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Boisterous boys get a lesson in playground harmony

Away from the usual playground buzz, it was a week of sweet harmony for the boys at Benson primary school.

Some 60 key stage 2 pupils have had singing lessons from seven members of the Ex Cathedra chamber choir, based in Birmingham.

Cath Rindl, head of the school, in Handsworth, said: "We have a strong singing tradition, but by Years 5 and 6 boys would rather be outside than come to choir practice. It's just not cool."

The school used the opportunity to improve boys' behaviour.

"The boys got to know each other and bond as friends and classmates - it's a great leveller," said Ms Rindl.

Rebecca Ledgard, Ex Cathedra's educational co-ordinator and a part-time teacher at Benson, said: "The boys loved it. They sang songs from all over the world, including Arabic pieces and Bolivian songs from the 15th century."

While the boys were singing, girls at the 320-pupil primary took part in activities under the gifted and talented scheme.

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