The ‘Spirit of Rio’ programme was an exciting prospect for Lambeth Academy in enabling us to work alongside our local community in producing a large-scale Cultural event that was far-reaching.
The overarching two aims of the programme at Lambeth Academy was to firstly, promote engagement within the community of young people and to enable students to explore values from the Olympic and Paralympic 2012 post legacy plan.
‘Spirit of Rio’ provided us with the unique opportunity of showcasing a Carnival in the run-up to the Summer festivities with Rio de Janeiro, being the home of the world’s most exuberant and popular Rio Carnival Parade. 140 pupils across the year 9 cohort worked closely with students from local feeder primary schools throughout two intensive days of workshops including: Dance, Music and Art and Design, and Catering. Devised pieces from the various disciplines drew upon distinctive Rio Carnival designs, sounds and Brazilians rhythms and were crafted together on the final day in re-creating the vibrant and energetic Carnival feel. The final piece was showcased outside for the local community and invited audience members.
The ‘Spirit of Rio’ programme has acted as a catalyst for a number of young people, with a potential to be exceptional role models and strong young leaders to undertake the role of ‘Spirit of Rio’ Ambassadors. The young ambassadors played an integral role during the programme, guiding primary school students and supporting their peers during the creative workshops and encouraging performers during the final showcase.
Importantly, the programme has enabled us to bring together a sense of community and instilled a sense of team work and responsibility with our young people. The Key Olympic and Paralympic values underpinned each of the workshops and the final performance. The following values were explored:
Community and Increased Participation: The view will be to use the project as a catalyst to enhance relationships with local primary schools and the local community, setting-up an annual performance showcase and to encourage further future collaborations.
Excellence: In receiving, professional training from world-class performers, we aim for students to strive for excellence within their work, to feel proud of the work they produce and showcase to an audience.
Commitment and Determination: the project involves working towards deadlines, attending workshops and additional rehearsals. A high level of commitment and drive will be required to help see-through the workshops and collaborate together to build a Carnival parade.
Team work, Friendship and Respect: A key focus will be upon working as part of a team and learning to take on various roles, in order to deliver workshops to feeder primary schools and to work together towards a common goal.
Inspiration: Enabling young people to learn new interests and skills, encouraging them to share and develop ideas to complete the project.
Furthermore, it has helped to highlight some of the wonderful work from the charity ABC Trust who work with communities in Brazil at grassroots level to support children and young people. Our ‘Spirit of Rio’ participants were incredibly excited in the lead-up to the event and showed a real maturity and understanding of the themes inherent within the trust’s work and the significance in collaborating working in attaining goals and gaining a sense of community. The primary school workshops were one of the key highlights of the programme and students were very supportive of one another and helped to generate a hub of Creativity and Determination over the two days. The Carnival has helped to leave a legacy of teamwork, friendship, respect and a thirst for excellence within our younger people and student ambassadors and a community of creative and thoughtful young artists.