I think one of the greatest challenges for any teacher is not to underestimate the potential of a pupil. It is a skill to be able to set ambitious goals that demand much from the pupils without overwhelming them and making them feel a failure if they are unable to realise them. To challenge and engage is something we are continually striving to do at BGS and never more was this evident than with our first House Drama Festival.
We have asked girls in the Lower Sixth to direct and produce part of a play which is performed by girls in Year 7. For both sets of girls this provides a challenge. Both are entering a new stage in their education with all the excitement and nervousness that this produces and both have been asked to engage with people they do not know and produce within four weeks a part of a play.
I have to say there was some nervousness when I set this challenge but once again the girls are rising to the occasion. The first rehearsal was on Thursday and I was very proud by the manner in which the Lower Sixth took on board their responsibility. They ran the House meeting confidently, and introduced to the Year 7s, what I hope becomes a part of BGS’s history – a House Drama Festival. The Year 7s, I hope, enjoy forming friendships and connections with the elder girls, and will remember what they learnt from being directed by the Lower Sixth, and use this knowledge when they become Sixth Formers and direct the Year 7s in 2018.
It is of course early days. The after school dress rehearsals begin this week. Producing plays is always full of highs and lows; unlearnt lines, costumes or props that don’t materialise, pre play nerves but I hope the girls learn how to lead but most importantly how to work in a team to produce the best from the players in that team.
The girls are rising to the challenge, they are engaged and I look forward to the results.