Norwich pupils take to the stage in confidence-boosting show

The feeling was right on Wednesday as pupils at a Norwich academy took to the stage to show off the confidence gained over months of rehearsals.

Pupils at Ormiston Victory Academy, Costessey, overcame shyness and nerves to put on a performance of the musical Boogie Nights.

Parents, staff and members of the public attended to watch the former Costessey High School academy's Christmas show, performed by pupils from across the school from ages 11 to 19.

'It really boosts their confidence,' said Rachel De Souza, academy principal.

'From the start you see the nervousness, and then they progress and by the end they flower.

'You can really see the difference.'

The academy is known for specialising in science and health, but Ms De Souza is proud of their performing arts.

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And many of the students leave dreaming of stardom.

The major success story is 25-year-old former student Sam Claflin, who starred in the fourth Pirates of the Carribean film released in May, as faith-filled Philip Swift, who falls in love with a mermaid.

'Our performing arts department does very good work, we have a strong tradition,' said Ms De Souza. 'We always put on a strong show and this is one of the biggest that we've done.'

The audience today will be for the governors and also members of the public.

Ms De Souza said: 'We try to get them to do their best. The more the audience is like one at a professional show the more you are stretching yourself.

'One or two of our students are going on to performing arts careers, and they have to have that confidence to make it in the industry.'

In addition to this, yesterday provided local children with an afternoon of engaging entertainment.

The academy's feeder schools, including Costessey Junior and Infants, Bawburgh Primary and Queen's Hill Primary were invited to the show.

'It's always hard to keep kids occupied,' added Ms De Souza, 'but they were wide eyed and clapping, engrossed in the show.'

• Have you recently had your confidence boosted by an achievement? Call Joe Wilkes on 01603 772 439 or email