Singing New Light

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Today one of the choirs I am in sang at a local school for “sing up day”. We sang some a capella songs from Loud Mouth Women’s reportoir and also “New light ” a new anthem based on “this little light of mine” composed and written by Greg Stephens and Steven Seabridge (the potteries poet laureate).

It was a pleasure to sing infront of a full school assembly. The children joined in and even did some of the gestures for the song. I hope they enjoyed it, although some of the little ones seemed a bit perplexed by what we were doing at first.

One of the teachers is a member of the choir and enthusiastically explained what we were doing, and Penny Vincent (who helped organised Stoke Sings choir festival in February) and Kate Bardfield, our choir leader, helped teach the children some of the song including sections of”this little light of mine” and adapted versions of this and a¬†section about the six towns, Burslem, Tunstall, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton.

The anthem talks about coal mining and hard clay. It talks about regeneration and a feeling that the city of Stoke-on-Trent is worth fighting for. It was a very enjoyable occasion.

 

A lesson

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The old school walls were damp and the paint was peeling off them. There were holes where ceiling tiles had fallen down and sunshine had broken through the roof.

She walked between discarded chairs, the tables were stacked against the walls. At the front of the classroom stood one of those rotating chalkboards. Grey with layers of chalk.

She reached out and pulled on the join between the boards but the thing was jammed up, no movement.

She remembered the first day she had taught here. Registration followed by the history of the celts. Teaching about Boudicca and the ancient Britons.

Nowadays children didn’t come to school. They were all home schooled, isolated, plugged in. Teaching was easy. Link to the local computer by an imput in the cranium. Download all the information, sit in a chair and learn the curriculum.

She remembered the sweet feeling of imparting knowledge  The look of wonder when a pupil understood a new concept. Ideas flying from lips to ears to brains.

No more, no enthusiasm, just imput, data, no fun.

She sighed, closed the door to the classroom. She walked home.