Enrichment days help boys find their groove

Boys from St Brendan’s Catholic Primary School Annandale gathered together to sing, dance and act at a day set aside to nurture their creative talents.

Boy’s enrichment days and boot camps, held by Catholic Schools Performing Arts Sydney (CaSPA) between 20-23 May, offered a chance for primary school boys from across the Inner West to learn alongside students from their local college as well as expert tutors.

CaSPA Education Officer John Panuccio said while the arts align well with the way boys learn – incorporating movement, risk-taking and problem solving – it can be intimidating for them to seek a place on the stage.

“Girls are more comfortable with the arts, and boys therefore will sit back,” Mr Panuccio said. “It’s very rare to see boys sing, for example.”

“Just not having the girls around makes a huge difference, because the boys can be themselves. It takes the pressure away. Nobody will say ‘you can’t dance, you’re not as good as us.’”

Days are held at Catholic secondary schools that offer students a direct pathway into high school, allowing boys to see the facilities, meet current students, and learn about pathways for sport and the performing arts on offer as they move into high school.

“All these sort of things become part of their conversation with parents around secondary school – and it gives parents greater choice,” Mr Panuccio said.

“They’re really helpful and they support you,” said Phoenix Miconi, in Year 4 at St Brendan’s Catholic Primary School Annandale. “It was really fun doing dancing.”

This is the second year the Inner West has run the programs, which began in Sydney’s East in 2017. By 2020, they will be held across the archdiocese. Boys involved in the day agreed they’d had a lot of fun and praised their tutors.

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