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West Lynn Primary School

Refugee story brought to life at theatre

The tale of a refugee and his new classmates enthralled our Year 4 pupils when an award-winning children’s book was brought to the stage in Norfolk.

The group visited Norwich Theatre to see The Boy at the Back of the Class, which had been adapted by Nick Ahad from the book by Onjali Q Rauf, and which they had previously studied in class.

Fifty-six children from our school and Clenchwarton Primary

– both members of the West Norfolk Academies Trust – were accompanied on the trip by Year 4 teachers Michelle Ryan from Clenchwarton and Laura Gunton from West Lynn, as well as teaching assistants from each school.

“The theatre had a touring production of The Boy at the Back of the Class, which is a text we had studied in class,” said Mrs Ryan. “The children were so excited about going to the theatre, as many of them had never been to a theatre before.

“There was a real ‘wow factor’ when they entered the theatre and saw the stage and lights. As the lights dimmed, the anticipation was palpable.

“The children continued to listen beautifully as the story unfolded, and loved the elements of audience participation.”

Directed by Monique Touko, the play was a co-production by the Children’s Theatre Partnership and Rose Theatre, and told the story of refugee Ahmed and how his new school friends helped him to find his family.

“This is the first time Year 4 have organised a theatre trip,” added Mrs Ryan. “Many children had not ever been to the theatre, so it had a social and cultural impact – and, in this case, it really brought the learning of the class text alive from English lessons.

“A fantastic day was had by all.”