Hundreds of schoolchildren are taking to the stage in Bradford to prove that rock ‘n’ roll is better than any drug.

St George’s Hall is hosting the two-day Rock Challenge competition that will feature dozens of schools, including several from Bradford.

The contest asks school groups, aged 11-18, to plan, choreograph and perform song and dance numbers up to eight minutes long, as well as creating costumes and props.

Yesterday Thornton Grammar School and Southfield School trod the boards, while today it was the turn of Appleton Academy, Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College and Tong High School.

They are competing against schools from Barnsley, Huddersfield, Leeds and Wakefield.

During the day the groups rehearse before the evening performance, where they bring their mini-musicals to life in front of hundreds of spectators.

Organised by the Be Your Best Foundation, the contest is held to promote healthy living and show young people that performing with friends can be the best high, turning them away from the lure of drink and drugs.

At each stage, judges choose a school to move on to a northern final in Grimsby in June.

Southfields School brought the world of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table to life.

Their performance, set in the world of Camelot, features a huge dragon as well as a smattering of Monty Python. It is set to jazz, blues, rock and pop and the 42 pupils involved have been working on the performance for the past month.

Student Stephen Swanborough, 18, said: “The performance is about knights, wizards and quests but we’ve tried to do it in a jokey fashion.”