Hackney pupils to perform in Danny Boyle’s Olympic opening ceremony

Children from four schools in Hackney are to perform at the Olympics opening ceremony in front of a worldwide TV audience of over 1 billion people, it was announced on Friday.

The students, from Brook Community Primary School, Gainsborough Primary School, Sir Thomas Abney Primary School and Skinners’ Academy, were chosen by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) after making it through the audition stages.

Lucky pupils from a total of 25 schools in the six Olympic host boroughs will be part of a huge display created by Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle.

More than 900 children aged 7-9 and 11-13 will now be selected from the chosen schools.

If successful, they will appear in dance routines watched by 80,000 people in the Olympic Stadium and a worldwide TV audience of over a billion people on July 27.

Rebecca Thomas, headteacher of Brook Primary, in Sigdon Road, which is among those selected, said: “The entire school is buzzing with excitement about the Olympics and Paralympics coming to our borough and so we were thrilled to have been chosen to take part in the Opening Ceremony.”

And Jenny Wilkins, headteacher of Skinners’ Academy, in Woodberry Grove, said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity which will be fantastic for our students and will be one that students, staff and parents alike will always remember.”

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Selected children will take part in between 15 and 20 rehearsals - first at their schools then in east London at the London 2012 Ceremonies rehearsal sites and finally in the Olympic Stadium.

Seb Coe, London 2012 chairman, said: “Being part of the ceremonies is a great way of inspiring young people, I’m delighted school children from the host boroughs will be part of show and help tell our story to world. The students involved will have an incredible experience which will build their confidence and a sense of pride in themselves, their friends, family, school and wider community.”

Schools from the host boroughs will be auditioning for the Olympic closing ceremony in February.