I have been incredibly proud of our pupils and staff at Ipswich School during lockdown. Not only has everyone been engaging so enthusiastically in remote learning, but so many have also been continuing to contribute to our rich co-curricular life in these challenging times.
One of the highlights of my role during normal school life is the opportunity to attend co-curricular events. Whether I am watching our teams compete at weekend fixtures, being entertained at drama productions or listening to the various weekly musical offerings, each term allows me to witness the passion and commitment shown by our pupils.
Whilst we are no longer able to participate in many communal activities, so many of our pupils have been really innovative and started to pursue their interests online.
In sport, pupils are training at home, following the coaching videos provided by our very own sports department and then have also been making their own videos and sharing them with our Director of Sport for feedback. This has been hugely popular and allowed many pupils to hone their 3-D hockey skills, their rugby catch-pass and kick skills, their fielding and bowling skills for cricket and handling and game-play for netball.
In addition to enhancing their physical ability, the older pupils have been involved in video-analysis work. Mr Edmondson, Director of Sport, said that although we are really missing the children and fostering the cultural relationships we have been building over the past two years, we are hugely impressed by their desire to improve and their enthusiasm in spite of the situation; we can’t wait to see them once again on site.
Our Drama Department has provided a variety of online activities to the Lower School and Middle School pupils who are currently missing the fun they have at drama clubs and productions.
Middle School pupils have been offered the challenge to learn, rehearse and then perform, to camera a monologue of their choice; while Lower School pupils have created monologues from Aladdin. I especially enjoyed watching a Year 7 pupil playing the role of the Genie who hates the lamp; it was an especially energetic and original portrayal. A Year 9 pupil performed a powerful speech taken from the film “Erin Brokovich” showcasing the enormous talent within the Middle School.
The Music Department has certainly been keeping calm and carrying on! There has been a regular diet of singing and instrumental opportunities. Ordinarily, I would spend my Friday lunchtime enjoying the musical interlude that is Fridays in the Foyer, so I am delighted to say that our regular Friday fix of music making has been taken online by Mrs M Williams! It never fails to amaze me just how talented our pupils are and listening in has been particularly uplifting at this strange time.
In addition, our Saxophone Ensembles, the Wolsey Consort, and the Chapel Choir have been meeting and rehearsing online. Our Senior Singers have had the opportunity to take part in choral workshops with Dominic Ellis-Peckham and are soon to release a video of “Can you feel the love tonight?” from the Lion King.
We have also been treated to several videos which have been expertly produced by Mr Buckley and Mr Abbott which would certainly give professional production teams out there a run for their money! Watch this space as there are more to follow; if you haven’t watched the videos produced to date, you can catch up with them on the Ipswich School YouTube Channel.
Our music making and dramatic performances have not been limited to the pupils; yet another Buckley production saw our staff singing “Lockdown Help” last half term written by Mr Doshi and Mr Clare. This was great fun and raised many smiles at a time when we really needed to focus on the positives. The real positive for me is that Ipswich School’s community has come together to share its talents and produce these special moments.
Mrs Boyle, June 2020