Tuesday 9 October 2007

Joyful Rhythm & Maths in Wycombe

A warm and wonderful welcome into assembly at High Wycombe Church of England Combined School with a live band, not canned music! This is a school in which people really enjoy being together, and enjoy their music. I was also able to visit a vibrant drumming group. I noticed steel pans in the music room, too.

This is a wonderfully multicultural community. Some people suggest that Church of England Schools are for white middle class parents to parachute their kids away from everybody else’s into some kind of elitist ghetto. Not here they don’t. There is a sizeable Muslim group of students, cherished, honoured and beautifully integrated into the school, along with the whole wide range of races and outlooks represented in Wycombe.

There was a real vibrancy about the children’s learning, too. I was impressed by excellent languages work in year 6, where they cleverly lead into experience of French with sounds and uses of words, rather than just written grammar and vocab. ICT is completely integrated into learning, and I saw some fantastic Egyptian Maths going on in year 2, with a 1000 point number line.

It’s a happy and focussed community school, which makes brilliant use of its inner city site, and grows children in confidence in all sorts of ways. The music was a window into the soul, and a sign of real joy. Celine Hawkins and her staff have much to be proud about. I’d love to go back when they’ve completed a quiet/ focussed/ sensory prayer area that is just being planned. I know it will be well used!

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