Pupils prepare for summer singing festival at Kenneth More Theatre

Schoolchildren singing to prepare for Redbridge summer festival

Hainault's John Bramston Primary School is amongst the schools involved in the Just Sing festival, which will see Redbridge's year six pupils perform at the Kenneth More Theatre in July. - Credit: Kenneth More Theatre

Preparations are under way for a singing festival which will see Redbridge schoolchildren perform at the Kenneth More Theatre next month.

The Just Sing project - a collaboration between the theatre, Redbridge Drama Centre and Redbridge Music Education Hub - is aimed at year six pupils across the borough.

Some 900 pupils have already signed up, with sessions starting last week at participating schools.

Snaresbrook Primary School, John Bramston Primary School in Hainault and Fairlop Primary School are amongst those to have already had sessions with Redbridge Drama Centre, which is provided by Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure (RCL).

Redbridge schoolchildren preparing for summer signing festival

Chloe Holder has been at Fairlop Primary School to offer singing tuition to its year six pupils. - Credit: Kenneth More Theatre

Weekly sessions will continue until the week of July 12, during which there will be four evening performances at the Ilford theatre.

Covid restrictions permitting, pupils - accompanied by a live seven-piece band - will also be performing to an audience.

Vision RCL is producing a film about the project, which will be available after the performances.

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Head of theatre for Redbridge, Sally Brereton, said: "We are really excited to be able to organise this event that is hopefully a really positive experience for the students at the end of a very traumatic and unsettling period of their lives.   

Redbridge schoolchildren preparing for summer signing festival

Gemma Eves and Sally Brereton from Redbridge Drama Centre - provided by Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure (RCL) - are part of the teaching group heading into schools. - Credit: Kenneth More Theatre

"We started our classes last week and it is proving to be a magical and joyous experience so far."

The project has received funding from Arts Council England, through the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

Sally believes such initiatives are vital, particularly in light of a November Ofsted report which highlighted the impact of Covid-19 on children.

"We recognise the mental health of our young people is a great concern to us all and singing is a highly recommended form of exercise both physically and mentally.  

"This funding allows us to provide all the tuition, materials and organisation of the event. The songs have all been chosen that contain messages of happiness and positivity."

Participation for schools is completely free.

Follow @KMTheatre and @RedbridgeDrama on Twitter for session updates as July's performances draw closer.