Friday April 20th was a very exciting day for the Grade 1 students at House of Knowledge Shunyi. After 9 long weeks of study, exploration, planning and preparation, it was time for the students to present their work on the Grade 1 IPC unit ‘The Stories People Tell’.

The day began at 8:30 am when students, teachers and parents gathered in the yard for the unveiling of the beautiful new mural. A Grade 1 teacher was joined by a parent to perform the official ribbon-cutting to much applause from the audience. The mural depicts a scene of Yeh Shen, the Chinese version of the famous fairytale, Cinderella. As part of the IPC unit, Grade 1 students learned all about storytelling and its many forms across different cultures. The students spent over 1 week working collaboratively to paint the mural, themselves exhibiting another form of storytelling, sharing a story with the whole School community through art.

That afternoon, at 2:30 pm it was time for the performance of ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Students, teachers and parents once again gathered in the Gym which buzzed with excitement and nervous anticipation. After a quick introduction by the Grade 1 teachers, the stage came alive with the music from the classic movie, ‘Beauty and the Beast’. The story unfolded through the medium of movement and dance, yet another form of storytelling, and although no dialogue was used, the concentration and commitment of the young actors kept the audience captivated throughout. There was also plenty of audience participation- as the wicked wolves leaped energetically across the stage, howling filled the Gym, much to the delight of the parents. The entire audience also clapped along as Belle and the servants performed a complicated dance routine to “Be Our Guest”.

Following a short intermission, the intense battle scene and the magical transformation of the Beast into a handsome prince, the young actors lined up for their curtain-call and were given a standing ovation for all their hard work on the final presentations of this IPC unit. The Grade 1 students left with their parents, full of enthusiasm for storytelling and eagerly anticipating the next topic they will explore as part of House of Knowledge’s IPC programme.