Hyderabad: The Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad Junior School put up its annual musical at its 100-acre campus near Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Close to 150 students from grades 1-5 participated in the production, Change Makers, which was conceptualised, scripted and directed collaboratively by a team of faculty in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) at the Academy. The show title was invented by a Grade 5 student, Yashita Chereddi.
The Chief Guest at the event was Brahmani Nara, Executive Director of Heritage Foods who said “The message about the importance of reading and the arts was beautifully communicated through fun performances. I congratulate the faculty and students for such an engaging experience!”
Change Makers revolves around students in the school library sharing stories from books they are reading, and speaks to concepts of student agency and choice, principles that are strongly reinforced at the Academy Junior School by leadership and all members of staff. The books referenced include “The Giver” by Lois Lowry, “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andrea and Guy Parker-Rees, “Angelina Ballerina” by Katherine Holabird, “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein and “Playing It My Way” by Sachin Tendulkar.
“It was a highly collaborative event with everyone, including students, having input,” shares Chloe Hill, IB PYP Coordinator at the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad and director of Change Makers. “Through activities like this, students develop, or even discover, skills that go beyond regular classroom activities.”
Students performed dances, mimes, gymnastics and yoga sequences as part of the production. Talented musicians, both students and staff, accompanied them on instruments and through choir singing. As they dived into various tales, they demonstrated an appreciation for different aspects of a balanced and fulfilling life. The underlying premise of the musical was that passion for music and dance, a love of nature, mindfulness and enjoyment of sports and play all contribute to leading a happy life; a life in which we are free to choose and express ourselves in different ways. “We had lots of laughs making this play,” said Nayantara Jacob of grade 5, “I can’t wait for next year’s performance!”