It seems impossible that we are already two thirds of the way through the school year and what a year it has been so far! Our students continue to make us proud, in many different areas. The talents of our students have been showcased at the ‘Rock Challenge’ dance show, where we were a ‘Premier School’. The drama production of ‘Les Miserables’ was simply stunning – and just exemplified the ethic of excellence that permeates everything we do as a school in and out of lessons. We also continue to excel on the sports field as well, having made great progress in a number of regional and county competitions. We were champions of a local Mathematics challenge and winners of the Worthing round of the National Mock Trial challenge (a new event for us). I am sure like me you feel a huge sense of pride in what your children/our students achieve.
We took another step on the ‘Durrington journey’ as 1 April saw us convert to become an academy; it remains as we said ‘business as usual’. We will always continue to do what is in the best interest of our students. The last term has also been a pivotal one for Year 9, 10 and Year 11. Year 9 students have made their all-important option choices for next year and of course Year 11 are entering the final stages of their preparations for their GCSE exams. On top of this, Year 10 are also preparing for GCSE exams next term in English literature, statistics and science. Staff and students have worked tirelessly to support Year 11 prepare for their exams, with hundreds of after school revision sessions and of course the forthcoming sessions in the Easter holidays. We have also held a very successful evening ‘Study Skills’ sessions for parents and Year 11 students. Everyone has been really impressed with the positive attitude our students have adopted – attendance at before/ after school revision sessions has been incredibly high, demonstrating a real sense of determination and commitment among our students. We are confident that they will be rewarded in the summer, when their results are published.
As always, I would like to thank you for your support this term and wish you and your family a happy and relaxing Easter.
“Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could do Les Misérables?” Said our Headteacher “it’s my favourite musical” and so the seed was planted. Cue hours of talking logistics and potential casting suggestions before Mrs Isham and Miss Maughan agreed to give it a go!
Auditions were held in September and we knew then that DHS had the talent to pull off this extravaganza. Months of planning and hard work at rehearsals have gone into making the show a success and many favours have been called in from the local community.
The students have been a joy to work with and a credit to themselves as they have demonstrated tenacity, hard work, fun and professionalism night after night. Audiences have been stunned by the high standard of the performances from every single cast member. We have repeatedly been complimented on our soundtrack only to proudly reveal our amazing and headed up by John Woodman. The sound and lighting designed and operated by Bryan Mercer and Marc Woollard has added intensity and professionalism to a visually stunning piece. You audibly heard a gasp of awe as Andy Taylor’s incredible barricade was revealed at the start of set 2.
There have been too many kind words and praise to list them all and nearly every member of the audience has picked out different favourite characters and performances. Some feedback included:
‘Best school show I have ever seen (and none of my children are in the cast) an incredible show.’
‘It was a fantastic, amazing production. Loved it’.
‘Wow, sums it up perfectly.’
‘Quite simply OUTSTANDING. Tears in eyes my eyes – LOVED IT’.
‘I want to see it again’.
As for the cast, they have learnt so much and come so far, confidence has been built, adoration received and lifelong friends made. An experience they are desperate to repeat, the staff, however, need a rest!
It was a real pleasure to have a brilliant audience in to see the Dress rehearsal for Les Mis. We had an invited group of students in from a variety of schools from the area including West Park and St Andrews. For many of them this was their first experience of theatre including James Trew from West Park, who said “It was alright, it is my first time to see theatre”.
Many of the West Park students will be coming to Durrington next year so were really excited to get a glimpse of the work we do in school including Harrison Bone who said “Amazing singing”.
Jack Collet said “Really good acting and was amazed by how long the cast could hold some of the notes on for”.
Alex Bury thought it was really good singing and picked out lead boys for praise Ben Gardiner Jean Val Jean and Kamil Faris as Javier
Abbey Grima simply said “WOW”.
A group from St Andrews had volunteered to come to see the show as they were interested in music and drama.
William Slater thought the singing performance was great and in particular highlighted the talents of Hollie Martin who plays Cosette.
Robert McKay thought Francis Arthur Worsop who played Thenardier the master of the house was funny and cheeky. He, like many thought that Kamil’s performance of Javier was outstanding. In hushed tones some students who had seen the film though he was better than Russell Crowe.
Jacob Jones had seen the film which he liked but was also enjoying our production.
Tim Dozen, also from St Andrews, really enjoyed it especially the use of the trap door when Francis and Tilly Ashmore popped out from it during the song as it was unexpected.
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