Thursday, 17 June 2010

From mums and toddlers to World Cup anthem

When we moved to Cumbria 16 years ago we knew no one. We had been made redundant after the newspaper we both worked on in Manchester closed. We had just taken out a mortgage on a cottage in the shadow of Great Dunn Fell and had booked our wedding at Penrith registry office. We moved up, lock, stock and barrel.

We soon got to know people. We went to the local pub in the next village and I joined the WI – instant friends. But it wasn’t until we had a child that we really began to feel part of this wonderful, close knit community.

With a baby in arms everyone stops to say hello. The first visit into Appleby the week after she was born people came up to her and put coins in her hand as a token of good luck – and it seems to have paid dividend as a I feel we are very lucky to be living and working in such a wonderful place.

Most of my closest friends are now people I met at Mothers and Toddlers group, nursery, outside the primary school and at the dance classes and music events.

And I was fortunate enough to meet some of the new pupils from my daughter’s old primary school this week. As you can see, these friendships last long after my daughter left the village school.

A school of less than 30 children, they often join forces with other similar sized schools in the area to share events. The Middle Eden Small Schools network was holding their week of world music workshops at Cliburn Village Hall which culminates in a concert on the Thursday. And this year’s theme was the World Cup.

The children were led by Barbara Gilbertson of Music for Life. They wrote then performed their own Anthem for England’s World Cup team.

Their anthem is so catchy I’ve been humming Come On England ever since. And their anthem shows that children attending small schools don’t miss out but gain a great deal from working together. Small schools sharing resources such as Barbara’s workshops is a great way for the kids to get to know those they will be going to Grammar School with in just over a year’s time, and also provides them with professional tuition from an experienced musician.

I’ll let the kids show you themselves, their musical talents. Here’s the link to a video we have on the Eden Valley Messenger website of them in rehearsal. Come On England!

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