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St Mary's Catholic High School

Summer School 2021

Summer School Pic1In August 2021, fifty students from the current Year 7 and 8 cohorts embarked on a journey of performance, art, cookery, and wellbeing. Tasked with preparing a performance of one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, students were also responsible for refreshments, prop making and set dressing; a diverse and fun-filled four days.

Starting the week with improvisation drama games, students adapted quickly to the fast-paced workshop ran by Influx Theatre. Some students had never met before, so it was an excellent way to break the ice and prepare students for the transition in September. The effects of this are noticeable now as many of our new Year 7s are confident and feel settled already.

Summer School Pic 2During the Summer School, the students were split into two groups and while one group rehearsed with the Influx Theatre representative, the other group would be busy learning, crafting, cooking, or meditating. The groups alternated so that everyone had an opportunity to take part in a range of activities. Students learnt the history of Elizabethan London and the development of the characters, and created papier-Mache props, such as the seminal donkey head for Bottom and trees to symbolise the forest where all the magic (literally!) happens in the play. Fairy cakes – another nod to the play – were baked in our very own Food Technology kitchen. Decorated in bright and vibrant colours, the cakes were a cornerstone of the refreshments offered to those who came to see the final production, along with the sparkling ‘potions’ reminiscent of the love potion from the play.

Summer School Pic3The final production happened on Thursday afternoon, when staff, parents and student siblings assembled in the hall to marvel at the wonderful production that had been put together in what seemed like a short amount of time. Yet, watching the play, you would never have known that it had only been rehearsed in four days; it was polished and funny and an enjoyable afternoon.