Bloxham Primary School’s Big Festival in the Playground 2 took place on Saturday 17th June and was a massive hit with pupils and parents. The Festival, which included a main stage as well as drama, art and literary tents and a line-up of 17 different show, performed from 3 pm – 9.30 pm, took place in the schools own grassy playing fields, giving it a proper ‘festival feel’.

Bloxham is unusual as a primary school in having a specialist music teacher in the staff,  and all pupils from the youngest in Foundation classes up to those in Year Six all benefit from the energy and enthusiasm of Miss Coles, whose idea it was to hold a summer Festival.

“Oxfordshire has a thriving music scene, with Festivals like Cornbury, Wilderness and Cropedy but what’s unique about ours is that it was all for children.  Over 300 children performed in different music or drama activities throughout the day.  We sold over a thousand tickets [or over a thousand people came along – delete as appropriate] and we all had a brilliant time.  I couldn’t be more proud of the children or staff,” said Matthew Ingall, head teacher at Bloxham Primary School.

“It’s so important to experience music at primary school. Making music develops all sorts of skills, for example you’ll learn listening, imagining, performing, coordination, maths from counting time and team work if you play in a group. All  that while having fun with music!” said Miss Coles.

“The idea for a festival came after we’d put on a few traditional concerts in the church.  Bloxham has a huge church, but it was standing room only as the concerts were so popular, so we decided to go for a proper festival.

“The children formed a management committee, designed the posters and logo and thought about all sorts of details involved in running a big event such as waste collection and recycling.  We even put on a fund-raising gig at Banbury Cross to raise money for our branded tee shirts,” Miss Cole added.

A highlight of the Festival was an appearance from Aitch Bembridge, drummer from The Specials, who has worked with a host of  famous names from David Bowie to Bob Geldof. Aitch gave lesson in ska to the children in the morning and joined them on the main stage for the headline act.

Head teacher Matthew Ingall concluded:

“We’re a close-knit community and something like this only works with a great team pulling together.  The Festival was a huge success and I’d like to thank everyone who took part, noting especially the parent committee ‘Friends of Bloxham Primary School’, Miss Coles who made it all happen and also of course Aitch who was so kind and cool, a real inspiration for the children.”

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