Redditch Peace and Conflict Project

The Redditch Peace and Conflict Project is drawing to a close and the final showcase/sharing event will be Monday 18 July at 1.15pm (earlier than previously given).  It should end by 1.45pm. Thirteen children are participating.

Students formed three teams (the Suns, the Thunderbolts and the Stars) and created heraldic shields. Led by Micaela Schmitz, they have created their own battle song which consists of a chorus where the students composed the text, and using the rhythms of the words, set it to a tune.

Verses began life as slogans, which were expanded to describe elements on their team shields. These were nudged into melodic shapes.

As is common in special needs schools, the students devised actions almost at the same time as they created the texts, so their performance has a high degree of expressive movement.

Guided by Worcestershire poet laureate Heather Wastie, their words were shaped into three poems with the titles ‘Friends’, ‘Solitude’ and ‘Friends and Family’, which will performed interspersed with non-tuned percussion sound-scapes, to support the theme of conflict and peace making.

Led by Micaela, they learned ‘Dona nobis pacem’ and devised a peace dance to the music. They are also performing an updated version of ‘The Armed Man’, plus movements.

The students have really shone and as a high functioning group of KS2 children have been very supported by their music teacher, Sarah Mantle, and teaching assistants, to take this project to heart.

Although the project was originally designed to be shared by a mainstream school and a special school, the fact that it took place only with the special school students allowed a very free range of expression (particularly physical movement) to take place.

Poems created by the children guided by Heather Wastie during the project

Friends

Friends are part of us

Good friends love us

and we love them

 

Friends are kind

Friends can rely on each other

 

If friends break your heart

maybe they’re not such good friends after all

 

Friends are important

Friends are human

just like us

 

by The Stars

 

Solitude

 

Peace and quiet

where I can focus

 

No-one can annoy me

or wind me up

 

Where I can control

what happens

 

If I had no solitude

I’d be angry and upset

 

by The Suns

 

Friends and family

 

Be nice and kind to each other

Be brave for each other

Care for each other

Show love because friends are for life

 

Nothing’s as precious as friends and family

not even money or gold

If you upset someone, make it right

Say sorry and give them a hug

 

by The Thunderbolts

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Author: Micaela Schmitz

Originally from the USA, Dr. Micaela Schmitz is an early music specialist with a Doctorate of Musical Arts in historic keyboards and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the Eastman School of Music. She studied at the Royal Conservatory, the Hague on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, after which she and her husband decided to re-locate to the UK.