I thought this was going to be a simple subject to write my essay college about. After all, I have the evidence right here next to my computer: the dog-eared exercise books bearing band names and covered in pages ripped from magazines. I’ve confiscated CDs and walkmans (walkmen?) and found myself saying that I remember the original version of whatever it is somebody’s humming, although of course the version I remember is probably not the original either. However, trying to pin down the fickleness of music fashion isn’t easy. One lesson, the Busted poster curls itself round the exercise book so that the gleaming white teeth are strangely distorted into a mocking grin, and the next lesson sees the teeth now coloured in with blue biro and the boy band’s eyes gauged out. So what are “the kids” listening to? It was much easier in one school I worked in. If the class had been good, they were allowed to stay in their classrooms during wet breaks, and each year group’s musical tastes would be easy to categorise. Year 7 classes would opt to blast out a cacophany of rock, presumably to accompany the skater lifestyle they all dreamed of as they performed stunt moves on fingerboards. I think it’s also called nu-metal, and it became a poignant moment for me, as I also listened to the same type of music. It was driving to school one morning, with my car stereo blasting out some wake-up track about nobody understanding my generation, when I realised that they weren’t referring to my generation at all, and that frankly wasn’t I just a bit old for all that nonsense? In fact, wasn’t I now that out of touch authority figure that “the kids” were up against? If I’d have watched the video it would probably have contained images of the band burning an effigy of their crabby old teacher who had the audacity to attempt a highjack of their favourite tunes. It was the Year 8 classes where the girls got to choose the music during wet breaks, maybe because they took advantage of the growth spurt to reach the CD player first. Their music of choice was the likes of Missy Elliot and other rappers, although Eminem had been banned after one teacher read the bl*nked lyrics in the Daily Mail and decided to hold him personally responsible for all the evils currently flooding society. Eminem was the graffiti name of choice from that moment onwards.
Amongst the boys, Eminem is still very much revered, although there’s a tendency to worship any over the top guitar playing. Thanks to The Osbournes, I guess, there’s a small but profitable trade in hiring out the family collection of Black Sabbath and Motorhead albums and the like. Nirvana is a band that’s still popular, even though the Year 7s were still in nappies when Kurt Cobain shot his own brains out ten years ago. And do they really know the music of the Dead Kennedys and Ramones, or is it just cool to wear hooded tops bearing those names? Their parents might well have the original LPs, so maybe now it’s okay to share music tastes with your parents. Another side effect of The Osbournes? If that’s the case, maybe it’s okay to dust off the CDs I thought I was too old for? Maybe I’ll still keep hiding the CD cases from the view of any toerag peering through my car window. I don’t want to be heckled for my unerring ignorance of musical fashions.
You have an important decision to make – to choose a Primary School for your child. In 2003 OFSTED described our school as a “very good school with some excellent features”. We feel proud of our school and hope you will consider Wallands for your child.
The school is well known for being a very happy, open and vibrant school as well as for the outstanding quality and work of its staff, who are experienced and approachable. We believe in high standards both in the core subjects and in the more artistic side of the curriculum. Visitors will find stimulating displays of children’s work throughout the school and there is a strong musical tradition at Wallands. In addition the school is increasingly strong at PE and computer work.
At Wallands we strive to help children to develop a positive self-image through knowledge of the world and of themselves. The skills of good communication, independence and awareness of self and others, are taught in the context of a clear moral framework. Spiritual values, creative expression and logical thought are encouraged. It is a school in which clear expectations are set in terms of work and behaviour and where equal access to the curriculum is provided for each child. Full details of the curriculum are available at the school.
Reception and Key Stage 1 classes are limited to a maximum of 30 and Key Stage 2 to a maximum of 32. All classes are very well supported by Teaching Assistants with full time assistants in Reception classes. Our aim is to ensure that all children enjoy school and experience success, whilst also achieving the highest standard of which they are capable.