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Fringe benefits

SPENDING the summer break living cheek-by-jowl with 16 teenage pupils in an overcrowded city would not be every teacher's idea of fun. Yet Maz Campbell, who has taken the school play to the Edinburgh Fringe (see page 5), typifies the spirit of teaching at its best. Nothing gives a teacher more pleasure, she says, than watching her charges learn from the discipline needed to take a production on tour.

The growing number of teachers and pupils performing at the Fringe reflects the fact that school drama is about much more than learning lines and putting on make-up. It engages young people in creative learning, instils confidence, develops communication skills and much more. Noel Coward may have had good reason to advise Mrs Worthington not to put her daughter on the stage. But 21st-century schools are much bolder now, and drama has never been more popular with pupils. A great pleasure, indeed.

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