Over the Easter holidays, Ms Granite, Mr Knight and Benny (our Music teacher) visited Kiwoko in Uganda with a team from St Mary’s Church. They particularly went to strengthen the link between Goshen school and orphanage, and St Mary’s. They took pencil cases, stationary and football kits that our pupils had donated to give to the orphans in Goshen. They also modelled some lessons for teachers and provided them with training.
Pupils at St Mary’s have been writing to the children at Goshen, and learning all about school life in Uganda, which is very different to here! We have also been learning Ugandan songs and a song Benny wrote in Uganda, which he has taught to children in Goshen and to us.
We are so proud of what Shadrach and his team are doing in Uganda, and we are keen to keep supporting them in the years to come.
Today we held our Easter service in St Mary’s Church. We sang a range of Easter hymns and songs, had Holy Communion and prayed for our school and the wider world. Revd Ben Jones talked to us about the meaning of the cross (including a Hot Cross Bun eating contest between Mr Knight and a Y6 pupil!) and this term’s value of forgiveness. The choir sang two anthems: Viva la Vida and He Reigns. It was great to see so many parents joining us, too.
On Tuesday, the school choir took part in the Prom Praise for Schools event at the Royal Albert Hall. They joined thousands of other children from Church schools in London, singing songs we have been learning together in school, such as ‘Freedom’ and ‘Count your Blessings’. They also listened to some wonderful pieces of classical music, and joined in the beatbox storytelling of the Prodigal Son parable. The theme was ‘Lost and Found’ which linked really well with our current school value of Forgiveness.
Everyone had a great time and our children sang their hearts out!
Yesterday, Year 1 performed for the first time in front of the whole school and their parents. They have all been learning the violin since September with teachers from London Music Masters, and it was great to see how confident they now are at playing. They also had a visit from a professional violinist, Marc Bouchkov, who inspired them with his incredible playing.
St Mary’s are taking part in the Prom Praise for Schools (PP4S) project this year. Members of the school choir are going to the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday 21st March to take part in a giant concert with thousands of other children from across the Diocese of London.
As part of this project, musicians from the All Souls Orchestra, who will be playing in the concert (and their conductor, Noel Tredinnick) came to St Mary’s to lead an assembly. They taught the children some of the songs, played their instruments for us and taught us about the story of the Prodigal Son, which linked with our whole school value of Forgiveness.
We really enjoyed singing with them, especially ‘Count Your Blessings’ which we sang in 3 parts!
On Saturday, a group from our Year 6 class took part in a large concert at the Royal Festival Hall, organised by London Music Masters. They sang two pieces, ‘Flutter’ – an original composition – and ‘Music is Everything’ which was composed by six of the LMM schools, including St Mary’s.
Our children sang as part of a choir with children from other schools, with over 100 children playing the violins and kettle drums. It was very exciting!
‘Overall I am very impressed with the quality of singing, particularly from the choir. It is clear that pupils are encouraged to sing well and with conviction, listening to their tuning, and as a result lots of the singing I heard was very beautiful.
It is good to hear that children are given lots of opportunities to lead singing, particularly in the upper years, and it’s good that this will be developed by supporting them to lead part singing.
It is nice to see such emphasis put on staff training. The training that took place was obviously a valuable experience for the staff that took part and it sounds like it has had an impact on their use of singing in the classroom.
Congratulations again St Mary’s Bryanston Square, you are a golden singing school and I look forward to hearing about your next singing adventures!’
Year 4 are working with the Royal Academy of Music on a composition project. In their first session, they looked at clips from ‘Planet Earth 2’ and created backing music to capture their mood. Here, they are building tension for the scene where snakes chase an iguana:
And this is the music they composed to describe the walk of the penguins: