Schools project: Jock O’ the Syde

I’m delighted to be returning for the third year running to work with the Primary 7s at Trinity Primary School in Hawick as they prepare for their own dramatisation of a Border Ballad and performing it at the Hawick Reiver’s Festival in March.

This year they will be writing and performing Jock O’ the Syde, which tells of the rescue of a Scotsman from the castle at Newcastle. My role will be helping the children to add music to the dramatisation, using various techniques involving improvisation and graphic scores.

Once again I’ll be working alongside visual artist and Historic Scotland education officer Jane Gaze, who has been important in supporting this project and developing a range of creative responses to encounters with Scottish history in schools.

Border Ballads are unique in world literature and this cross-curricular project brings together many strands, including literacy, expressive arts, social studies, mathematics and health and well-being. It’s also a great opportunity for the children to discover, explore, respond to, celebrate and thus conserve and promote their own heritage and culture. As a traditional musician and teacher, it’s a treat to be involved.

Photo of classroom display by Trinity Primary School children (c) Gordon Turnbull


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