Change Makers musical reflects student agency in Junior School | Aga Khan Academies

Change Makers musical reflects student agency in Junior School

07 December 2018

The Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad Junior School put up its annual musical on the evening of Friday 30th November 2018, 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.

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 div  ed 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.

The Chief Guest at the event was Mrs. Brahmani Nara, executive director of Heritage Foods. She holds a degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from Stanford Business School. One of the foremost businesswomen in Telangana, Brahmani is a regular speaker at forums on business, development and empowerment. She is passionate about food and nutrition, and is also an enthusiastic traveller.

“The message about the importance of reading and the arts was beautifully communicated through fun performances,” Brahmani expressed after the show was over. “I congratulate the faculty and students for such an engaging experience!”

The audience, consisting primarily of students, staff, and parents who brought along their relatives and colleagues, thoroughly enjoyed Change Makers. Set against the winter evening skies on the Academy’s tree-lined boulevard, the show was a spectacle of light, colour and sound, aided by digital technology. It raised the spirits of those who watched it and impacted those who were part of its production at a very personal level.

“We had lots of laughs making this play,” said Nayantara Jacob of grade 5, “I can’t wait for next year’s performance!”