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Ringwood Waldorf summer school scores top mark for performing arts

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Children at an international summer school in the New Forest have gained the top mark in an independent performing arts exam.

The ‘theatre camp’, run by the Lewis School of English and hosted at Ringwood Waldorf School, was part of a three-week programme of music, drama, arts, crafts and English language classes.

More than 70 students aged from 11 to 16 years attended from countries including China, Russia, Croatia, Israel, South Africa, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, France and Spain.

Twenty-seven participants devised and performed a show in English imagining the behind-the-scenes goings-on at a travelling circus.

The piece involved stage combat, singing, poetry and mine, and was entered for one of Trinity College London’s performing arts group exams.

An independent assessor from the prestigious exam board awarded the show a rare ‘pass with distinction’, scoring it at a remarkable 100%.

As well as drama and English classes, children at the summer school took part in workshops in animation, newswriting, bushcraft, maskmaking and model glider building.

They also enjoyed storytelling sessions, discos, barbecues and trips to London, Salisbury, the Dorset coast, Bournemouth and Southampton.

Michele Mazzali, 14, from Italy, said: “I enjoyed the school for the funny games and learning activities that we did every day and because my English is now a lot better.”   

Austrian students Nicole Migliorini, 15, and Sona Arakelian, 13, both said they had made a lot of friends and were sad to leave. Sona added: “We definitely want to come again next year.”

This was the fifth year that Ringwood Waldorf School has hosted a summer school in partnership with the Lewis School.

Tony Andrews, summer school co-ordinator for Ringwood Waldorf, said: “We always put a great deal of store into our local community and the summer school is an ideal chance to reach out and cultivate international links too. Everyone really enjoyed learning and sharing time together. We thank all those volunteers and host families who once again provided accommodation, catering and other support.”

Alistair Walker, Director of the Lewis School, said: “For everyone involved, enabling our theatre students to pass the Trinity exam was a fabulous additional dimension this year. It gave them an even greater sense of achievement and they should be rightfully proud.”

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