Students from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London visited Marlborough’s St John’s Academy this week to work with GCSE drama students in a project to create a better world in the future.
The purpose of the project is to encourage young people to create the world they want to see, in a way that reflects and enriches their reality rather than negatively distorting it through the use of unattainable ideals.
And to promote healthy body image in young people as they grow up.
The six Central School students, Ellie Mayes, Andrew Dean, Maria Hazlewood, Claudia Lander-Duke, Hannah Monga and Jack Williams, are all undergraduates at the University of London.
They ran an afternoon workshop which was devised in association with Shape Your Culture, a project run by AnyBody UK / Endangered Bodies London.
The students have done their own fundraising to cover their travel costs and have visited four London schools in recent weeks to deliver their workshop.
One of the students, Ellie Mayes, was a student at St John’s until 2008 where she studied A-level Drama and was keen to bring the workshop to St John’s.
“I enjoyed my years at St John’s and it has been great to visit the new school building and meet some of my old teachers,” said Ellie.
“Working with the GCSE students was a fun experience with a serious message. Our workshop aims to give the students the right tools to make decisions and choices for themselves concerning issues surrounding body image and the way society and media depicts this.”
The workshop involved a short performance, a discussion on the issues and some exercises in the style of forum theatre.
Mrs Carole Awbery, assistant vice principal at St John’s organised the workshop.
“It is always a pleasure to see our former students return and hear what they have been doing since they left St John’s,” said Mrs Awbery. “We are very grateful to Ellie for bringing the workshop to St John’s. It has been a valuable experience for our students, not just in terms of the importance of the content of the workshop to their lives, but also to meet students from the Central School .”
The eighteen Year 10 Drama students found the workshop interesting and valuable.
Kai said “The performance and workshop were really fun and interesting and has given me lots of ideas to use in my Mock Drama GCSE Exam,” and Harry added: “The Forum Theatre activity was insightful about the workings of the human mind.”