They started by looking at the power of drama and how it can help support communication, language barriers and the wider development of learning English. After hearing about the playwriting competition that the Hands Up project ran in Gaza (a project set up with over thirty different groups of children in Gaza, the occupied West Bank and refugee camps in Syria and Jordan) the Academy contacted them to see if a live link could be formed with a school.
On Wednesday 21st February, the class was treated to watching a performance live from the classroom of an UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) school where the all-female class performed ‘Window onto the Outside’, which is a story of two Gazan girls who are living in conflict. Students at the Academy performed extracts from ‘Educating Rita’ and answered questions about it. Nathan (Year 10 student at the Academy) said, “It was really inspiring seeing the creativity in such an oppressed situation. Truly amazing.” In addition, Millie (also Year 10) said, “Their performance was very moving, as was their enthusiasm and drive to achieve.”
It is hoped that as the GCSE devised work develops, another live link shared lesson can take place to deepen students cultural, political and social accuracies within their Middle East based work. Linking with the International Baccalaureate Programme at the Academy, this is an exciting opportunity that continues to create world links to encourage students to understand the connections between their subjects and the rest of the world.