Tuesday, July 4th, 2017.

Excelsior’s Les Miserables cast

The cast of Excelsior Academy’s stellar Les Miserables production earned a standing ovation from top teachers and created a buzz on social media into the bargain.

Staff from more than 40 North East schools were at Northumbria University for the Teach First Summer Institute opening ceremony.

As part of the planning for the event, organisers from Teach First – an organisation whose goal is to end educational inequality – saw a clip of the recent Les Miserables performances staged in Excelsior’s sports hall and asked for the cast to perform at their event.

They earned a standing ovation for their rendition of some of the West End show’s biggest numbers – and set Twitter alight into the bargain.

Some of the top Twitter reaction read:

Paul Green @PaulGreenNE – North East Director at Teach First: “Incredible start to @TeachFirstNE #TFSI2017. Great performance of Les Miserables from pupils @ExcelsiorAcad WOW!!

Dawn Prior @priordawn1 – Access Officer for Teach First: “Fantastic performance from @ExcelsiorAcad pupils tonight @TeachFirstNE opening ceremony #TFSI2017″

Miss Richley @VRichley – English teacher: “@MrsMathia @LaidlawST @ExcelsiorAcad @TeachFirstNE My word! What an unbelievably talented bunch of young people! Goosebumps! Huge congratulations all – you should be v proud of yourselves!”

Victoria Kelly @vickellypdl – Teach First Primary Participant Development Lead (North East): “Amazing performance from @ExcelsiorAcad at our opening ceremony #SI2017″

Natasha Jane – @NatashaTdrake – Leadership Development Officer at Teach First North East: “This was incredible! Well done to all students and teachers involved @ExcelsiorAcad @MrsMathia”

Lil Collingham @LCollingham – Director at Teach First North East: “Wow! Utterly inspirational opening ceremony for @TeachFirstNE 2017 cohort. @ExcelsiorAcad what talented pupils who performed for us #TFSI2017”

Their tweets earned multiple likes and retweets and created a social media buzz around the opening ceremony.

Deborah Barakat (@MrsMathia), Excelsior Academy Assistant Principal, said:  “As part of the planning for the opening ceremony, one of the Teach First management team saw a clip of Les Mis and asked us to perform.

“The whole place was buzzing after their stunning performance and the cast were given a standing ovation.”

Excelsior Academy is hosting School Centred Learning this year from July 5th– 19th and is accommodating 45 Teach First participants.

The closing ceremony of the School Centred Learning programme will be a TeachMeet event at Excelsior called TeachFirst – TrainForever – where a number of Excelsior teachers are presenting and Executive Principal Craig Taylor will deliver the keynote speech.

Excelsior enjoys a close working relationship with Teach First – for example with its  Futures Programme supporting young people who don’t have family members who have been to university, or who live in areas where not many people get the chance to attend university.

Five Excelsior College students recently attended Oxbridge ‘taster’ sessions having been earmarked as students with the potential to gain entry to Oxford or Cambridge universities.

Teach First’s goal is to end educational inequality, partnering with schools, universities, charities and businesses who share their vision that no child’s success should be limited by their background.