What Exactly is Rock Challenge?

Rock Challenge at The Whitehaven Academy is widely acknowledged across all year groups, it is a national event in which students, alongside staff, decide on a theme reflecting the personalities, concerns, hopes, dreams and interests of those who create it. There is an anti-drug and crime-prevention ethos throughout and the end piece and event takes the form of a friendly performing arts competition for schools. It is a fantastic opportunity and everyone that takes part gets something amazing out of it. Here at The Whitehaven Academy rock challenge is open to all people within the academy giving people that participate the opportunity to meet new friends and build strong, meaningful, lifelong relationships with students within the academy they otherwise may not have met.

As well as having a positive effect on all students involved it also encourages students within the academy to behave well and maintain a high level of effort across all subjects throughout the whole school to continue to be part of the team.

Our theme this year is based on The William Pit disaster which happened in Whitehaven on 15th August 1947. Sadly, in this disaster 104 people tragically lost their lives. This theme is very poignant and meaningful and was picked as it is personal and close to home due to many members of our team having relatives which were affected by the disaster. The whole team can connect to the topic and portray the true emotions of those touched by the devastating news at the time. The piece will show how two families were affected by the disaster, and hopefully portray the horror felt deep underground as the rescue efforts were unfolding.

The whole team puts in an incredible amount of effort and commitment into rehearsals. To ensure the piece reflects this great effort tireless fundraising must be completed. To date, the team have taken part in two bag packs at Morrisons in Whitehaven where the local community gave very generously, a Christmas movie night where the DVD of the Rock Challenge National Final was shown and all students were in awe at the amazing performances from the top Rock Challenge schools in the country, giving the team the motivation and drive to be their best. And a showcase evening of talent at the Academy, this is where students in the team performed in groups and as solo artists to raise money for our performance, at this show a sneak peak of the 2016 Rock Challenge performance was previewed.

We asked students to describe what Rock Challenge means to them and the responses included; ‘In my opinion Rock Challenge is one of the most confident building schemes within the academy; not just for the performing and dance element of it but also for people’s confidence in themselves. Along the incredible journey the team takes, you can clearly see each and every individual become happier in their own skin and in themselves as a person. The Whitehaven Academy Rock Challenge team is more like a family and the support the pupils give each other is amazing and touching to see; they always stick together and guide each other through tough times. It is a truly fabulous opportunity!’ which illustrates the underlying ethos of Global Rock Challenge of self-belief, challenge and fun.

By Chloe Carr, Emily Nann, Emma Morgan and Bridgette Robinson (Year 12)

Rock Challenge Rehearsal Video