Watch as South Tyneside primary school children star in lockdown leavers' production
and live on Freeview channel 276
Students at St Matthew’s RC Primary School, in Alnwick Grove, Jarrow, have been working on a special project during the coronavirus lockdown.
Since the schools closed to all but vulnerable children and those of key workers in March, it didn’t look like Year 6 pupils would have the chance to take part in the annual leavers’ production held at the end of the summer term.
But thanks to the efforts of both staff and students they have managed to produce the whole thing while under lockdown.
Over the last 10 weeks children have been auditioning, learning lines and rehearsing from home, with parents sending in scenes via WhatsApp.
When the school reopened to some year groups in June, they were able to record in their separate “bubbles” with teachers editing the footage together for the final product.
Star Warts – an original musical inspired by the lockdown - was then broadcast live on YouTube and the school's Facebook page on the day the production would have gone ahead.
St Matthew’s headteacher, Martin Humble said: "Every year we do an annual leavers’ production but this year obviously it’s been very different.
"Its a wonderful idea and the work that has gone into it is incredible – both the staff and the children have risen to the challenge.
"It’s been extremely hard work – we recorded four different versions so that everyone had the chance to play a part – but Year 6 teacher, Miss Maddie Wiblin and teaching assistant Julie Limer have worked magnificently to put it all together.”
The pupils have missed out on a number of end-of term events due to the pandemic, but on Tuesday, July 14 – the day Star Warts went live – the whole year group was together for the first time to say their goodbyes.
Mr Humble added: “They have been with us for seven years and we hope to give them a proper leaver’s assembly, with parents and the rest of the school, at a later date to give them the closure they deserve.”