Pupils from five Norwich schools (Sewell Park Academy, Angel Road Infant School, George White Junior School, Wensum Junior School and Mile Cross Primary School) participated in Anglia Square: A Love Story.
At the four primary schools workshops in iPad photography, print making with Print to the People, oral history training with BBC Voices and sessions with Jeannette Baxter, Research Convenor in English Literature at Anglia Ruskin University, developed pupil’s research skills. Visits to Anglia Square enabled pupils to use their photography skills and to find out more about what people shopping in Anglia Square feel about the space. All schools also had an opportunity to interview a selection of people with a keen interest in Anglia Square, including a local councillor and the architect of an alternative vision for the Square’s development. Pupils from Wensum Junior provided material for our meeting to share research findings in March.
The next stage was the creative response during which pupils worked with the project’s composer and Musical Director, Charlie Caine, and School’s Director, Duncan Joseph, to write a song inspired by their research about Anglia Square. Pupils from each primary school sang in two of the performances in July, joining as members of the choir and cast for the whole show and leading the audience ‘over the water’. They also featured as a performance ‘spot’. These songs are all published in the ‘Love songs’ section of this site and all schools provided pages for our ‘Love Letters’.
Mile Cross pupils took part in a short film telling their stories about Anglia Square which was premiered as part of our True Stories Live event in June.
Sewell Park Academy focused on developing their drama and writing skills with Duncan, the show’s writer, Mags Chalcraft, and contributing writer, Isaac Scoulding. The resulting scripts were performed as a ‘spot’ during each show.
Read a blog entitled ‘Dream it, plan it, achieve it‘ by Rob Whalen, a Year 6 teacher at Wensum Junior about the school’s experience of the project. ‘
‘As someone that grew up in and around the area of Anglia Square – North of the river – it felt as though it was more than just teaching our children new skills. We were investing time in our local history and sharing it far and wide. We have a year group full of amazing children who have been: historians, artists, photographers, interviews, researchers, song writers, composers, performers, geographers and much more. Our children will look back at 2019 and remember when we shared the history of Anglia Square: with our school; with our local community and the City of Norwich. I am so incredibly proud to have been part of this.’ Rob Whalen.
Mile Cross Primary School shared the feedback below on Facebook:
Thank you cast, crew, musicians – for the small part we played you made us
feel like Kings & Queens! You’ve given our children experiences that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.You’ve made us all feel a complete and integral part of a beautiful and genuine production that you should all feel very proud of. Seeing our children’s faces when they’d performed their own song to an audience of 100+ (supported by the ridiculously talented Charlie) followed by the applause was everything to us. One of my parents summed up the whole performance perfectly by sharing ‘Simply Wow’.