Staff star in talent contest

Swindon Advertiser: School stars, left to right, Steve McKinstry, Bethon Davies, Andrew Barton and Shelly Searle School stars, left to right, Steve McKinstry, Bethon Davies, Andrew Barton and Shelly Searle

PUPILS at Highworth Warneford School had the chance to see their teachers’ hidden skills during a month-long Highworth’s Got Talent competition.

Raising money for the Make a Wish Foundation, staff got dressed up for sell-out performances in the school hall in front of hundreds of pupils who were only too willing to pay.

Deputy head Mark Nye said: “After the success we had last year fundraising with a Strictly Come Dancing theme, we wanted to continue the good work. We wanted staff to come together for a good cause, and it has been going for around a month now.

“We had an audition process, and put posters all over the school. Nine members of staff signed up to do it. They were told from the start they would have to sing in front of 300 children in the hall, and they all took it in their stride.

“During the knock out rounds we had themes, so during the first week we had an 80s theme. We then started to vote on them and we whittled the number down from nine to five contestants.

“The final was on Tuesday, where we had a performance from a larger team of staff who had been helping organise the event.

“At present we have raised £1,571 and counting. All of it will be going to the Make a Wish Foundation, a charity everyone in the school was very keen on supporting.

“Staff have been dressing up and the husband of one of the winners came in to play a guitar solo during a Robbie Williams cover. Everyone has got really involved.”

Mark added there was a rogue Simon Cowell among the judges.

“There have been a whole variety of things going on, from an Amy Winehouse impression to Debbie Harry and Ed Sheeran.

“The children have launched themselves into it with absolute glee. Every show has been a sell out, and there have been banners up supporting their favourite teachers without fail.”

Shelley Searle, joint head of English, was one of two overall winners on the night.

“We have been doing some quite unusual performances and I was delighted to win,” she said.

“I have done a Bruno Mars song, dancing along to Wham, and making a puppet sing along to Pink.

“The pupils have been amazing. They are enthusiastic, encouraging and really supportive. Without them it would not have happened.”

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