Pilrig Park School: The American Dream

Pilrig pupils show us what they're made of in impressive America-focused performance

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Pilgrig Park School: The American Dream

From the costumes to the choreography, there’s not a single aspect of Pilrig Park’s annual showcase that pupils don’t have a hand in. Largely because, unlike other schools where drama and dance are tag-ons after the ‘real learning’ has finished, at Pilrig, the arts are embedded into everything they do.

Home to 80 pupils aged 11–18, Pilrig Park (and in particular, inspirational head teacher, Ellen Muir) has found a way to teach numeracy and literacy in a creative way. So when it comes to staging their annual Festival Theatre production, all the skills required for creating a great show are already in place – including their own critics.

‘The children really demand quality of each other,’ says Muir. ‘They understand that they’re on a big stage with a big audience, and they’re good at giving a critique of the piece. They’ll say it’s really good, but we need to do this to improve.’

This year, the focus is the United States, with pupils looking at American street culture, Disneyland, patriotism and Hurricane Katrina amongst other things.

Catering for children with moderate to complex learning needs, Pilrig Park is often labelled a ‘special school’. Which it really is – but for a whole other reason.

Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Tue 26 Jun

Pilrig Park: The American Dream

Local arts-specialist school Pilrig Park presents its latest show, which almost every child has contributed to in some way, from dancing to costumes.

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