PUPILS from St Paul’s C E Primary School in Royton helped raise the roof in London as they performed as part of a massed choir in front of more than 900 people.iSingPOP organised the event at The Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, bringing together 120 primary schools to sing to senior leaders of church schools.
St Paul’s, on Hindle Drive, was invited as one of eight schools to represent the North of England after impressing during an iSingPOP programme in December.
The organisation had visited schools up and down the country, teaching pupils seven Christmas songs in just five days so they could perform two concerts and produce a CD.
After being chosen to take part at the National Leaders’ conference in the capital in February, 30 pupils learned six more songs throughout January.
They made the trip down to London by coach and, thanks to donations from kind-hearted individuals and organisations, also enjoyed some time exploring the city.
Funds were also raised through an ‘Evening with Joe Royle’ which saw the former Oldham Athletic manager and David Wheater, current Latics’ captain, speak to an enthralled audience at the school about their lives in football.
Mrs Hilary Henderson, headteacher at St Paul’s, said: “After much appeal through social media, the newspaper and announcements in Christmas concerts and a wonderful ‘Evening with Joe Royle’, the school raised just over £3,000.
“There were a range of personnel who donated money: GBM digital technologies provided the full coach fare; Manchester Diocese; an ex-teacher of the school from 1965; our music therapist; St Paul’s Church; The Springboard Dementia Carers group; an Uppermill Brass band member; Saddleworth Singers; independent donors, parents, grandparents and friends of staff along with money raised at an Evening with Joe Royle.
“Thank you to anyone who provided sponsorship and donations for this event to take place.”
All the money raised paid for travel, a sightseeing boat trip along the River Thames, a visit to Westminster Abbey, meals, and disposable cameras to enable the children to record memories of the day.
Mrs Henderson added: “I was so proud to see our wonderful children taking part in such an amazing and unforgettable day.
“They had the chance to experience the wealth of history and culture that London has to offer while participating alongside other children who came together as a community and sing in the universal language of music and share songs which expressed Christian values, bringing everyone together to be as one.
“On Thursday, February 6, 30 children from year 5 and 6 (along with 14 adults) set off at 3.30am to travel down to London. We arrived at 9.45am after a much-delayed journey.
“By 10am the children were adorned in iSingPOP t-shirts along with 120 other children and lined up on the front of a magnificent performance area in the Methodist Central Hall.
“The audience consisted of over 900 senior leaders of education from all over the country, who gathered together for their annual conference.
“Following this performance, the children went on one of the River Thames Sightseeing boats to view some of the major landmarks.
“They also had a bespoke guided tour in Westminster Abbey to learn about the history of the wonderful religious building and the connection it has had with so many Kings and Queens and Royal events.
“The children then walked to a primary school in where they rehearsed two more songs with all the other children which they then performed at the Central Hall.
“We left London at 3.30pm to arrive back at school at 10.30pm, exhausted, very sleepy but full of amazing memories and pride at what had been achieved during the day.”
Find out more about iSingPOP on their website: www.isingpop.org