Pupils from The Laurels impress at Worthing Music and Arts Festival

The Laurels Primary School in Durrington is celebrating after three pupils had success in the speech and drama category at the Worthing Music and Arts Festival.

Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 12:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 12:11 pm

A number of competitions across a range of arts disciplines were hosted as part of the festival, taking place over five weeks.

Competing against other children in their year group, Eleanor Crystal, from year four, Ollie Marrett, year six, and Joy Prince, year three, each had to read a specific poem in front of a packed audience in the function room at the Dome Cinema, Worthing.

In preparation for the event, the trio worked hard with teaching assistant Veryan Jennings during break times.

Oliver Marrett, Eleanor Crystal and Joy Prince from The Laurels Primary are celebrating after success at the Worthing Art and Music Festival

Veryan, who attended the Guildhall School of Speech and Drama and went on to complete a degree in the use of drama in education, said she had a real passion for the positive effects drama can have on young people.

Veryan said: “The three students have worked really hard to nurture their talents over the course of this term. They have all been rewarded by placing first or second in their groups and this is a fantastic achievement.

“It is also a great lesson in showing them how hard work and determination can lead them to success. Most importantly, they have all had so much fun rehearsing and each of them really enjoyed performing.’

Year-four student Eleanor Crystal read Dragon into Dressing Gown by Russell Hoban and came first out of a group of 33 other children, scoring 89 points.

Eleanor really enjoyed the experience, especially winning. She said: “As they were announcing the third and second places and they didn’t say my name, I thought it’s either first or nothing and I really doubted I would get first, but then I got it and it was perfect.

“It was really fun learning it with Miss V, although it was tricky to learn it by heart and also remember when to pause, but I did it.”

Eleanor impressed the lead adjudicator, who said she was captivated by Eleanor from beginning to end. Eleanor was also the first to recite her poem and so had a long wait before finding out the news that she had won.

Year-three student Joy Prince read The Wind by Robert Louis Stevenson and again stood up in a room full of the family and friends of the 27 children who took part. Joy came second and staff said she was a credit to the school.

Year-six student Ollie Marrett also placed second, losing out on first place by just one point, after his performance of A Ghost who Lost his Boo by Austin Macauley.

Charlotte Bull, headteacher, said: “We are incredibly proud of these three students. At the Laurels we strive to give all our student opportunities that will build their confidence and inspire them to excel, especially in subjects they love.

“The dedication of our teaching staff is exemplified by Veryan, who has worked with the children to encourage and nurture their talents. We know that giving our students these types of opportunities has a very positive effect and plays a big part in their education journey, building their confidence and belief in themselves and allowing them to shine.”