At St Oswald’s we are committed to to promoting and supporting the Arts and exposing our children to the wonderful learning opportunities the Arts can provide. We are proud to have worked closely with professionals from our national theatres in a number of performance projects.
When, where and how it all started
At the end of the summer term of 2018, the Head Teacher was delighted to learn that St Oswald’s school had been successful following a lengthy application process for schools in the Liverpool and Manchester areas, to become a ‘Matilda Champion School’ – an exciting programme inspired by Matilda the Musical, in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Manchester Palace & Opera House and The Liverpool Empire Theatre. The children in Year 5, along with Mrs Thomason and the Head Teacher, worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, regional directors, musical directors, and choreographers to stage a specially commissioned performance of Matilda the Musical. The project was a great success and culminated in a run of four wonderful performances in the school in December 2018.
In autumn 2019, the school entered the second year of this exciting Arts project, working with the National Theatre and the Empire Theatre Liverpool to stage the play ‘Emil and the Detectives’. Working alongside Natalie Flynn, Creative Learning Manager of the Ambassador Theatre Group (of which the Empire Theatre is part), the children in the Year 5 class, Mrs Thomason, Mrs Brady and Miss Lennon, staged another successful, specially commissioned performance of ‘Emil and the Detectives’ – a play with song. The play was performed in school in December 2019 and also later performed on the professional stage of the Liverpool Empire at the Let’s Play Festival in January 2020.
In 2020 our project was stopped with the arrival of Covid which resulted in lockdowns, a closing down of theatres and social distancing restrictions in school. The performance we had hoped to perform in 2020 was placed on hold. In the academic year 2021/22 with the return to the normal smooth running of schools and the easing of Covid restrictions, we once again picked up our project and our Y4 children worked with the Ambassador Theatre Company based at the Empire Theatre Liverpool and staged a wonderful performance of Nurseryland Revolution in the summer term 2022.
Although we are now at the end of our extended 3 year project, we are keen to continue to keep strong links with the professionals in the Theatre world and remain committed to engaging our children with performance opportunities and promoting the Arts.
In autumn 2022, we linked with the English National Opera Company as part of the ‘Let’s Finish This’ project and our Y4 children created a musical composition piece which we submitted to the ENO for inclusion on their website.
In the spring term 2023 our Y3 children travelled to the Manchester Palace Theatre to watch a performance of The Lion King. Who knows, this could be the catalyst for our next performance project at St Oswald’s! Whatever our next project may be we remain committed to supporting, exposing and promoting the Arts to our children at St Oswald’s.
Through this Arts project we are delighted that St Oswald’s has been able to reach out to our parent and parish community and the wider community of Warrington.