Could this pupil's song become Christmas number one?

A song penned and performed by students at an all-through school in London is vying for the Christmas number one slot

Jon Severs

Could a song penned and performed by students at an all-through school in London make it to Christmas number one?

Mr Blobby did it, Rage Against the Machine did it, and last year a song about sausage rolls even did it – so is it really that improbable that a song written and performed by pupils in an all-through school in south-west London could top the charts this Christmas?

Craig Hancock, head of music at the school in questionReach Academy Feltham, thinks not.

“If a song about sausage rolls got to number one last year, then surely we have a chance?” he asks.

Christmas number one?

The school's song was written by Year 12 student Rashid Owusu. It was then recorded and engineered by the rest of the year group, while the whole school got involved in singing it.

As you can see below, it’s unashamedly catchy.

“We wanted something to bring joy to the pupils and friends of Reach Academy,” says Hancock. “Our Year 12 music course also asks for real-life vocational scenarios in the pupils' assignments, so we figured it would be a great way to do a 'real-life' song writing assignment for them.”

He adds that he also wanted to bring a positive story to music education in the UK.

“The national picture in music education is always a negative one, with funding cuts and schools not supporting music education,” Hancock says. “With the lack of an arts subject in the EBacc, many schools are choosing to not offer music as an option, which is obviously extremely sad.

“We wanted to show the power of music education when it is properly supported and funded.”

All in it together

Recruiting the younger year groups to sing the piece was not just about an added ‘cute’ factor to appeal to Christmas song audiences, but also about showcasing the benefits of an all-through school, according to Reach Academy Feltham executive principlal Ed Vainker.

“We are passionate about the opportunities of being an all-through school and this was a chance to showcase the whole community working together,” he says.

Whether the song actually tops the charts or not, then, there have been plenty of positives already to come from the song.

But if they did make it on to the Christmas Top of the Pops, what a positive story for arts education in the UK that would be – so get sharing! 

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Jon Severs

Jon Severs is editor of Tes

Find me on Twitter @jon_severs

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