Friday, 18 November 2011

Friday

It's the end of another week and nearly half way through this second half term of the year.  The rest of it will whizz past at an alarming rate, especially as there's such a lot happening.

Today was busy and muddled and it was hard for those children who don't respond well to lack of routine but it was also lots of fun.  It was spotty day, of course, everyone came wearing spots (for a suitable donation to the charity, of course) and there were some very inventive costumes.  We do find that the children are easily distractible and excitable on non-uniform days but what the heck - it's a whole bundle of fun.

However . . . it wasn't just that.  It was also a cake day.  The children love cake days - 30p for a cake at playtime in a school that doesn't usually allow snacks apart from healthy fruit or veg makes for great excitement.  And another large amount of cash was raised for Children in Need.

But - and this really was unusual - it was violin exam day.  I think I have mentioned before that we are pretty unique (or, at least, very unusual) in that every single child in Key Stage 1 and Foundation Stage has a weekly class violin lesson from a very talented teacher, Ruth Travis, who has developed her own system of teaching.  Today, over half of the children in years 1 and 2 took their first very preliminary violin exam with the London College of Music.  Given that so many children were entered, we were able to be an exam centre, which made things a lot simpler, but it was very disruptive as children came and went from their classes all morning.  They were examined in groups and I was lucky enough to be able to attend one of the group exams.  The examiner was just lovely with the children and dealt with them very much on their level, bless him.
We don't know specifically how they have done yet, but I gather he was not only pretty impressed with their early violin technique but also with their general musicality, which is very much down to the way my colleagues and I deliver the music curriculum as well as Ruth's inspiring instrumental teaching, so a pat on the back for all of us, especially my lovely colleagues who lay no claim to being any kind of musician whatsoever.

It took me back a decade or so.  In my earlier days at the school, I taught recorder to more children than I now care to think of and many were entered in graded exams with the LCM.  For several years we were able to be an exam centre at the school and we did jolly well too.  I couldn't continue teaching at that level as my in-school responsibilities grew, something I think is sad but inevitable.   So being an exam centre again was lovely!

But I am glad it is now the weekend!

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