Performing Arts Students put on WW2 production for Ranikhet Academy pupils

On Wednesday 30th January, The Henley College hosted year 5 and 6 pupils from Ranikhet Academy in Tilehurst, Reading. The Performing Arts Students put on WW2 productions for the pupils, who are currently learning about this time.

The pupils were greeted with identification tags like real evacuees from WW2 and left each with a ration book as a momento.  The students were here as part of a collaboration between the college and the school which is now in it's second year. Our incredibly talented BTEC Performing Arts students, have for the last 2 years been issued with a live performance commission from Ranikhet school to bring to life the set texts that the pupils study each year. Last year, our first year students brought to life "Shackleton's Journey", and this year the text was the challenging and at times heartbreaking, "Goodnight Mr Tom".

To ensure that the student leave in excellent spirits, our actors also devised and performed a "horrible histories show" to teach the pupils the context of the time that the book was written and the slapstick and often gross humour had the Ranikhet students laughing throughout.  The students involved from the college were a real credit to the college, acting professionally at all times and delivering a top class performance.  Lisa Crew, the drama teacher involved with this collaboration said that "it was important to create and maintain real community links, both in Henley and beyond, to really showcase what the students are capable of, but also to bring books to life for students, some of whom would have otherwise found the texts difficult to access." This collaboration follows on from previous work with Purley C of E Primary School and Helen's House Hospice over the last 4 years.