It's such a privilege and honour to present this podcast today with the Year 5 students (aged 10), and teachers at Ilfracombe's Church of England Junior School.
As a parent of 2 boys under the age of 10, I find the whole conversation about kids online to be incredibly negative and over sensationalised in the media. In an effort to have a more positive discussion, I approached my son's school and asked them could I do a podcast about the subject with the Year 5 teachers and students.
The school not only embraced the idea but added a whole layer of additional creativity and flair to the discussion that I could never have imagined, likened to "opening Pandora's Box" by Catherine Cox, the Head Teacher.
In this podcast you will hear from Maggie Foster, an Assistant Head Teacher and Head of Music at the school, whose passion and love of her subject is transforming the lives of the children in the school.
We hear from Maggie and the pupils about how the Church of England School Values of Wisdom, Hope, Community and Dignity, are shaping the children's lives, both on and offline.
Even more so, how music is at the heart of everything the school does, and how the Principles of Taiko drumming, which is a Japanese art of drumming, has recently been adopted by the school. The children share how these Principles can be extended out across all manner of experiences both on and offline. We also hear about the benefits of drumming and what it's like to experience a Taiko drumming session. In addition we share fly-on-the-wall discussions in the class rooms between the children and the teachers as they talk about podcasting, digital media, and how to present themselves positively online.
There is so much richness to this podcast and whilst I initially went into the school as a concerned, worried parent, I left feeling humbled, uplifted and inspired by what I heard and experienced whilst being at the school.
I would like to extend a massive thank you to the Year 5 teachers who are; James Clatworthy, Kimberley Campbell, Lauren Caller, Phoebe Reed, Will Speed, Rachael Moore and Jo Parsons and a heartfelt thank you to Maggie Foster and Catherine Cox whose total commitment to the subject and the discussion enabled this to happen.
To my incredible Sound Engineer and Producer, Will Flisk, who attended and recorded 10 hours of content in the classrooms and helped bring the podcast to life in the studio with me.
But most importantly I would like to say a huge thank you to the wonderful children in Year 5. You are so very special and you know so much, you guys are truly inspirational and I want to thank you for being so open and free with your conversation, knowledge and kindness. Together with your teachers, we have turned the conversation about kids online on its head, and you will uplift so many people with your positive messages, insight and voices.
Thank you so very much.
'Drop in the Ocean' is featured in this podcast. Music and lyrics by Tolga Kashif; Richard Stilgoe; Arranged by Andrew Peggie; National Foundation for Youth Music. 'Youth Music has been given authority for arrangements to be made of this music for educational and similar use.'