Sharing experiences across our diverse academies is something that is truly special about being part of a Trust. On Wednesday 28 February, Retford Oaks Academy invited children from Thrumpton Primary Academy and Bracken Lane Primary Academy to attend the matinee performance of their 2023 musical Beauty and the Beast Jnr.

The children were thrilled to make the trip over to Retford Oaks Academy and said they really enjoyed the show from start to finish. Children from Thrumpton wrote postcards to capture their feelings and comments included: “The singing was really good”, “The set was amazing”, “I loved it because Gaston was being funny” and “Thank you for putting on a fabulous performance, the acting skills from the cast were phenomenal”. Thrumpton’s class 3 teacher, Miss Morris said: “The cast, set and whole production was amazing! The children’s behaviour as audience members was fantastic too!”

Children and teachers from both academies particularly loved spotting past students up on stage and went away wondering who the next stars of Retford Oaks Academy will be. Mrs Skelton, from Bracken Lane said: “It is always a pleasure and a privilege to see how past students have blossomed as individuals in the next stage of their lives. The confidence and enjoyment demonstrated was evident which clearly inspired some of our children to say that they wanted to take part in the future.”

Opportunities to bring together our academies and share moments of excitement, showcase skills and allow children from primary settings a chance to be in a secondary academy as guests, is valuable for everyone. Mrs Simpson, head of creative and expressive arts at Retford Oaks and the production manager of the show said:

“It was a fantastic opportunity to be able to deliver our production of Beauty and the Beast Jnr to local primary schools. We hope to inspire a love of creative arts and performing in students across the Trust and we look forward to hopefully welcoming them as part of our production in the future.”

Building strong bonds across the academies through shared experiences like this helps to make the big moments, like transition from year 6 to year 7, seem less daunting and more exciting. Both Bracken Lane and Thrumpton would like to thank the students of Retford Oaks for putting on such a brilliant show.