Music keeps Wheatley children connected
Music has helped the children at Wheatley CE Primary School to keep a sense of community and belonging despite the many weeks of separation caused by Covid-19.
A recent Ofsted inspection noted that “the teaching of music is a strength in the school” and music teacher Rachel Cave was determined that Wheatley Church of England Primary School pupils would continue to benefit despite school closure to all but a few key worker children. Early into lockdown, the school staff recorded individual videos of themselves singing ‘Smile’ – a song created by Sing Up, an organisation created to encourage schools to sing, which the school is proud to be a member of. Rachel combined the videos into a single heartfelt message sent out to children and families to remind them of the power of the smile and that they were missed and loved.
Her latest project has been to coordinate pupils singing ‘Looking To The Rainbow’ by Becky Drake, with the message that "though we were in Lockdown, we wouldn't be knocked down”! Children learned the song together in virtual singing assemblies and then sent in their videos which, when combined, created something really special to convey the truth that there is hope in each other. Since making the video, the school has continued to meet together online for singing assembly and music lessons, with some children now in school and the rest at home waving, smiling and singing for each other across the screens.
“Singing together is key to our music making at Wheatley Primary” says Rachel. “We are passionate about singing together, believing it builds community, creativity and a positive sense of wellbeing. And in this time of separation, it has played an even more important job in bringing us together, reminding us that although we are apart we are family.”