Petworth C of E Primary
There are many occasions whilst you are working with children in a school that you go ‘WOW’ and you just know the experience you have had with the children is incredible. On Monday 28th January we took a quarter of the school, 51 children, some of their parents and many members of staff to participate in the annual Young Voices concert at the O2 Arena. This event is a culmination of hard work by the children, who have had to learn a number of songs and dances so that they can perform in a 8,000 strong choir in front of a sold out 02.
The day is a long one for the children and with 2 ½ hours of rehearsal, the heat of the arena and the insistence that the children stand while they sing, the children were starting to wane. However come show time the children sang, danced, screamed and cheered their hearts out. They sang along with Tony Hadley and Beau Dermott; they sang songs with passion, pride and professionalism; danced with Urban Striders and the two hour show went in a blink of an eye. The children were tired; the children were hoarse; the children were fantastic!
The children will remember this experience long after they leave our school and many of the children are looking forward to repeating this event. As for adults…we tried to sing, we tried to dance and yes we were totally captivated by the whole experience.
John Galvin, Headteacher, Petworth C of E Primary School www.petworth.w-sussex.sch.uk
After-school debates with Year 6 pupils in Otters Class.
Debate 1: This House believes that every child should have a pet.
In the first debate, Isla and Tam spoke for the motion. They pointed out that pets lead to lower blood pressure in their owners, as well as a more physically active lifestyle and lower cholesterol. Children with pets tend to get outside more and enjoy more fresh air and you can have fun with a pet, even a ferret! Plus, of course, pets are really cute!
Kitty and Theo W spoke against the motion. Kitty’s arguments included the fact that pets’ shorter lives mean that children have to deal with the death of animals with which they have developed emotional attachments. Pets can also trigger allergic reactions in children. Kitty also explained that pets can disrupt children’s sleep. This side also produced statistics about the number of deaths from dog attacks in the US. Kitty also pointed out that parents often get stuck with the care of pets as children don’t always honour their promises to care for their pets!
After some tricky questions from the floor, including the impact of universal pet ownership on the future of zoos, a second vote was taken. In the end, Kitty and Theo managed to persuade more people to their side and they carried the day.
Debate 2: This House believes that books are better than television.
In our second debate of the term, Courtney and Oliver argued for the motion against Isla and Sophie. Both sides made a range of strong points. Courtney pointed out that science suggests reading books increases your vocabulary whilst TV reduces the attention span. Oliver reminded the audience that looking at blue light from screens before going to bed keeps people awake and can damage your eyesight. He also argued that television leads to a passive state of mind whilst reading stimulated the mind with vivid imagery.
Sophie explained that television brings us news and updates on important issues rapidly. Isla also stunned the audience with information about the impact on books on the environment. She estimated that the Harry Potter books, printed from non-recycled paper had resulted in the destruction of 770,000 trees! Isla also argued that watching a film at the cinema is more sociable than reading a book as you can talk, ‘if you don’t mind evil glares’!
All four spoke well, managing eye-contact and responding confidently to questions from the floor. The two captains, Courtney and Sophie, also summed up well. In the end, it was the team of Courtney and Oliver who managed to persuade people over to their side when it came to the second vote and they were declared the winners.
Johnny Culley, Headteacher, Easebourne CE Primary School www.easebourne.w-sussex.sch.uk