Benyon Primary School gets Chance to Dance and Sing

ROYAL Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer school, Benyon Primary, has been working for the past term on three Royal Opera House national education programmes: Chance to Dance, Create and Sing Carmen and National Nutcracker. Through these programmes, Benyon students have learnt about ballet and opera.

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Chance to Dance, Create and Sing Carmen and National Nutcracker. Through these programmes, Benyon students have learnt about ballet and opera.

The Chance to Dance programme has run weekly creative ballet classes for Year 3 students. Chance to Dance offers access to ballet for those who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to experience the art form. The children have been learning about ballets through the ages including Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet. A number of students have been nominated to audition for the Chance to Dance ballet company, an opportunity which will allow them to develop further their ballet skills.

90 students from Years 4, 5 and 6 have been working very hard each week towards their production of Carmen which they have put together using the resources of the Create and Sing Carmen programme. This new Royal Opera House national singing programme is being piloted in ten Thurrock primary schools this term. Students are learning to sing opera repertoire, to build a performance and how to sing healthily. All ten schools will perform their version of Carmen, in assemblies and to parents in their school setting.

“I thought opera was very boring and dull but now I really like it.’
Bree, Year 4

Create and Sing Carmen has been a big hit with Year 4 students. Mason said “Many people don’t like opera, but I do, it’s fun and exciting.” Nicola said “I think opera is the best thing in the world – I loved learning all those songs and I loved the acting.” Olamide commented “I’m very grateful I had this opportunity, it has changed my opinion of it (opera)” and Ekaterina is equally enthusiastic, “Carman has changed my whole thoughts about opera, I would love to do more!’
The National Nutcracker programme provides teachers with the skills and resources to deliver weekly classes about Tchaikovsky’s ballet, about choreography and dance. Year 5 students have just submitted a film of their choreography, and are now looking forward to a cinema screening of The Nutcracker at the Vue Cinema in Lakeside on 6 December.

Benyon Primary School has chosen to work with these programmes as part of their Thurrock Trailblazer selection this year. Thurrock Trailblazer is an innovative programme of high quality arts and cultural activities, visits to heritage sites and specialist teacher training, that boost creative learning in schools and accelerate pupils’ development. Benyon have also selected to visit Coalhouse Fort and the Tower of London as part of Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer this year.

To find out more about Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer, please go to www.roh.org.uk/trailblazer.

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