OUR SINGING SENSATIONS; THIS Week Education Reporter Ben Turner Visited Kirkby's Ravenscroft Community Primary School Which Is Alive to the Sound of Music

Article excerpt

Byline: Ben Turner

"SILENCE is golden" if you believe the Tremeloes' song.

But exploding that myth are staff and pupils at Kirkby's Ravenscroft Primary School which is hitting the high notes across the curriculum thanks to its use of singing.

The school is a fully fledged member of Sing Up - a national government scheme to get singing into the classroom.

And ever since it signed up to the scheme in 2009 it has never looked back.

With silver and gold awards already in the bag the school is set to become the first in Knowsley to be awarded Sing Up's platinum award.

That means it is an official community ambassador and will pass on its singing success stories, teaching methods and singing-themed lesson plans to other schools.

From lunchtime supervisors to maths teachers singing is part of everyday life and breaking out into song comes naturally to pupils at the school.

Confirming their tuneful timetable headteacher Jeanette Hegarty said: "We have always had an awful lot of singing going on but thanks to the enthusiasm of our music co-ordinator Nicky Cochrane our children are encouraged to have a love of singing and performing."

An examination of the school's playground leaves you in no doubt that her enthusiasm has rubbed off.

Alongside the normal painted lines and game markings is what at first glance looks like a temporary bus stop.

But this is actually a "sing up stop".

Mrs Hegarty said: "We have girl and boy 'sing up' leaders who put the stops down on the infant and junior playgrounds.

"They take out a hand-held CD player and deliver sessions for pupils' to gather round and join in with lots of songs that encourage movement and are fun to do."

Songs include one called Come Dance with Me which enables participants to stretch as they sing.

But the stops are not just the domain of the children.

Mrs Hegarty added: "Yes the lunchtime supervisors stop and sing at the stop.

"They are very enthusiastic and they are not bad.

"But like everything we do it is not about having to have a good voice."

Inside the classroom the singing includes incorporating five minutes worth of singalongs into daily lessons.

Singing assemblies are also part and parcel of the school's timetable including a end of week Friday celebration for the whole school.

Parents are also regular guests at the assemblies and are not afraid to join in the singing.

Mrs Cochrane has produced singing teaching packs for every class teacher to successfully encourage singing in all subject areas. …