The Empire Windrush - Theatre in Education 2019
In 2017, a group of Year 9 students brought together their creativity and imagination to produce a Theatre in Education (TIE) piece about the early migrants who arrived in the UK on The Empire Windrush in order to help restore London after the damage it endured during the Second World War. Throughout the week, the students listened carefully to the facts and shared their views about the trials and tribulations the Windrush settlers sustained when they arrived in 1948. One student in particular was able to share his grandfather’s account of how he came to the UK from Jamaica on The Empire Windrush which made the process more personal; he almost became a Windrush consultant throughout the week and as we began to finalise the piece ready to share on the last day, I could see how proud the students were of the final outcome.
School Governor, Deputy Lieutenant, MBE Morcea Walker was in the audience that day and she was very moved by the work because of her own first-hand experience of The Empire Windrush. She was impressed to see that after nearly 70 years a group of teenage students could capture the excitement and uncertainty of the new arrivals to create a poignant piece that explored some of the hardships that followed as the United Kingdom eventually became a place to call home. She was adamant then that she wanted the students to perform the piece at a celebratory evening she was in the process of organising to mark 70 years since the Windrush arrived in Tilbury docks.
So on Thursday 28th February 2019 (and after carefully orchestrating their Year 11 Parents’ Evening appointments to feature at the start of the evening) Jacob Benhayoun, Rudy Gardner, Isaac Mclean, Nicholas Moses and Andrew Tandoh made their way to The Guildhall, St. Giles Street to join members of the Northamptonshire Black History Association at their Annual General Meeting in order to share the opening scene of their Windrush performance and discuss their work with those gathered at the AGM, including the NBHA Chair.
Since then we have received such wonderful messages of praise and thanks for how well rehearsed the performance was and how delightful our students were overall. Messages such as:
"Well done to you and your teacher. I am proud of you. May your chosen path continue to grow and flourish."
“What dedication and commitment!! Well they came and conquered!”
The Expressive Arts team would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them and say how extremely proud we all are of them. These students certainly make Northampton School for Boys a wonderful place to work and learn. We look forward to seeing the final performance.
Expressive Arts Team Leader