Junior School French Musical Club
The French Musical Club at St Mary’s Junior School started 10 years ago. Each year Dr Marie-Géraldine Lea and her husband Mr Jon Lea (composer) take a French language classic and turn it into a musical.
The aim is to give each child the opportunity to practise French within a compelling story, through dialogues and songs, and to give pupils the confidence and the courage to act in public in a different language. Dr Lea wants to show them that learning a language is a key; it opens another world, its culture, books and music.
So this year, after musicals including Beauty and the Beast, the Three Musketeers, Around the World in Eighty Days and Tintin, 23 pupils at St Mary’s Junior School (from Years 4 to 6) presented their latest one and a half hour production: Cyrano de Bergerac, based on the famous play written in 1897 by Edmond Rostand.
Each actress stepped with confidence outside her comfort zone to produce a memorable show.
The club is also fortunate to have the very talented Mr Andrew Severy, Computer Science teacher at the Junior School, to manage sound, lighting and SFX with the support of his enthusiastic Junior School tech team.
Two long-time members of the club who have now moved up to Senior School - Vanille H. and Béatrice L. - came back to help this year. Juliette Lea (former St Mary’s pupil) was also responsible for creating scenery.
French and Business, French and Medicine, French and Law … Dr Lea also lectures at the University of Cambridge and sees that combined with other subjects, learning a language can be an inspired choice for students.
At this point in time where fewer pupils in England study languages and where businesses stress that they need people able to operate internationally, staging fun musicals in French is an ideal way to imbue early on in our pupils a love of the subject - and you never know where a new language can take you!
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