Barnsley team is heading to grand final

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A 66-strong team from Barnsley Academy has won the regional finals of the prestigious ‘Rock Challenge UK,’ with a performance helping to highlights the plight of the refugees.

The event, held at Magna Science Adventure Centre last month, saw the academy take on schools from across the North of England, with each school tasked with producing a five to eight minute performance, reflecting the personalities, concerns, hopes, dreams and interests of those taking part.

Rock Challenge is a series of performing arts events promoting healthy life choices. Supported by the Be Your Best Foundation, the annual event sees thousands of young people take part in three regional finals, culminating in a grand UK National Final - with this year’s held in June.

As part of the challenge, teams of up to 100 performers, 20 stage crew and 14 support crew - including students and teachers - choreograph their own dance-drama production, as well as designing and making their own sets and costumes and selecting and recording the medley of music for their soundtrack.

The Barnsley Academy team, made up of students from Years 7 to 10, performed ‘Lost Children’ - which told the story of a family of refugees, fighting to survive another day - for a team of industry-specialist judges. They will now compete in the grand final on June 30, in Grimsby.

Barnsley Academy principal, Stephen Dixon, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and testament to the hard work of all those involved, who have been rehearsing every week since November.

“Also special thanks to South Yorkshire Police, who sponsored the team’s t- shirts. We now look forward to cheering them on in June’s grand final.”