THE show goes on for Stratford College even though its doors are shut.
Work is being set online and video conferencing is allowing classes to interact with their lecturers and receive feedback, with entire classes able to see and hear each other on a computer screen
Musical theatre and dance students are just some of the learners to benefit. Dance lecturer Phil Watson-Smith is delivering online ballet classes, leading a ballet barre session via video call to his class who joined in from home.
He said: “The students used their imagination and improvisation skills, using chairs, banisters and worktops as barres and honed their routines from their bedrooms, kitchens, garages and conservatories”
Musical theatre lecturer Alex Dengate is using a similar approach to teach group singing lessons.
The students have been able to perform to each other, receiving an audience and feedback on the work they present: the software enables the entire session to be recorded for the students to access and review later, and a live feedback function allows students and lecturers to give each other feedback throughout their performances.
He said: “Over the next few weeks, the students will be logging onto online lessons to learn new performance material and to hone and refine their singing skills in readiness for their end-of-year internal-progression auditions for entry to the second year of their course.”
Meanwhile the college’s catering department has taken steps to adapt what would normally be a very practical qualification involving students working daily in the college’s industry-standard kitchens.
The team have been uploading presentations and knowledge tests, and have been asking the students to provide photographic evidence of dishes they have made at home.
Head of hospitality and catering Shelley McGonigle said: “I think students and staff have embraced this positively. Everyone is really trying to ensure that the students still succeed and achieve.”