CAP­TI­VAT­ING CARIBBEAN VISIT

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

CHAL­FONT St Peter Academy held a Caribbean themed arts week re­cently and in­vited ac­tress, au­thor and politi­cian Floella Ben­jamin through its doors.

Her visit was said to be the high­light of the whole week as she pro­vided an in­spi­ra­tional and thought pro­vok­ing per­for­mance, en­cour­aged the chil­dren to be am­bi­tious, treat peo­ple well, to for­give and to fo­cus their lives on do­ing good for oth­ers.

Floella told her life story, de­scrib­ing the hard­ships and racism she en­dured, which was the per­fect fol­low up to her re-pub­lished book Com­ing To Eng­land.

The chil­dren also en­joyed a per­for­mance by poet Va­lerie Bloom, who had them all join­ing in with her po­ems and learn­ing some pa­tois, and she signed and sold po­etry and story books.

Each class also had the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in steel drum work­shops with vis­it­ing per­form­ers Sha­reen and Car­lene, pro­duc­ing up­beat and tune­ful per­for­mances.

The chil­dren also loved play­ing the plas­tic bam­boo sticks, and dance ex­pert Marchina led some work­shops with cre­ative style with ev­ery child per­form­ing a Caribbean se­quence by the end of each ses­sion.

The chil­dren also pro­duced pieces of art­work from trop­i­cal fish to car­ni­val masks, Caribbean paint­ings on can­vas, col­lages of beach scenes and pi­rate boats.

Arts leader Brenda Meek said: “It has been a fan­tas­tic week, filled with creativ­ity and op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­plore the arts.

“It cer­tainly makes the hard work of or­gan­is­ing the event worth­while when watch­ing the chil­dren’s de­lighted faces and hear­ing their com­ments that it is the best week of the school year.

“Baroness Floella Ben­jamin im­pressed us all with her warmth and hu­mour, hold­ing the chil­dren and staff spell­bound for well over an hour.

“She en­cap­su­lated many of our school val­ues such as kind­ness, re­spect and gen­eros­ity within her pre­sen­ta­tion, en­cour­ag­ing the chil­dren to aim high and be thank­ful for their ed­u­ca­tion. “Arts Week show­cases our school’s ap­proach to the arts and we shall be ap­ply­ing to main­tain our Arts­mark Gold Award next year.”

PHOTOS: GRA­HAME LARTER BA163992

High­light: Baroness Floella Ben­jamin vis­its Chal­font St Peter Academy

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