Nomanton school’s ‘Oscars’ for young pupils

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THE stars arrived in a limousine.

The guests wore tuxedos and colourful ball gowns as they crossed the obligatory red carpet into the glitzy venue.

Young film maker Jack Oldfield with his 'Oscar'  at Normanton Infant School's 3rd Annual Academy Awards night at Wakefield Theatre Royal and Opera House.

Young film maker Jack Oldfield with his 'Oscar' at Normanton Infant School's 3rd Annual Academy Awards night at Wakefield Theatre Royal and Opera House.

The award winners smiled, blushed and made their thankyou speeches.

And the presentations were followed by a spectacular cabaret.

Was it the Oscars in Hollywood?

No, it was the Oscars in Normanton, where for the fourth year running All Saints Church of England Infant School staged its own version of the famed Academy Awards recognising the talent of actors, writers, directors, set designers, and best newcomers, none of whose ages have yet reached double figures.

The venue was the splendid Wakefield Theatre Royal and Oper House, and its stalls and dress circle were packed with around 250 enthusiastic parents and youngsters.

The school runs a film-making project based on its two After School Clubs.

Youngsters get their inspiration from real films, which they re-write and turn into animations using around 500 stills to create a real ‘movie’.

The actors are plasticine – like Wallace and Gromit characters.

This year’s two films were Mr Billionaire, inspired by the Mister Men children’s characters, and Searching for Nemo 2, a follow-up to the Pixar under-the-sea adventure.

The staff behind the project are assistant head teacher Amy McElhatton and teacher Danielle Parr. But the children take the lead in creating the films.

“There’s always a lot of discussion and debate,” said Ms McElhatton.

The awards ceremony takes place as near the time of the real Academy Awards as possible, and includes as much of the glitz and glamour as Normanton can summon up on an evening in March,

“The Mayor of Normanton provided the limousine,” said Ms McElhatton.

There were even local celebrities to hand over the awards – people like former Wakefield Trinity RL star Neil Fox, Leeds United player Ben Parker, actress Michelle Hardwick from The Royal, and Wakefield Wildcats player Luke George.

Among the 10 award winners were Thomas Evans, six, and Ellie-Mae Brown, seven, named the Oscars “Rising Stars”.

Best Directors were Jacob Shaw, seven, and Jack Oldfield six.

Also celebrating was Mackenzi Davis, seven. She not only won an Oscar for best set design, she also stole the show wearing a full-length ball gown made specially for the occasion by her mum and dad.

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