Midhurst Rother College (MRC)
As a musician, both playing saxophone and singing within the school, I have been offered many amazing opportunities in relation to this with school concerts, music lessons and extra-curricular groups.
Last month however, I was lucky enough to be a part of the school music tour to Germany- an opportunity that surpassed all those before; this trip brought along the school Orchestra, Choir, Rock Band and Year 11 Singing Group along with various performances from soloists.
Personally, I think that the really special part about this experience was simply the inclusivity from all the groups and the relaxed environment in which I, as a member of the Sixth Form, could enjoy the company of students across the school right up from year 7 and get to know many new friends with the common ground of music to link us all.
We performed our pieces in four different venues, all of which came with a supportive local audience who appeared to love the set, and even sang in Cologne Cathedral as we travelled along the Rhine river.
I don’t know if you have ever sung in a Church or Cathedral, but the resounding sound that carries throughout the building is truly a beautiful sound and for my voice to carry through such a prestigious place was an honour which cannot easily be matched.
Not only did we perform on our travels but practised some of our German phrases along the way (somewhat lacking in accuracy but certainly made up for in enthusiasm) and learnt some interesting local history when we visited a Mechanical Music Museum in Rudesheim am Rhein. All in all, it was a wonderful trip for all involved and ignited our love of music even further to burn on.
Sophie Cooke, Midhurst Rother College www.mrc-academy.org
Petworth Primary School
As a school we listen to the ideas that the children want to explore. Climate change is very much in the news at the moment and it is no surprise that it is at the fore front of the children’s mind and they want to do something, which can have an impact in changing the way we use precious resources. Although changing the world does seem like a massive challenge, as one child stated, ‘We have to start somewhere!’
We have a very productive eco group, who promote various positive changes in the school from turning off unwanted electrical appliances, encouraging everyone to use less paper, installing water butts, growing our own vegetables and they have met with our Business Manager to ensure we purchase items locally whenever possible.
However, it is not just the eco group who promotes different ideas. A group of year four children have taken it upon themselves to be litter busters. ensuring the school site is litter free as well as educating their peers in the importance of putting litter in the bins. Another group of children are collecting two-litre plastic bottles in their quest to build a plastic bottle greenhouse; one group are trying to encourage children to recycle their crisp packets by organising a collection point. We also have a group of children to trying to promote recycling their batteries responsibly and we have set up a collection point in our school.
As a whole school we have just installed solar panels on the school roof to teach the children the importance of using reusable resources and move away from fossil fuels. This did stem from children asking us about renewable energy and they even contacted County asking why there was a delay in the installation.
Children just want to be involved and when given the responsibility and a little encouragement they can change opinions and attitudes, and perhaps one day change the world.
John Galvin, Petworth Primary School www.petworth.w-sussex.sch.uk
Easebourne Primary School
The end of our spring term was a hectic time for performance at Easebourne. Our VIAM (Voices in a Million) singers travelled to London to perform at Wembley, children from Rabbits and Badgers pulled off a tremendous run of performances of ‘The Zany Zoo!’ and our dancers performed at the Rother Valley Arts Festival at Midhurst Rother College. For any children involved in more than one of these, it was a particularly busy period and they did very well to remain so focused at school.
We also celebrated World Book Day when the school was invaded by a cavalcade of literary characters as the children arrived. Staff read from some of their favourite books and we were joined by parents, grandparents and volunteers in the afternoon for more captivating storytelling.
Congratulations also to our Year 6 School Councillors who ran a Fairtrade cake sale after school to celebrate Fairtrade Week and thanks as well to all those who baked cakes for it. The sale made a fantastic £60. Well done Ruby, Thomas and Courtney for going ‘MAD’ and ‘Making A Difference’.
Finally, to encourage children to write for pleasure, we have introduced ‘Tight Write’, a fortnightly challenge to write no more than 50 words, inspired by an illustration.
Several winners are awarded a small writing-related prize and I thought you might enjoy reading one or two of these in future. Here is one of the winning entries, by Tabitha in Year 4, for Tight Write 03: I saw the flying building, with all its peculiar shaped windows, hovering above my head. Suddenly, as if by magic, a giraffe poked his head out of a small window. Then an elephant thrust his trunk out of the largest window. The house was an enormous, flying animal hotel!
Johnny Culley, Easebourne Primary School www.easebourne.w-sussex.sch.uk