From the Archives: One Foot in the Past - St Giles’ Workshops

Not many of us are afforded the luxury of going back to our school days, a time that many of us remember fondly; a time of our lives over altogether too quickly. However, I was fortunate enough to be granted such an opportunity, courtesy of Assistant Principal of St. Giles’ Catholic Primary School, Michelle Dalgarno.

The purpose of my visit was to deliver a script writing workshop to Years 5 and 6. Each class was well behaved, attentive and knowledgeable, and it was a pleasure to work with them. At the end of the session, each group performed the script that they had written based on ideas the class had generated, and I was pleased with the diverse selection of themes explored.

I was treated to tales set in abandoned hospitals, jungles inhabited by talking animals, and a mythical fantasy world by the name of Candy Land. There were even a couple of musical numbers featured in some of the performances, including a hit by Pink Floyd!

I was then given the unenviable task of selecting one group from each class, whom I would work with to further develop their scripts in preparation for performance during the afternoon school assembly. After much deliberation, I settled upon The Bad Day (Year 6) and The Secret of Candyland (Year 5).

I chose The Bad Day, as it was the most complete script that I saw performed during my visit. The four pupils had taken the theme of a regular family outing, added a hint of drama, a splash of horror and a sprinkling of comedy. The result was a multi-scene script that was both engaging and enjoyable. (They even included a Benny Hill – type chase scene!)

The Secret of Candyland, although short, hinted at a degree of emotion that I insisted the group develop further. The result of their hard work was a heart-warming scene between a brother and sister, reunited against the will of the tyrannical Geoff, the King of Candyland.

Both groups performed their pieces in front of the entire school with confidence and pride.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the school, and hope to revisit again in the future. It was an honour to return to where my passion for creative writing first began,

addressing the school, twenty-six years after having left.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Michelle Dalgarno, the staff, and the pupils of St. Giles’, for making my return an unforgettable and highly rewarding experience.

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