On Monday 29th April 2019, Swanlea School launched the second part of the I AM ME mental health awareness campaign. The event was attended by a number of professionals from public health, to artists, the Ideas Store and of course Swanlea’s own school governors and parents/carers.
I AM ME is a campaign created by Swanlea Students to raise awareness surrounding mental health. Swanlea School has developed a creative partnership with The Mile End Community Project (MCP) where students have been given the opportunity to express their views on mental health via the medium of film and other various media outlets. In our previous campaign, we created a film and photo campaign to depict one of the many ways mental health can affect young people.
This year Swanlea School have worked with The Mile End Community Project, The Ideas Store and the Spine Festival to create a brand new photo campaign, where students express their own individuality. MCP and the Ideas Store ran a number of workshops, including a spoken word session, discussions about mental health, art and design sessions and performing spoken word. Students learnt to use the camera to film and take professional pictures.
Students also recorded their spoken word pieces, which were printed on their individual campaign images. The spoken word was recorded performance-style, creating a better understanding of what each students was trying to express. They were available to listen to in special ‘sound booths’ set up by Swanlea School during the event.
The aim is to raise awareness of mental health and to encourage all people, no matter what age, race, gender or sexuality, to embrace who they are. We want to encourage conversation around mental health and let people know support is there for them.
I AM ME not only highlights mental health issues amongst young people, but also the wider community.
Swanlea School wish to create a community where it’s not taboo to talk about mental health and where everyone, whether you suffer from mental health or know someone who does, has the opportunity to receive help from the numerous organisations and services available supporting mental health.
A huge well done to our students involved, from year 12: Mohona Qader, Adnan Alam, Fatima Mohammed, Marwan Ahmed, Kawsar Ali, Rimaz Salih and from year 10: Yusuf Khan and Agnes McLaughlin.
On Monday 11th February, the Swanlea Choir took part in the Stratford and East London Music Festival, an annual competition for all musicians in South Woodford.
The choir were entered for two categories, Youth Choir-Open and Youth Choir-Theatre. In the Open class they performed in Latin, “Panis Angelicus” by Cesar Franck and “Colours of the Wind” from Pocahontas by Alan Menken. After giving a most musical and confident performance they were awarded second place behind reigning champions, Modality, a superb choir who performed “Adiemus” by Karl Jenkins and “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman with slick choreography!
In the Theatre class Swanlea relaxed a little and showed off their fun side with “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Seasons of Love” from Rent, bringing home the trophy for first prize!
The adjudicator gave his very fair and helpful comments on both performances. He made positive references to their gentle choral tone and offered advice on how to achieve a better balance between all voices in the group. Something to develop for next year!
For some, this was their first competition, although for Maya Khan of 9C this was her third year of competing with Swanlea! When asked what she liked best about singing in the choir, Maya said
“Singing really relaxes me and I love it when we sing in two and three part harmonies as it just sounds so good!”
We’d love more students to be involved, especially the boys! Swanlea, if you like singing then head to M5 after school on Tuesdays and see what’s happening. You will be very welcome!
Well done to all who took part this year. We are very proud of you.
1st Sopranos: Harriet Nodder, Halima Begum, Saima Ahmed, Mariam Ali, Ana Maria Loladze, Silvia Zakir, Kezia Stanley, Cerian Bright,
2nd Sopranos: Anjuma Anbia, Maya Khan, Naima Anbia, Aamna Malik, Maisha Azizur, Daania Iqbal, Isra Alam, Aaliyah Khan
3rd/Altos: Adi Khan, Ameer Alyas
Kezia Stanley of 7A recently starred in the Year 7 Drama club performance as the lead role, Terry Dumpton, in “The Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty.” Kezia recently completed her LAMDA Level 1 award in Shakespeare with a DISTINCTION! Mrs Coulson caught up with her to find out all about it.
Mrs C: What is LAMDA and how did you get involved with it?
Kezia: LAMDA stands for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. I found out about it because I joined an acting club outside of school called Pollyanna Training Theatre. They have a great website so to find out more about them you can visit: www.pollyannatheatre.org
Mrs C: Your certificate says that your Award is in Shakespeare. What did you have to do?
Kezia: The category that I was tested on was called Shakespeare Studies. I read an extract of Helena’s speech from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ After memorising my lines, it was time for the exam. I was marked on my knowledge of the play and the presentation of my speech. I had to demonstrate that I had a really good understanding of the character and the scene. I had to use movement and facial expressions to convince the examiner that I was Helena.
Mrs C: That sounds interesting! I bet you learned a lot about ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ Did you choose that category?
Kezia: Yes, I did. There are many other exams you can do such as Musical Theatre and Acting. Right now I am doing Poems and Prose.
Mrs C: Well done on getting a DISTINCTION! 91/100- wow! You must be really pleased?
Kezia: I was! I got a really nice certificate and some good feedback in the comments from the examiner so I definitely know what to expect next time.
If you would like to know more about LAMDA, visit their website: https://www.lamda.ac.uk/ or speak to Miss Blackford or Kezia!
Students from the BTEC Performing Arts classes spent a whole day at the Half Moon Theatre in Limehouse working with industry professionals in varying disciplines including lighting, design, stage management, sound and performance to create a fantastic piece of theatre in just one day! This was based on an exciting extract from a script currently in development at the theatre. Students drew on their creativity and worked alongside professionals gaining knowledge and experience of the work that goes on behind the scenes to create a professional performance.
Tahsin from Year 9 said, “I would definitely consider a career in theatre after this experience, not just because of how fun it was but because I would love to do it as a job and now I can consider other things like lighting and not just acting.”
By Daniella Blackford – Acting Head of Drama
What better way to end the 25th year of Swanlea School than with a whole school production of The Wizard of Oz!
The Drama, Music. Art and Technology departments all worked together and since January pupils have been attending rehearsals every week to bring the performance together in time for the final week of the summer term.
Students who wished to take part in the show were invited to audition and there was some very stiff competition indeed! The casting fell into place quite naturally in the end and rehearsals could begin in earnest.
One of the best parts of putting on a production is that pupils from different years and classes get to work together and brand new friendships are made with a lot of laughs and giggles along the way!
Our Munchkins were Miss Agnew’s Year 5 class from Hague Primary School and they were absolutely terrific!
We hope you all enjoyed the show if you were able to see it. We had an absolutely great time!
Congratulations to all of the cast and crew who took part. Photos will be displayed in reception from September and order for prints and copies will be being taken. All proceed will go towards our Cambodia World School fund.
May we wish you all a restful summer break.
Mrs Coulson, Mrs Hibbert and Miss Blackford.