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Local school joins nationwide education programme

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WARRINGTON’S St Oswald’s RC Primary School has been selected to become a Matilda Champion School as part of the musical’s new nationwide education programme, Change My Story.
Change My Story will reach up to 15,000 children and young people at more than 200 schools across the regions that Matilda The Musical is playing in as part of the show’s 2018/19 UK and Ireland tour.
As a Matilda Champion School the Padgate Lane school will enter into a two-year partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), The Manchester Palace and Opera House and The Liverpool Empire Theatre which will see teaching staff work with professional theatre directors, choreographers and musical directors to produce a special edit of Matilda The Musical as their school play in December.
In the second year of the partnership, Matilda Champion Schools will continue share skills learnt from the programme and maintain a local culture of school creative engagement with the arts.
Head teacher Helen Lennon said: “We place great emphasis on ensuring the arts remain central to our curriculum to ensure all children are immersed in a rich, creative learning experience. By giving our children a love of dance, drama, music, performance and theatre at an early age we hope to develop an appreciation and love of the Arts which will stay with them throughout their lives.
“This project has been able to bring out the very best in our Year 5 children. It has challenged them, giving them wonderful learning opportunities, allowed them to shine and given us all hours of fun.
“Through our performances we have reached out not only to our parent community but also to the local community, through St Oswald’s church, our parish community, the community of Padgate Methodist Church, our two neighbouring primary schools Oakwood Avenue and Christ Church CE, and the wider community of Warrington.”
Fiona Ingram from the Royal Shakespeare Company said: “Change My Story gives schools the chance to work with musical directors, choreographers and directors from the RSC to stage their own edited performances of Matilda. It is a brilliant opportunity for them to share the story and creativity of Matilda with a whole new audience. Change my story is a perfect example of the power of the arts in the curriculum. It will give students and teachers the chance to build skills and confidence as they create theatre together with the RSC.”
Natalie Flynn creative learning manager from The Manchester Palace & Opera House & Liverpool Empire Theatre added: “Working in partnership with the RSC on the Champion Schools project has been invaluable in equipping teachers with the skills to deliver exciting, relevant and high quality performing arts provision whilst inspiring a new generation of theatre lovers.”
Winner of more than 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, the Matilda the Musical UK and Ireland tour celebrated its official opening night at Leicester Curve in March and will be touring until next August. The West End production will continue to play at the Cambridge Theatre, where it is now in its seventh year and is booking until next October.

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