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Mr King’s Blog

“Art makes children powerful” Bob and Roberta Smith

Our own Mrs Smith highlighted this while talking to staff as we begin planning the final week of the summer term.

And by “Art”, Mrs Smith was not being self-serving, she was extolling the idea of seeing skills in others around the school and planning ways in which they can all contribute to a whole community highlight – something which encapsulates what we aim for on a daily basis and magnifies it in a memorable way.

Mrs Smith is not the only person with a passion and a vision. Last week the Eco-council met to cement ideas they would like to move forward, and presented these to the Senior Leadership Team. Next steps are pupil working parties to thrash out the various “short term” projects. The council meets half termly, and has the justified aim of contributing an Eco-voice to school policy where appropriate.

The School Council also met, and received the news that their previous discussion about adding trousers to the school uniform option had been agreed. They were told that the next steps with SchoolBlazer are underway, but that we do not expect those conversations to be concluded until the summer term. More to follow, therefore.

I was delighted that a film crew visited this week to shoot ‘She’ the verbatim play devised through interviews by some of our Sixth Formers, written and directed by a friend of the school, Maddie Corner, and produced for a week’s run at the Edinburgh Fringe festival 2019. The Drama studio was set up with three cameras, 2 raised platforms. The cast is only 5! It must have been intense.

On the same afternoon, a Lower Sixth pupil popped in to remind me that she was rehearsing some actors in the Year 11 Common Room after school. Her EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) is about writing a play. Having scripted some scenes, she needed to appreciate how they would look on stage. A boy (young man) from Whitgift was helping out, along with some Croydon High peers. Naively, I asked if we would see ‘the performance’ at any point. Kindly, since I should have known better, the student led me back to the fact that she doesn’t actually have to write a play – she is embarking on a project to learn how to do that. Her EPQ will provide her with enough of a skeleton to teach herself via self-evaluation and critique of each step of the process.

And to top that day off, I was able to catch the second half of Year 7’s Spoken Word evening. Wonderful poetry – positive, enlightened and with conviction. Performers either overcame the stage fright, or revelled in the lime light, getting their narratives out to the world. I sat, happily, at the back of the room wondering which of the performers that evening will still be continuing their thespian journey in the Sixth Form; who will be in the Director’s chair and who under the spotlight?

The evening was topped off by a Lower Sixth performer. I’ll leave her unnamed for now, since a good friend of the school has suggested that the poem she wrote and performed might be exactly what the Home Office would like to feature in their Windrush Exhibition…… we hope to celebrate that achievement here before too long.

“Art makes children powerful”. Amazing how when one puts on a different lens at Croydon High School, one sees such statements coming to life.

Mr David King

Deputy Head (Pastoral)

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