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Elstree University Technical College, Borehamwood, opened today
Teachers hope the “infectious energy” at a new performing arts school will help the students achieve their dreams of stardom.
Elstree University Technical College, in Studio Way, Borehamwood, opened this morning and teachers already have high hopes for its future.
The non-selective school, for 14 to 18-year-olds, is the first of its kind in England - half of its curriculum includes singing, dancing and drama.
Principal Moira Green said: “It’s exactly how I imagined it. It’s phenomenal and I’m so proud of it.
“Our dream is that in ten years' time, we’ll be in the audience watching as one of the students wins an Oscar.
“It’s so dynamic here. We are trying to move away from an institutionalised feel and want the students to feel relaxed and comfortable.”
To help create a relaxed atmosphere, music will play during break times and students will be encouraged to practice singing, dancing and acting in the common room.
The college is funded by the Department of Education, has strong links with nearby Elstree Studios, and will also work on projects with ITV and music label Polydor.
Deputy headteacher Chris Mitchell said: “It feels like there’s a lot of potential here. Everyone is raring to go and there’s so much infectious energy here. It’s electric.
“Many students have said to me this morning this is the best school ever. We are striving for creativity. It’s good to know we’re on the right track.
In the mornings, GCSE pupils will have core maths, science and English lessons and the afternoons will be reserved for performing arts.
Make-up lessons will also be offered in which pupils will be taught how to make a severed finger and create 18th century wigs.
They will also learn about the technical side of theatre - including lighting, sound and photography.
Top musicians - including Elyar Fox, M.A.D and L.I.A - will perform at the school every week to give the students hands-on experience.
Year 10 student Samantha Bateman, 15, from Hemel Hempstead, said: “I love this school, there’s a great atmosphere. I’ve always wanted to do performing arts so this is an amazing chance. It’s so spacious here too.”
Toby Constand, 16, who has just joined in Year 12, said: “The teachers are great here and not as uptight as the ones from my previous schools. Everyone here is approachable.”
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