This weekend saw four performances of We Will Rock You performed by our students at the Lowther Pavilion in Lytham, celebrating the music of Queen. It tells the story of a group of bohemians who struggle to restore the free thought, fashion and music in a distant future where everyone thinks, dresses and acts the same. It is a theme that has encouraged both cast and audience to think about conformity and rebellion, and the struggles sometimes necessary to find one’s own unique way in the world.
Overall it was a very young cast and everyone in the audience agreed it was a spectacular success. Many of these young actors had never performed on such a stage, yet they seemed so confident and disciplined despite the nerves that they must have felt. If they were ‘Under Pressure’, they didn’t show it. I congratulate them on taking on such challenge, for we know that learning can be best when at the edge of one’s comfort zone. If too comfortable, we may not feel the necessity to learn. Beyond our comfort zone, we may freeze or panic. I admire these young people who take the risk to audition and then to go on to perform, just as I see them stretch themselves on other stages: the pitch, out in the community, further afield and of course in the classroom. This is where differentiation is key to progress, so that each student is challenged, whatever their ability or learning style.
There is an oft-used quote ‘if you want something in life that you’ve never had, then you’ll have to do something you’ve never done’. As a school, we hope to encourage our students to try new things – hence our extensive co-curricular programme during lunch-times, after school, at weekends and during the holidays. No two students will be motivated by exactly the same things, which is why having a broad choice in activities is so important. I believe that it is in seeking new experiences at the edge of one’s comfort zone that we can experience the most effective learning and personal growth.
I am sure the cast of We Will Rock You would agree.
M H P Walton