Our school would like to develop a minimally used natural 'amphitheatre' shaped outside space and convert it into an open air performing arts area. This will give pupils and children in the wider community (such as the local pre-schools and other local schools) the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular drama, dance and singing activities. The project will boost our children’s sense of self-worth and confidence in public speaking, ultimately improving their chances in life.
We will transform it into a place where children can play and perform at break times and during after school clubs. It will also be available to host outdoor concerts and plays for groups in the community. The space has a natural grass back encircling the performance area where the audience can comfortably sit and watch.
The current area where the stage would be is rarely used as the ground is uneven and becomes soggy in poor weather. The development would include a 5.5m wooden stage on which the children can play/perform. An all-weather surfacing will be put down so it can be used all year round, and this will also allow wheelchair access easily on and off the area.
Encircling the stage area will be a series of outdoor musical instruments such as bongo drums and chimes where children can experiment with rhythm, sound and melody in different ways to create a performance or to provide a sound track to create drama or tension or effects such as thunder.
The existing equipment within the school area is geared towards physical exercise which is climbing and role play. This piece will provide those unable to use the physical equipment, and those interested in a more creative and musical form of physical exercise, with different options to play and develop.
Children with SEND will be given specific opportunities to use the area so they can express themselves freely and enjoy finding their voice in a safe and friendly environment.
We are a small primary school of 240 pupils currently. In 2016/2017 term we applied for the Lottery Grant to cover the entire cost for this project. Unfortunately we were rejected for this grant and therefore have been working hard as a team to raise the funds ourselves. Whilst the school community get fully involved in fund raising events it has still take us 2 years to get within touching distance of the total project cost. We believe we would need another whole academic year to raise the remaining funds required (£3,000), however the quote for the equipment and installation expires at the end of 2018 and we do not have an idea of how much it will increase by. It feels like just as we seem close the goal posts will move again. If we are able secure additional funding and proceed with the build of this project this year it would mean a great deal to the teachers, pupils and parents who have supported us with fund raising.