COMMUNITY OF SCHOOLS CONCERT | 'Getting to dance on stage was awesome!'

The annual Community of Schools concerts have been running for about 10 years, developed as an opportunity for several local schools to work together and put on a display of items of creative and performing arts from each school involved.

The COS ensemble developed from that to enable opportunities for primary-school pupils to extend their dance skills and work with high-school students on a dance work.

Community of Schools also enables the staff to collaborate and engage in professional learning on a common project.

This year's COS concert was held last month, and coincided with Education Week. It was a display of creative and performing arts across Holsworthy High School and our three feeder primary schools, Hammondville Public School, Holsworthy Public School and Wattle Grove Public School.

The Community of Schools concert committee is made up of teachers who represent each school.

School ambassadors included Kayla Grant (of Holsworthy High) and Shona Waugh (of Hammondville Public), Peter Ward (of Holsworthy Public) and Nicole Cameron (of Wattle Grove Public).

There are about 400 performers from across all our schools and 25 student volunteers from Holsworthy High, most whom belong to the technical production team which is responsible for running the show.

It's a display of community collaboration with the concert concluding with the combined COS ensemble comprising students from year 4 through to year 9 with the grand finale item involving all the students.

Year 12 student Chloe Langdon, of Holsworthy High, was the student captain of the technical production team, who explained her role, how she met the challenges and what she personally gained from the whole experience.

"As the tech crew manager for Holsworthy High my role was to organise and run the Community of Schools concert from the production side of things," she said. "In preparation, I worked with a team of students, setting up equipment requirements for the show and ensuring my team was prepped in the roles they had to undertake.

"Yes, there were quite a few challenges we had to deal with and the skills I learnt in being flexible and able to problem-solve were invaluable. When the show runs smoothly it's a real testament to the skills and abilities you're able to draw on from yourself and the whole team.

"The COS concert gives students the opportunity to take on leadership roles and to have the benefit of great teachers to mentor us. Mrs Grant was the teacher in charge of the tech crew and she allowed us to make decisions and gain confidence in our contribution to the concert project.

"It's also wonderful to get the chance to meet new people and see all the things they've been working towards throughout the year."

Year 4 pupil Mia Kouwenberg, of Holsworthy Public, was also involved in the production. "When I was auditioning for it I was quite nervous, worried that I wouldn't keep up," she said. "When I found out I was in, I was so happy!

"When preparing for the show, I came to school wearing dance clothes for the practise sessions. People gave me some funny looks but I didn't care.

"On the day of the concert, I had to bring in three costumes -- my drama blacks and my costumes for the senior dance and the COS ensemble.

"Costume-changes were hard at the night-time performance. My costumes were put in a room that was locked! I was stressing but everything turned out OK.

"The finale item was the best. Getting to dance on the stage was awesome!"

What did did she get out of it personally? "After all the drama I got a couple of specific things out of it. I met a new friend, whose name is Zoe. She's from Hammondville but I don't get to see her until the auditions next year. She's funny and nice.

"I also learnt some new skills, especially how to pick up things quicker and how to adjust to different emotions."

Darren Monte is head teacher of Technological & Applied Studies and Kayla Grant is PDHPE/Dance teacher at Holsworthy High School