DRAMA students at The Wavell School in Farnborough are celebrating after winning the southern final of the prestigious UK Rock Challenge in Bournemouth.

The cast of 100 pupils put on a colourful performance, catching the judges’ eye over the remaining 11 schools including local rivals Frogmore School.

Their eight-minute dance and drama production centred around the destruction of the rainforests and the devastating consequences this could have on future generations.

The pupils began the show in the future, with workers wearing oxygen masks to walk around outside to demonstrate the toxic atmosphere due to the amount of trees cut down in the past.

It then moved back in time, showing the audience the rainforests teeming with life and hinting how all this will be destroyed unless people actively stop it.

The Rock Challenge is a competition which originated in Australia for students to get a drug-free high from performing, and more than 15,000 people take part every year.

The 2003 UK calendar included 21 event days and two finals, with 150 colleges and schools taking part.

The students are marked on all aspects of their production, such as make-up, costumes, choreography and the design of the set.

Wavell drama teacher Phil Branch was delighted with the judges’ decision.

He said: “I am ecstatic. This is the first time that we have won the southern final and we’re all really, really pleased.

“This is a big moment in the pupils’ lives, it’s great. There are big smiles on all their faces — they should be very proud of themselves.

“We will definitely be entering next year because the students get so much out of it. It means so much to them.”

The team were sponsored by Rushmoor Council and Farnborough Van and Truck Hire, which lent them a vehicle free of charge to travel to their various destinations.