Congratulations to our Online Eisteddfod participants!

I think we can all agree 2020 has been a rather upside-down year. As a teacher, it’s certainly provided some challenges, as well as some totally unexpected opportunities.

When things began to lockdown near the end of Term 1, Amy and I had to completely re-think our curriculum. In Term 2 our students would normally perform in the Inner West Eisteddfod, having spent the beginning of the year choosing pieces and rehearsing them in preparation for the big event. Breaking the news to our students that (like most of 2020), eisteddfods would also be cancelled, was… well, a total bummer. Seeing their little faces fall was heartbreaking – hadn’t they dealt with enough change?

We decided to think creatively. We’d been quick to adopt Zoom online lessons and, as our confidence with that new teaching channel grew, the idea also presented itself – what if we held a virtual eisteddfod? Our years of watching, adjudicating and MC-ing eisteddfods meant we kind of knew how they ran but organising our own eisteddfod and taking it online…? That seemed a bit too bold! How would it even work?!

Well, flash-forward to present day and we could not be happier with how the Viva Voice Online Eisteddfod went. We had more than 80 students participate in an enormous 24 eisteddfod sections over three weeks of competitions.

And, my goodness, there were so many positives…

  • We got to hand-pick our incredible industry judges, who provided the most beneficial and thoughtful feedback
  • Students who’d always been too frightened by a live-audience decided to give this online opportunity a go – changing their Zoom view to their own reflection in order to make it less daunting (and they did so well!)
  • We were able to pick some new sections and set pieces which we knew our students would love and which would challenge them further
  • Our eldest kids learnt completely new skills better suited to an online environment – such as self-tapes, voice over and screen acting
  • For the first time, our Drama students were able to compete in the eisteddfod, as we created sections specifically for them!
  • I mean, I could go on and on, but I’ll leave you with this last one…
  • THE DANCE PARTIES!!! Seeing our students and their families bust out some groovy moves together as a community on Zoom was incredible. We even had some rockers join us all the way from New York City! I mean, how cool is that??

Overall, in a time when it felt like everything was being cancelled or postponed, it was our absolute privilege to give the students a goal – an opportunity to perform and to achieve something for themselves.

To see their sense of pride and accomplishment was truly wonderful for us teachers.

So, no regrets about our bold decision! We’re thrilled we stepped into the unknown and organised our very first online eisteddfod. It’s not something we ever imagined our team doing this year (or ever really!), but we’re also proud we did it and that our students got so much out of the experience.

A massive congratulations to all of our students for their efforts this term, jumping into online lessons with open-minds and enthusiasm. For learning their pieces and improving each week. For simply showing up and not letting Covid-craziness put the brakes on their learning. They’re really all winners in my book!

But, of course, we also have some official winners who deserve some virtual rounds of applause:

Section 1: 5/U Set Poem

1st Samantha L, HC Ivy B, Annika M

Section 2: 6/U Set Poem

1st Leonardo M, 2nd Andrew C, HC Samantha L, Hugo G, Lawrence Y

Section 3: 6/U Nursery Rhyme

1st Hugo G, 2nd (tied) Leonardo M, Andrew C

Section 4: 6-7 Y Set Poem 2

1st Clare C, 2nd Leonardo M, 3rd Grace R, Very HC – Hugo G, Isobel W, Florence R, HC James S, Lawrence Y

Section 5: 7/U Set Poem

1st Clare C, HC Florence R, Grace R, Isobel W, James S

Section 6: 7/U Set Prep Reading

1st James S, HC Clare C, Florence R, Isobel W

Section 7: 8/U Verse 

1st Estelle G, 2nd Macayla L, HC Ciara F, Olive M

Section 8:  8/U Prep Reading

1st (tied) – Ciara F, Macayla L, 2nd (tied) – Ricky T, Estelle G

Section 9: 8-10 Years Set Australian Verse

Group A: 1st  Macayla L, 2nd Estelle G, HC Olive M, Ricky T, Jolene L

Group B: 1st – Stella S, 2nd Saoirse F

Section 10:  9-10 Years Set Poem   

1st Stella S, 2nd Saoirse F, 3rd Jolene L, HC Cillian F

Achievement Awards: Carla C, Zara M, Evie S, Louisa G

Section 11: 9-10 Years Memorised Prose  

1st Stella S, HC Louisa G, Saoirse F

Section 12: 11-12 Years Verse Speaking (Own Choice)       

1st Lara L, 2nd Ilaria G, 3rd  Zara M

Section 13: 11-12 Years Memorised Prose (Own Choice)   

1st Sophia M, 2nd Zara M

Section 14: 11-12 Years Set Prepared Reading        

1st Ilaria G, 2nd Sophia M, 3rd Lara L, HC Anabel T, Stella F, Jasmine D

Section 15: 13-14 Years Verse Speaking (Own Choice)       

1st Roisin C, 2nd Lukas Y, 3rd Evie M, HC Christopher G, Jad E, Thomas L

Section 16: 13-15 / Voiceover Section (Voice & Acting)

1st Jessie T, 2nd Jad E, 3rd Thomas L

Section 17: 13-15 Years Prose Reading (Own Choice)         

1st Jessie T

Section 18: 15-16 Years Verse Speaking (Own Choice)

1st Lili J, 2nd Tom J, 3rd Hannah T

Section 19: 15 – 18 Years / Self-Test Monologue

1st Lili J, 2nd Rory G

Section 20 7-10 Years – Drama – Character Project  

Group A: 1st Frankie P, HC Teddy K, Georgia P, Vincent O

Group B: 1st Caleb H, 2nd Macayla L, HC Hudson W, Harvey B, Emilia S

Group C:  1st Evan A, 2nd Millie M, HC Evie S, Lina R, Zara F

Section 21: 10-13 Years / Drama / Voiceover Section

1st Ashley S, 2nd Ella N, 3rd Elliot J, HC Jennah S, Izabel A

Section 22: Open / YouTube ‘How-to’ Style Video

1st Hudson W

Section 23: Open / TikTok Style Video

1st Ilaria G

Section 24: Open / 100 Word Story Competition

1st Stella S, 2nd Sophia M, 3rd Heather G, HC Tom J