Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Seven weeks ago, I gave my year eight pupils in 8a and 8b3, a very simple brief. Working in pairs or as individuals, I asked them to design and construct a fantasy island. From this brief, a multitude of fantastical and inspired Islands have been created, and I am incredibly proud of my pupils, for the high standard of work which they’ve achieved.

From the very beginning, each team was asked to think about, the myriad of different features that their island might require. This included the methods by which their island could be accessed, and how their island would be connected and situated to the other islands around it. Consequently some of the islands have been created as archipelagos and have been joined with bridges, boats and roller coasters, to name but a few!

In the Fantasy Island Show, these connections between the islands, and their installation as a cohesive group, becomes a metaphor for the wider school community.
The show reflects, not only the individual personalities involved, but also the friendships and co-operative spirit which form Beaverwood. The islands clearly reflect very idiosyncratic ideas about the world, but are nevertheless inextricably linked to each other.

Running parallel to this in their music lessons, my pupils were asked to think about the themes explored by their islands and to compose soundtracks to accompany them during the show.
The Fantasy Island Show is a premier for these musical themes, and the first time that the islands have been connected and displayed together, as they were originally intended.

Oliver Evelyn-Rahr
Art teacher


This project would not have been possible without the following people:

Louisa Lowing for co-ordinating the composition of pupil’s musical island themes.
Mike Turner and Alan Lingwood for their untiring support.

And Tim Pratt for helping to formulate the project originally.