Across the Prep School our theme for the term was ‘Onward Bound’ which enabled teachers to design learning linked to the moving-on and growing-up transitions that occur in School at year end. In designing a fitting Performing Arts production, it was this that inspired Year 4 teacher Mrs Luckett to write a new version of the Peter Pan story entitled ‘Pan in Neverland’ with character parts written specifically for our talented pupils to encourage them to celebrate childhood imagination without wishing to grow up too quickly.
Year 6 pupils accepted the sizeable responsibility of brilliantly leading the performance in the principal roles as the Darling family, Narrators, Tiger Lily, The Lost Children and The Pirate Crew. Iona Mettrick (Year 6, Gwyn) embodied the character of Pan with natural charm and charisma from the outset, whilst Gabriella Hughes (Year 6, Lockwood) and Molly Harding (Year 6, Lockwood) created stunningly witty, mischievous, and meddlesome representations of Tinker and Bell, the naughty fairy duo. Together, Year 6 led us to the Darlings’ nursery where our Year 2 children sprang to life as the ballerinas, puppets and tin soldiers who awaken from the toy box and dance whilst the Darlings sleep. When Wendy read a bedtime story to Pan and the fairies, we enjoyed a hilariously confident re-telling of Jack and The Beanstalk from Year 1, with a very grumpy mother played by Harriet Oldham (Year 1, Gwyn) and a resounding ‘Fee Fi Fo Fum’ delivered by Reggie Firth (Year 1, Baker).
The Pirate Crew had dedicated many hours to perfecting the difficult and demanding task of creating sophisticated comedy, ultimately presenting this with great intelligence, skill and timing. They were rightfully terrified by the approach of our fearless Reception Class crocodiles who displayed no hint of nervousness whatsoever as they stood in front of a very full marquee and delivered individual lines of a poem with great clarity, confidence and audibility. At Marooner’s Rock, the pirates were careful to avoid clashing with the notoriously dangerous Year 3 Mer People who emerged fiercely to guard the seas with their tridents as a tempest brewed.
Freya Richards’ (Year 6, Lockwood) Tiger Lily bravely untied herself from the pirates’ ropes, without needing a saviour, before returning home to her Year 5 warrior tribe. A celebratory tribal dance ensued in the form of an exceptionally challenging but beautifully executed African Body Percussion routine. Meanwhile, having captured the children, the Year 4 crew of The Jolly Roger presented life aboard ship and expertly y0-ho-hoed their way through their pirate dance to the catchy tune of The Wellerman. The audience was invited to state with conviction that ‘I do believe in fairies, I do, I do,’ which successfully reinvigorated a poisoned and ailing Tinker before Pan flew off to put an end to Hook, save all the children, and fly the Darlings’ back home to their anxiously waiting parents and a rousing finale.
With glorious costumes from Mrs Wilkinson and an enormous amount of effort from the wider Prep School staff, our families were able to enjoy a spectacular end to a wonderful year. Events concluded with the following words of advice from Pan, ‘Well don’t be growing up too quickly will you. Childhood is short and precious so enjoy every moment. And remember, it’s second to the right and straight on ‘til morning… Just don’t look down!’
Mrs R Luckett, Year 4 Teacher