It is absolutely lovely to see Rock Challenge® senior teams working together to help out with their local junior school’s J Rock™ performance – it creates a connection within your local community and a connection between the junior and senior event days which is great. We’ve gathered some stories from three of our Rock Challenge® Ambassadors who have had hands on experience with creating both junior and senior performances at the same time! Their stories will highlight some of the many benefits that can come from working together and embracing the Spirit of Rock Challenge®!
“In 2017 Aberdeen had its first J Rock™ event. As it was the first junior event in the area, every school was new to the experience and the enthusiasm was fantastic. Near the start of the academic year, a few of the local primary schools contacted our school to as if anyone in our team would like to help out. I was so excited and thought it would be an amazing opportunity to gain leadership experience, but also because I love helping with the production of a Rock Challenge® performance. Myself and a few other students helped the primary school with choreography and soundtrack, and gave our knowledge on how the competition side of things works. We attended as many of their rehearsals as possible to ensure we remained ontop of our own school work. I picked up time management skills through this experience as I had to balance school work and my part-time jobs. On the day of the event, we came along to show our support and assist with face-painting, lighting and video. It was important to us to make sure that all the students had an amazing day as having fun was always more important to us than winning.”
“One of the highlights of my Rock Challenge® experience was getting involved in helping the local primary schools with their J Rock™ performances. As I was planning – and am currently studying – to go down the route of primary teaching, the opportunity to help with J Rock™ teams was invaluable to me. It offered me the unique experience, gaining insight into what goes on after school hours, how to create more opportunities for the pupils and how to get the best out of an opportunity like Rock Challenge®. Not only did it help me pave my career path, but it allowed me to pass on my experience and passion for Rock Challenge® to other children and staff. It was really amazing to see them get so excited and become passionate about it too. I also felt that, coming from a small community, it really bought the community together and more involved in Rock Challenge® as a whole. I would strongly recommend volunteering to help your local J Rock™ team as it is such an enjoyable and rewarding experience.”
“At my school, we have always offered extracurricular clubs to our cluster schools and last year we thought why not widen that choice to involve J Rock™. We used this as a way to help our S5 pupils gain the leadership skills they would need to coach the Rock Challenge® team this current year. We started off by sending letters to the local schools to see who would be interested and when we heard back from the primary school closest to us, we then set off to meet them and get started! The coaches choreographed the dances, mixed the soundtrack and built the set that they required for their performance and throughout the year the primary school would come and practise in our big gym hall. On the day, they came to our school in the morning allowing them to feel even more involved in the day and the amazing performance that they had created, and from then on we were known as ‘Team Montrose’.
Having the link with the school gave both teams the support they requried and allowed the students to gain communication skills, confidence, team building skills and how to work with people of all ages and abilities.
I would recommend creating a link between your local primary school and providing them (or anyone else) that comes to you for help if you can provide them with it as the experience is one of a kind and the ‘Team Montrose’ link is still going with the current S5 and 6 pupils and is something I can see lasting a long time.”
I think it’s easy to see the all-round benefits to creating a link between primary and secondary schools. So, if you’re a new J Rock™ team looking for some guidance or a secondary school looking to gain skills from working with juniors, get in touch with your local schools and make it happen!