The school held its Christmas Community Event on Tuesday, December 19th from 4,30pm to 7pm. The purpose of this year’s event, organised by Ms L Horton, Assistant Headteacher and Head of Sixth Form, was for sixth form students to serve members of the local community. Guests, aged fifty five and over were invited to a free
Christmas style buffet followed by a performance of Little Women. The hope was that the event would be a great way to give the students an opportunity to meet members of the local community that they otherwise would not meet and to establish links between the school sixth form and the wider Ruislip community.
On entering the space designated for the event, guests were offered tea or coffee served by the students. They were then invited to take a seat at one of the tables where two or three students were waiting to greet them. Various tasty and festive snacks, which had been donated by students, were available for the guests to enjoy. All the students were very welcoming and really seemed happy to engage in friendly conversations with their guests; it was a real pleasure to witness the different generations interacting with each other. During the first hour guests were invited by Mr Peacock, Head of Year 12, to take part in a quiz which added to their entertainment.
Further entertainment was to follow. At 5.30pm guests were ushered into the Hall for a performance of Little Women by students from a mixture of year groups throughout the school who had been rehearsing one evening a week after school from September. Great credit must go to Mr Randall, Head of Drama, for his creative adaptation of the American writer Louisa May Alcott’s original novel. Although this novel was written in 1868, has been read by generations of girls and is still popular today, its themes still resonate with today’s generation.
The story revolves around the March family – mother referred to as Marmee and her four daughters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Mr March is away, serving as a chaplain during the American Civil War. It is Christmas time and the first time the family cannot be together. Although poor themselves Mrs March instructs her daughters to give their breakfast away to an impoverished family whose children are hungry. Hearing of this their wealthy neighbour sends them dinner. Both Meg and Jo have to work to support the family.
The original novel details the sisters’ passage from childhood to womanhood and today’s readers can recognise that treatment of women, in some ways, has not greatly improved. It also deals with poverty, the true meaning of Christmas, the importance of family and friendship – aspects of our modern day society which are particularly significant in 2023.
However, the entertainment for the audience was derived from some excellent acting performances. The students who played the members of the March family deserve special mention for their portrayal of the diversity of the sisters’ personalities and the strength of Mrs March. Meg was played by Alexia, Jo by Giselle, Beth by Laylah, Amy by Katie and Mrs March was played by Lily. However, it must be said that every member of the cast of this amazing show performed at the highest level.