Heywood singers raise spirits in the community

9th June 2021

A pupil sings in front of a microphone with her class, with her hands raised

Being a school that enjoys being firmly rooted in the community, Heywood Prep in Corsham, Wiltshire, was delighted to bring ‘Waltz by Your Window’ to local residents, including Hungerford House Care Home.

‘Waltz by Your Window’ is a community music initiative where Year 6 children took part in an afternoon tour of local outdoor venues; including Hungerford House Care Home, Springfield Campus and Martingate Centre.

The children worked together to choose the venues, inspired by a desire to bring joy to the local people and lift the spirits of people who have been unable to attend live music during the pandemic. The class sang popular and well-known songs and played unusual instruments, including the melodica, kazoo, boomwhackers, egg shakers and more! Songs included highlights from Alice in Wonderland and this year’s leavers’ song – Good Riddance by Green Day!

The event was a huge success and very well attended by care home residents, local people and even BBC Wiltshire, who took the opportunity to interview some of the pupils. One pupil remarked, “I enjoyed every bit of it, seeing all those excited faces!”

A pupil sings in front of a microphoneThe school has a connection with Hungerford House Care Home, where the children would usually perform for them at Christmas. Due to the pandemic, pupils have not been able to perform for the residents at all – in fact, the care home residents have had no visitors or entertainment for over a year. Heywood Prep wanted to find a way to bring them joy and entertainment in a safe and secure way. This is how the idea of ‘Waltz by Your Window’ was born!

Some residents watched through their window, and others were able to watch from the veranda. Hungerford House were over the moon when the school ran the idea past them, and the performance went down a storm with the residents!

Tracey Bass, Senior Care Leader said: “The residents absolutely loved having the children perform. This was their first external activity or entertainment since before lockdown well over a year ago. Entertainment is a huge part of the residents’ day-to-day life that they have had to live without for a long time, so it was very special to be chosen as a venue for the ‘Waltz by Your Window’ tour. The children really lifted the spirits of all of the residents – it was a beautiful day.”

Headmistress, Mrs Rebecca Mitchell, was incredibly proud of all the children who took part, and commented that “We have been delighted to bring joy to local residents once again, and orchestrating a novel way to do so has been part of the fun. The children gained such a lot from the experience and I hope that the community enjoyed it as much as we did!”