Our class of 2020 hit the high note
Interview with Year 13s following their 'A Million Dreams' Performance
After the social media sensation following the performance of our Virtual Choir’s ‘A Million Dreams’, we caught up with some of our Year 13 students who took part to hear their thoughts on making the final recording and how it feels to leave school during the COVID-19 lockdown.
How does it feel to leave school?
Sally, “It’s bittersweet, I’ll be sad to leave as I have made some great friends over the years and the all staff have been hugely supportive, but I am also so excited to take the next step to university.”
Emily, “It’s been hard, but the teachers have been so supportive, and I feel proud to be leaving AKS with the skills I need to go on into my future and amazing memories too.”
Niamh, “With such an abrupt ending there was no time to say the usual ‘goodbyes’ and so forth however I am excited for us all to come back together and celebrate properly.”
How long have you been at the school?
Sally, “I was at Arnold school since Year 2 and then as the schools merged, I was one of the first Year 7s, AKS has been my whole senior school experience.”
Emily, “I have been at the school since Year 7, after joining from Lytham Hall Park Primary School.”
Niamh, “I joined the school in 2011 at the beginning of year 4 when we were still KEQMS.”
What's your favourite memory of school / being in the 6th form?
Sally, “A highlight for me was going to Buckingham Palace when winning the ‘Tycoons in Schools’ competition.”
Emily, “I think a huge highlight of Sixth Form was the Round Square conference in Canada too, which had a lasting impact on me.”
Niamh, “Some of my favourite memories are from the five musicals that I’ve been part of.”
What are you going on to do next?
Sally, “Next year I am hoping to go to the University of Edinburgh to study Chemistry.”
Emily, “I am going to study English at Manchester University.”
Niamh, “I’m taking a year out as University didn’t feel right for me just yet. AKS has helped me feel comfortable with this decision and have opened my eyes to many opportunities outside of University of which I am extremely excited to explore.”
How did it feel to record 'A Million Dreams'?
Sally, “Recording songs for the virtual choir is such a great way to stay connected from home, however it is sad in some ways as an ideal situation would be to have performed them in the school concerts as planned.”
Emily, “It was so rewarding, as it means we have something we can look back on in the future as a memory of the music department… it was emotional to see the finished result!”
Niamh, “I had the idea of creating ‘A Million Dreams’ a couple of weeks ago as a ‘Thankyou’ to Mr Waterhouse for everything he had done for the music department. I hope this won’t be our last performance!”
What has the camaraderie in the Performing Arts department been like during lockdown?
Sally, “We have group chats online to help with any parts people are struggling with and a weekly skype call with chamber choir to keep up with any updates or new opportunities. The communication has been great especially in times like these when it is important to stay connected.”
Emily, “There’s been a real sense of community in the Performing Arts departments during lockdown…The music and drama staff have been setting lots of challenges and activities to keep us connected. I have absolutely loved taking part in virtual choir!”
Niamh, “We have a very close working community and so it was crucial we stay in touch. We’ve had weekly meetings and regular emails from teachers checking up on us. We’ve had new challenges each week to ensure we don’t lose our spark.”
What is your advice for current Year 12s?
Sally, “To enjoy your last year of school as much as you can during a stressful time, as it flies by quickly and you can sometimes forget to just enjoy the whole school experience.”
Emily, “To find a balance of hard work and making amazing memories. This whole situation has taught me to really enjoy life while it is happening, and make sure to be grateful for your friends and teachers while they are around you!”
Niamh, “To enjoy every moment of their time at AKS. …[The] hard work and determination will be so worth it in the end. You never know what the future will bring so just try your best and treat yourself with kindness!”