Last summer we had a Gamelan tutor and instruments here for 3 days working with last year's Y4 and culminating in excellent performances at Thurrock Music Festival and the Thurrock International Cultural Celebration. We were so impressed with this that we decided to have a longer project where each year 4 class could make Javanese style puppets and perform a puppet play with Gamelan accompaniment. Each class will have their own evening performance to enable maximum participation and allowing their parents to see the show.
We again gave all of year 4 the opportunity to spend three days at the field centre at Wat Tyler Country Park, staying over night and enjoying songs around the campfire on their last evening. Children learnt about the ecology of the park as it is now and also it's history, including the old cottage the former dynamite factory owned by Alfred Nobel (Nobel actually started his famous peace prize in reparation for the fortune he made developing and selling high explosives). Often the first chance for children to stay away from home, the visit is the basis for much of the children's work the first half term.