A bit more thought needed

By | May 12, 2017

Last week, D was invited to sing in a “summer gala” with her school, at a local secondary school.

As anyone who regularly reads my blogs will know that D suffers from a great deal of anxiety but – and we are so, so pleased at this – her music teachers have a softly, softly, positive encouragement rapport and  she will now get up on a stage in a group and sing.  It’s wonderful!

So, we were very pleased to know that we would be able to attend.   Her school referred to it as a “musical gala” in letters home so we anticipated music and singing and all things positive – you would, wouldn’t you?

Oh how wrong we were!

The aim of the “gala” seemed to be to showcase some drama performances from year 13 pupils that had been very highly graded, with the inter-school singing almost tagged on as an after-thought at the end.

The drama performances were very good but with the first dealing with the implications on a family of a car crash and the second focusing on a cancer diagnosis, they didn’t feel appropriate for the younger members of the audience (pupils from age 7 would be singing), with younger siblings in the audience.  The latter performance featured a number of swear words (p*ssed, b*gger, blo*dy) and for a young audience and SN children who are prone to repetition and echolalia, it all very felt wrong.

Not to forget to mention the short drama film which featured demonic possession! Wrong for the audience, so so wrong.

It turned what should have been a lovely occasion into a “I want to walk out and take D home but I can’t” and “how much of this is she taking in?”

D’s group singing, tagged on at the end for ten minutes was wonderful, but like I say, tainted.

I’ve hesitated about writing about this because I don’t like to complain, unless I feel it’s totally justified, but we both felt disappointed that a secondary school could have been so inconsiderate and dismissive of its audience to feel that these topics (and the swearing) were okay for the audience.

I wrote to the Head teacher and received this today:

 “…agree that the drama pieces may not have been suitable for such a wide audience and we reflected on this afterwards. We will learn from this for the future and I apologise to you and your daughter for any offence caused…”

So, an apology and they “reflected on this afterwards”.  Good.  But a little thought and consideration beforehand would have avoided this.  

I’m not going to “name and shame” the school, I could, but that’s not like me.  I doubt though that we’ll be giving permission for D to attend any future “galas”, reflection afterwards – good, reflection, consideration and thought as to your potential audience NEEDED.

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