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Corby Business Academy completes Skylark Ward outreach project

As part of a community outreach project, and in recognition of those in need during the pandemic, students and staff at Corby Business Academy reached out to the Skylark Ward at Kettering General Hospital with the ambition of supporting young patients.

The Academy has produced student video performances containing the children’s favourite books and songs (available to view below).

Simon Underwood, Associate Principal said “The last year has been extremely challenging for society in many ways, this was an opportunity to give something to our wider community and also continue with our commitment to the holistic development of our students.

“Recognising that there are many ways to contribute to others in society is important to us and the students have yet again risen to that challenge. All the staff are extremely proud of this project, we have thoroughly enjoyed hearing of the joy it has given.”

After receiving requests from the children at the Skylark Ward, Drama and English students have worked hard to rehearse and perform a variety of readings, such as: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, Gangsta Granny by David Walliams, an extract from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling and The Book of Hopes by Katherine Rundell.

The videos also contain popular songs and pieces of music performed by students and staff from our Music department, such as: A Million Dreams and This is Me from the renowned musical The Greatest Showman, the Pink Panther theme tune composed by Henry Mancini, and Good Days by SZA.

Tayla Kelly, a Year 12 student, commented “I was really pleased to be asked to be part of the Skylark Ward project and it was lovely knowing that I would be reading one of the stories that was chosen by the children on the ward. Hearing about how excited the children on the Skylark Ward were made me really keen to be part of the filming. I really enjoyed being part of the process and hope that the children and our community really enjoy what we have put together.”

The Academy has been keen to emphasise the enjoyment and pride that students took in the project by creating performances for the wider community. Staff also took the opportunity to link the programme to World Book Day, 2021.

Miss McLellan, Head of Drama, said “It has been a great pleasure to be able to support our wider community by putting together a video to spread some happiness during what has been a very difficult time for all. Our students have demonstrated great talent and such enthusiasm for their performance subjects and have made us proud with their contributions towards World Book Day. Having been in regular communication with the Skylark Ward, it has been particularly rewarding to hear about how excited the children are to receive the video containing their favourite pieces of literature and music.”

Appreciation and feedback from patients and staff at the Skylark Ward have been extremely positive.

Claire Green, Lead Health Play Specialist at Kettering General Hospital, stated “Such examples of work go a long way in to improving a patient’s sense of wellbeing. Being in hospital can lead to a variety of emotions and anxieties and we are always looking for new and innovative ideas to provide distraction and entertainment. Not only was this a lovely idea, we will continue to use some of the clips as tools for patients that we think could benefit from the audio distraction.’

“I would like to commend all of the students who took part in this project. It was great that the students had clear voices and great expressions to add depth and character to the stories.”