Festival and big concert give youngsters a chance to shine

Some of the Ponteland High School students who took part in the Learning Alliance Christmas Concert.
Some of the Ponteland High School students who took part in the Learning Alliance Christmas Concert.

Students at two Ponteland schools have showcased their skills at two major Tyneside arts venues.

One of the performances took place at the Northern Stage in Newcastle. William Shakespeare’s Macbeth was well executed by a talented group of Year 6 pupils from Richard Coates Middle School in front of a live audience of more than 400 people.

The children had been working tirelessly for months to perfect their play and get to grips with the language of Shakespeare. They gave up their free time and persuaded their parents to support them at home.

They also had the opportunity to take part in a cast workshop, with professional actors and directors giving them some tips.

Head of Year 6 Kate Balmforth said: “When the big day finally arrived, the pupils met at the Northern Stage ready for a final run through with the Shakespeare Schools Festival (a charity that is supported by various organisations) team before the evening performance.

“Everyone was already amazed with how professional the pupils behaved and they were in no doubt as to whether they would be up to the challenge.

“At around 8pm, they finally took to the stage to show off their hard work. Although everyone was nervous, it certainly didn’t show.

“Everyone involved really gave it their all and showed that working hard and never giving up can really pay off. The crowd was amazed by their performance and I’m sure we will see some of these young actors in years to come.

“A huge well done and thank you to all those involved.”

A few weeks later, students from Ponteland High School, George Stephenson High School (Killingworth) and Park View School (Chester-le-Street) performed a festive concert at the Sage Gateshead.

Last year, the trio entered into a Learning Alliance designed to enrich students’ experiences throughout their time in school.

This partnership not only allowed for the concert to take place, but also for collaborations between the orchestras and choirs of Park View and Ponteland High to reach a glorious outcome.

The Pont High performers included soloists and students from the Jazz Band, Choir, Orchestra and Rhythm Section. There was also a premiere of Disco Inferno’s Platform Divas from this year’s school production.

All this allowed for a rather eclectic mix of styles to be represented, which constantly kept the audience on their toes.

In preparation for the concert, the students spent many evenings rehearsing the various pieces.

Staff from all three schools thanked all those involved for their efforts.