Archives for December 2011

Christmas tune for their twin

World Class Virginia | 14:52 UK time, Monday, 12 December 2011



Wells Cathedral School in Somerset has released a charity Christmas single to raise money for their partner school, Ballanta Academy of Music in Sierra Leone.
After setting up their own record label ‘Wells Cathedral School Records’, the pupils have been working since October to produce and record two tracks: ‘Hey Ho, It’s Christmas I Know’ and ‘While Shepherds Watched’.
The single went on sale on 1st December and over 500 CDs have already been sold.
The record label was the brain child of Richard Speller who joined the school in September.
“There is such a huge pool of talent here, music flows through the school and we wanted everyone to get involved. The pupils are a credit to the school,” Richard said.
The students from Wells Cathedral School which is a specialist music school have raised around £20,000 for the Ballanta Academy of Music since 2007.  The money has been used to sponsor pupils at the school and pay for a new music studio. The funds from the single will go towards paying staff wages.
“The students worked hard to produce the CD over the last few months in aid of our partner school,” Deputy Head Nigel Walkey said.  “I hope the Wells Cathedral School music videos spread joy around the world.”
The videos have received more than 4,000 hits on you tube. In the future it is hoped the pupils will produce, record and promote as many different artists as they can using social media.
Three students are currently running the label and when they leave the school, it is hoped other students will continue the good work they have started.
Involvement in the record company acts as an incentive for many pupils because if they fall behind with their work, they cannot take part.           
Richard Speller said: “This has given the students experience in how to promote themselves as artists. They cannot rest on their laurels, especially in the current climate.”

Welsh pupils get their claws into a new experience

World Class Virginia | 11:38 UK time, Friday, 2 December 2011

Welsh pupils explore their environment

Within the murky water of a rock pool, hidden amongst the stones and pebbles you can find a whole other world deep within the sand. 

That’s what school pupils in Wales have been discovering, and at the same time they have been  opening their eyes to other landscapes across the Atlantic.

Broad Haven School in Pembrokeshire and the Southern Highlands Preparatory school in Las Vegas, USA are part of a pilot for a project called the Darwin Experience.

It is hoped young people will appreciate their surroundings more and learn from each other rather than from a teacher.

Broad Haven School have been looking at the different species which exist in rock pools and how they have adapted to their environment. They learnt that crabs feast on dead creatures at the bottom of the pools and use their claws to break food up into manageable chunks.


They then produced videos and wrote letters about their environment outside of school and sent them off to America.

Oswin from Las Vegas said: "I really enjoyed the crab removing its shell. We would never get the chance to see that here.”

The experience allowed the pupils to get outdoors and teach each other for a change.

Coleton also from LA said: "It was great to learn by getting outside the classroom. I really enjoyed the video and the letters from the students in Wales. Sometimes it is easier to learn from someone my age.”

The pupils in the USA focused on the pressures of climate and pollution on the ecosystem in Las Vegas.  

This included the air pollution caused by a high volume of traffic and also how the people of Las Vegas make sure they have enough water despite the lack of rain in the area.

Byron from Brook Haven said: "It was great fun finding out about the boys and girls in Las Vegas and how they learn. I would like to go there one day, it's so different."

Broad Haven Head teacher, Debra Phillips said: "You only had to observe the children and listen to their comments to know that the link with Las Vegas has extended their knowledge and understanding of a different landscape and culture.”

The pilot began in September 2010.

Marten Lewis from the Darwin Centre said: “Sharing things that are unique about where you live is a great way to install pride in your region and start to care for the things that make your area special.”

The Darwin Experience Education Project hopes to match the 60 junior schools in Pembrokeshire with schools across the world.


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