Aylesbury school take top prize in Rock Challenge competition

The Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School in Aylesbury has won this year's Rock Challenge Southern Premier Final.

The rock challenge is a national dance and drama competition aimed at encouraging young people to achieve success through the performing arts.

The Sir Henry Floyd Rock Challenge team with their trophies and certificates

The Sir Henry Floyd Rock Challenge team with their trophies and certificates

The Floyd has a great record in the competition which it first entered in 2009.

In 2012 they won the regional heat and the southern open final which means they now compete in the ‘premier division’ of the event, against the other top eight schools across the region.

This year's winning piece for the Floyd was entitled “Escape from Alcatraz” and is based on the infamous story of the 1962 escape from the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary.

Having first performed the piece at the Wycombe Swan Theatre in February, the Floyd went to the Portsmouth Guildhall on April 27 to compete in the southern premier final against schools from Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

The Sir Henry Floyd team performed 'Escape from Alcatraz' as part of the Rock Challenge

The Sir Henry Floyd team performed 'Escape from Alcatraz' as part of the Rock Challenge

As well as becoming overall rock challenge southern premier champions the Floyd achieved awards of excellence for concept, drama skills, costume of characters, performance skill, choreography, set design, soundtrack, student leadership, lighting, set design and function, stage use and entertainment.

The Floyd also won the “Performers Choice” award which is given to the school voted as their favourite by the other competing schools.

Sara Durose, the Floyd's Rock Challenge director and assistant headteacher said: "This year we had a team of 100 and the students were a real credit to the school.

"The standard of performance was exceptional and a testament to the talent here.

The Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School team performing 'Escape from Alcatraz' as part of the Rock Challenge

The Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School team performing 'Escape from Alcatraz' as part of the Rock Challenge

"All the students involved from the performers to the technical crew fully committed and played their part in producing such a fantastic piece.

"We were tentative at the thought of how we could dramatise such an iconic story and setting, however the creativity of the staff and students involved brought it to life and produced a professional and innovative production.

"At Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School, we pride ourselves on the fact that our pieces are heavily student led, with a dedicated team of Sixth Form students leading all aspects of the production, from the set painting, to the creation of costumes, soundtrack and choreography.

"The leadership skills of this year’s Sixth Form team have been second to none.

The Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School team performing 'Escape from Alcatraz' as part of the Rock Challenge

The Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School team performing 'Escape from Alcatraz' as part of the Rock Challenge

"Having undertaken 11 years of Rock Challenge the talent that our students possess never fails to amaze me!

"I feel privileged this year to have worked with such a committed, wonderful team and will look forward to celebrating their achievements in our annual summer concert at the Aylesbury Waterside in July."

Amber Hawkins, member of the school's Sixth Form committee added: "Being part of Rock Challenge has always been the highlight of each year, and ever since Year Nine we have been thinking about our turn to create a piece.

"Escape from Alcatraz" was such a huge success and watching everybody come together, give it their all and win the Southern Premier Final has been unforgettable.

"The team-work and spirit, and the dedication despite other academic commitments has been amazing.

"Myself and the rest of the sixth form committee, will hold these accomplishments, memories and friendships close as we reach our final days at Sir Henry Floyd."

The Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School team performing 'Escape from Alcatraz' as part of the Rock Challenge

The Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School team performing 'Escape from Alcatraz' as part of the Rock Challenge