Crooner chills the class

29th June 2007 at 01:00
It's not unusual to hear the hits of Welsh crooner Tom Jones playing softly in the background of Teresa Hacche's lessons. In fact, pupils at St Joseph's RC Cathedral junior school in Swansea know most of the words to the music legend's "Burning Down The House" - one of their favourites.

Using strategically placed speakers on the children's desks, Ms Hacche started using music in a bid to challenge low-key disruption and gain the children's attention last September.

"My pupils arrive in the lesson to the strains of a lively and invigorating Tom Jones track," she said. "But when I want them to concentrate and study, I play classical music like Faure's Pavanne.

"I usually end the lesson by playing 'So long, farewell' from The Sound of Music and the pupils know it is time to tidy up."

Ms Hacche, who has been teaching for 12 years, now has a new role in which she is responsible for covering teachers taking planning, preparation and assessment time, as well as the art and music curriculum.

She came up with her music idea after a good practice course organised by Swansea Institute's School of Education and the General Teaching Council for Wales.

Children help choose the music being played and have a soft spot for Welsh-born Mr Jones. "In my lessons in the music room the children were responsive and attentive," she said.

"But when I took the same children into their own classrooms, I found it hard going. So I started playing taped music to them and they began to listen and stopped talking."

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