NOW Festival Winners 2018 !

Year 10 Performing Arts students from Archbishop Blanch win the Best Overall Performance Award at the end of the three day NOW Festival 2018!

After winning the best performance of the night on Thursday 1st February 2018, our class of 17 Year 10 Performing Arts students went on to win the Best Overall Performance, as well as the Best Supporting Session Plan during the final awards ceremony on Friday 2nd February. A large number of primary, secondary, vocational and extra-curricular schools took part in the festival which aims to raise awareness of mental health in young people and share the message that ‘mental health is everyone’s business’.

This year the theme of the festival was ‘My Mental Health, My Education’. After a number of inspiring practical workshops at Merseyside Youth Association our students got to work devising their own piece during their KS4 Performing Arts lessons. The process and outcome has been hugely beneficial towards their studies, helping to support students’ progress in all areas of their L2 Performing Arts course and has certainly brought the class together.

Working at an extremely high and mature level our students created a very poignant and thought provoking piece called ‘My teacher thought I was so I am’. The piece considers how teacher’s thoughts and perceptions of young people can affect their life, not only throughout their education, but also once they’ve left school. ‘My teacher thought I was so I am’ explores how easily students can be labelled/stereotyped by the education system and how this can subsequently limit and impact them. The piece reflects the possible consequences of this issue on young people’s mental health and ultimately questions how often students simply become what others say/think they are.

‘My teacher thought I was so I am’ uses drama, dance, physical theatre, music, costume, props and projection to portray the serious subject matter which has a positive ending that remains students and staff that they are not alone.

Three of the cast enjoyed spending time in the Radio City tower talking to Mick Coyle live on air about the importance of recognising mental health and encouraging people to talk more openly about it. Of course, they managed to get in a shout out to the cast and the whole school as well as to promote their performance!

After winning the Overall Award at the Now Festival our students bravely performed in front of our whole school during our Lenten Service as well as for all of our staff during a Twilight session. They hope to go on tour around other secondary schools in the near future.


“You have the ability to hold me back or make fly”; “Today I spent being who you wanted me to be”; “If I taught my students on an individual basis they would only have 2 minutes each per week”; “You can’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree”.

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"Our two daughters have had the best start in life thanks to the caring, enthusiastic and hardworking staff of Archbishop Blanch School. Choosing the right secondary school for one's children is such a difficult task, but we could feel the special ethos of ABS on our first visit. You inspire your pupils to achieve the academic heights of which they are capable in a happy, safe and vibrant environment."
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