Education to perform

A branch of the Pauline Quirke Academy is based at Highlands School in Enfield
A branch of the Pauline Quirke Academy (PQA) is based at Highlands School in Enfield

PQA Enfield vice-principal Xenia McGinley on how the performing arts academy has been providing tuition for local young people during the pandemic

After providing a whole host of exciting virtual performing arts activities throughout last year’s pandemic lockdown, plus a hugely successful virtual cinema screening event, PQA Enfield has been even busier since returning to face-to-face academy sessions.

PQA Enfield is part of Birds of a Feather actor Pauline Quirke’s ensemble of performing arts academies and is now operating regular weekend sessions for children aged six to 18 years. Since reopening, we have been very busy running our three modules musical theatre, comedy and drama, and film and TV.

In October, students made their own short Halloween films for the PQA ‘spooktacular’ film project and competition, with two films being selected as winners and one as runner up.

In November, we introduced a new initiative, ‘PQA Live’, which allowed young people to continue to participate in the fantastic performing arts projects they love, alongside their friends – but virtually!

In December in the run up to Christmas, students made some more short festive films and also choreographed, performed and filmed their own Bollywood music video.

Will McGinley, academy principle, had this to say about surviving lockdown and what life has been like at the academy since returning to in-person learning: “We are so pleased to have made it through the worst of these challenging times.

“All organised children’s activities are important but performing arts provides children with a vehicle to explore and express their feelings. Never has that been more important than now. Seeing the smiles on the faces of our students when we reopened in September and how delighted they were to see each other again after such a long time apart, was proof of how important it is that organised children’s activities can carry on throughout times like this.

“We were encouraged that the government acknowledged this in the guidelines for the tiered restrictions which allowed us to continue classes [last autumn].”

Myself, Will and the PQA Enfield team of fabulous professionally-trained teachers have been working hard to ensure the academy is as safe as possible. Our safety procedures have included socially-distanced classes, group bubbles and adapted sessions to keep everyone as safe as possible.

One thing is for sure, the PQA spirit is very much unchanged!

PQA Enfield is enrolling now. Classes will run on Saturday mornings from 10am-1pm after the current lockdown restrictions are lifted. For more information or to book a free taster session:
Call 07549 033 800
Email [email protected]