Perfect performance

8th July 2005 at 01:00
SUTTON PARK PRIMARY SCHOOL

Hull

"Consider yourself one of us," sing the children in the musical Oliver!, and 11-year-old David Cook could certainly sing that not only to his classmates at Sutton Park, but to some of the teachers too.

David has muscular dystrophy and is the only Year 6 pupil to use a wheelchair. As part of including him fully in its leavers' summer production of Oliver!, the school called in wheelchair trainer Roy Wild from the Association of Wheelchair Children. Bringing 20 wheelchairs with him, Roy spent two days teaching children and staff how to play wheelchair tag, basket ball and do wheelies.

The next stage of this project, called Wheels in Motion, will be two wheelchair dance workshops for all Year 6s with local dance company Y-Dance. With the children, they will choreograph original sequences to several songs, which will include David and be central to the production.

The project, organised through Creative Partnerships has entranced everyone, says head Geoff Groom: "There has been such a sense of fun in using the wheelchairs.

"We wanted to celebrate David's abilities rather than his disabilities, and to give other pupils who have been with him since they started school a shift in their perspective, so everyone is a part of what's going on."

* www.wheelchairchildren.org

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