Thank God it's Friday

19th August 2005 at 01:00
I am delighted to report that whole-school singing is alive and well at Northamptonshire grammar school. In fact, it has been in particularly good health for the past 10 years. That is why "Call for singing revival" struck a chord.

What began as a "what shall we do because the person who was going to take assembly has failed to show up?" has turned into a regular Friday fixture.

As a headmaster who has enthusiastically led whole-school singing for a decade, I support without reservation Marc Jaffrey's ambition to establish a national singing strategy.

Like him, my recollection of my own school assemblies was a daily ration of traditional hymns. Now, in a more cosmopolitan 21st century, we sing the traditional, modern and the secular: "Cockles and mussels", "Little brown jug". I could go on.

But is it of any value? Of course - you should hear the volume from what many might consider to be the reluctant mouths of the average tuneless teenager.

My only regret is that next year I will not be there to witness another generation sing their hearts out, as I will have left the school. However, I understand this quirky practice is likely to continue here in middle England, where quite literally schoolchildren thank God it's Friday.

Simon Larter. 84 Towcester Road Far Cotton, Northampton

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