroline Godfrey, ex head teacher of WPPS
"An amazing performance by all involved from performers to back stage, lighting and music. I could really relate to the stories that were told. Well done to all!"
Rashpal Bansal, Governor and Teaching Assitant at WPPS
Congratulations to all concerned on the totally absorbing “piece of theatre” you have produced as the culmination of the West Park School History Project. I felt privileged to be in the audience this afternoon and am still marvelling at how you managed to create such a vivid and cohesive picture of the school’s history since WW2 from so many diverse strands.
I can only imagine that the knowledge and skills acquired by the children from doing this project will stay with them for the rest of their lives, and that the impact of the play on their audiences will also be equally enduring.
Every scene/snapshot/topic was a little gem in itself and the thought and creativity which had gone into each one was quite remarkable. I particularly liked the shadow puppetry, the elephant, the black and white film shots of today’s pupils playing on the streets of yesteryear, the new songs and the way the children sang them, and the Bhangra dancing.
You are also to be hugely congratulated for tackling and putting into perspective some of the more sensitive issues arising from the rise of multi-culturalism over the past fifty years."
Joyce Schofield, ex pupil of Red Cross Street School and interviewee on this project
"Fantastic. It was amazing. Memorable. Evocative. Dealing with issues of race relations in a frank but sensitive manner. A brilliant narrative of 50 years told with such vivid imagery. The journey then to now, and what a rich tapestry has been woven with the diversity and challenges faced. Who knows what events will shape the future of West Park and Whitmore Reans.
A brilliant team of creative artists helped to create something truly spectacular. How ingenious!!
I felt privileged to have had the opportunity to watch the performance. Our children are remarkable."
Azizan Kabil, deputy head of WPPS
"Brilliant performance, the children, staff, volunteer performers and musicians did fantastically and it was all made happen by some really clear and in-depth research conducted by the children. Everyone needs huge congratulations for their efforts, and the school needs praise for taking on such challenging ideas. The children will have knowledge of a great range of subjects as a result: local history, racism, research techniques, puppetry as well as an understanding of the evolution of their school and where it might go in the future.
Please pass on my congratulations to everyone."
Richard Ashwell, ex chair of Governors at WPPS
"I am disappointed to hear the local media and press ignored the invitation. So much effort and work went into the performance and each and every one of you have not been praised enough.
It was both engaging and meaningful, touching on issues of equality as well as the key milestones of the school and its achievements. A lot I did not know about myself. This production and the history of the school would be of interest to anyone, not just the locals. I am sure many were touched by it."
Zayeem Ali, ex pupil and parent of current pupil, as well as interviewee on this project