From Little Things Big Things Grow

Hello to everyone. Over the last couple of weeks, the impact of learning the iconic protest song From Little Things Big Things Grow has taken students’ learning in many directions. When the students ask ‘What can we do to make a difference and support Reconciliation’ I remember something that the Indigenous musician Kutcha Edwards once said to our Yr 5/6s several years ago when he visited our school. He answered this question by saying talk about what Reconciliation means with your families, and talk about Indigenous history with your families. Kutcha also spoke about the importance of story telling in songs, and that songs impassion change, especially when sung as a community. We look forward to our Reconciliation Assembly on Friday, and to singing with our families as we live through challenging, hope filled times. My thanks to all the students for their passionate commitment to understanding the story of the Wave Hill Walk Off of 1966, through ‘Truth Telling’ and song.

We have also enjoyed another top assembly from our Instrumental Music students, and extend our congratulations to a number of this year’s beginner instrumentalists for making their performance debuts! Amongst the highlights were Marks’ beginner guitarists playing ‘Red Sports Car’, and Sasha’s violinists performing ‘She’ll be coming round the Mountain’ to some hearty ‘Yee Haa’s’ from the audience… and for a movement break, we all skipped a jig as Mitchell played ‘Scottish Gavottish’. We also heard Marcos’s students perform Beethoven’s Ode to Joy which comes from his Symphony No.9. In this symphony, the Ode is sung as a joyous anthem declaring that all people should be equal, and live in freedom and friendship. The melody is a simple ‘stepwise’ tune which makes it perfect for beginner instrumentalists, but as often happens, we all know the melody, but not necessarily the message of the lyrics. Next year, 2024, will mark two hundred years since Beethoven wrote his Symphony No. 9, imagine how many children and folk, across the world, have learnt to play this melody!

Mark’s guitarists performing ‘Red Sports Car’.
Marcos and his students perform Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’.

And now, (drum roll please…) I am delighted to announce that our much loved Kofi Kunkpe is returning to PHPS next Term for some African Drumming Workshops. Kofi first visited us in 2016, and we have loved inviting him back every second year to throughly immerse our school in the ‘Rhythm of Life’. The vision is that each time Kofi drums with our students they build on their drumming skills and are able to advance further into more complex drumming routines and a deeper connection to rhythm and traditional African Dance. Next Term, Kofi will be accompanied by a Master Percussionist from West Ghana, and we look forward to sharing our drumming skills with our community in a concert presentation in August.

Thank you to everyone for an inspiring, and at times emotional, preparation for the Reconciliation Week Assembly, and to our IM students and all who support their learning. Take care and cheerio, Deb

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