By Brendan Rees

Superheroes have descended on Cranbourne West Primary School as part of Children’s Book Week celebrations.
A cast of 20 Grade 5/6 students have been rehearsing tirelessly for their school concert, Hero Within, which opens this month.
Dressed as Superman, Captain America, Spiderman, Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Poison Ivy, Flash, Hulk and more, students have brought their superheroes to life.
Concert co-ordinator Mrs Sharon Start said the Book Week theme was Escape to Everywhere and “tied in beautifully” with the superhero concert.
“We’ve been wanting to do a super hero theme for a while, and most children love super heroes,” she said.
“It all fitted in well this year. We chose superheroes because there’s been renewed interest with super heroes, with a lot of movie releases this year, so that also helped us make the decision,” she said.
Mrs Start said the school would not normally select superheroes as part of Book Week, adding “We usually encourage them to dress as classic book characters. But we know they love them (superheroes).”
“We had an influx of superheroes for Book Week intentionally to fit in with the concert so they could try out their costumes anyway.”
The plot follows 20 Grade 5/6 students who attend Supercool primary school.
“They are all child versions of well-known classic super heroes and their classroom teacher Ms Marvel is actually a hero in disguise. The students don’t know that – this is revealed in the story gradually when she needs to call on her super powers to rescue a student. Her identity is hidden until then,” Mrs Start said.
Ms Marvel has hypersensitive hearing as one of her superhero powers in times of trouble, she said.
She said the students had taken on their superhero characters with great enthusiasm.
“Once we got their costumes on them – they hop into the character more and it becomes more real to them. It really helps with the development of the character and the story line overall.”
Mrs Start said the school hosted a concert each year. “This year we chose super heroes so the dances are created around that, then I need to create the script that puts the dances into a logical storyline.”
She said the concert was an opportunity for students to build on their social and literacy skills.
“They make new friends as well because they’re mixing with perhaps students that they know their faces but aren’t in their class.
They’re building friendships, and it also helps them with their literacy as well because they are having to read scripts and memorise lines.”
The pupils that have a passion for acting and singing have also grown in confidence, Mrs Start said.
Mrs Start said it had been hectic in scheduling rehearsals around students’ commitments, but have used recess and lunch breaks in preparation for the production.
Mrs Start said the concert was on track for their grand opening this month. Students will also be singing and Stomp Dance Studio have been providing classes to teach dance routines, which the students have embraced.
She said she also asked students to write an alternative storyline with what they think happens in the story.
“I thought that would tie in beautifully with the concert and book week.”
As part of Book Week, students also donned their superhero costumes during a costume parade sponsored by Simon Murphy from O’Brien Real Estate. Judges awarded students with the most creative flare.
“The judges were looking for something that showed creativity and involvement from the child. They were keen to award students that had put in their own thought and efforts into the costume,” Mrs Start said.
“That was extremely popular, and we had parents attend as well to watch the parade.”
The Hero Within concert will run over three nights from Tuesday 19 September at Cranbourne West Primary school gymnasium. Tickets are now available on Trybooking.

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