Dear Runnymede, Runnymede,
You make us all brave,
to learn a new way,
To live with this School forever.

These are words from the song composed by Year 6 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the School this year. The song reflects what a good year Runnymede has had celebrating its history and the many achievements made by staff, pupils and parents over the years.

Considerable effort is required to combine melody, lyrics and chords, but Year 6 have had a great year working on the project with their teachers and were full of original and touching ideas; and the composition process came relatively easily to them. They sang their song with great gusto, accompanied by cymbal flares, virtuoso violin, funky ukelele, joyful recorders and the coolest of raps. A moving moment indeed.

Songs from the Musicals was the theme for the British Benevolent Fund Concert held in Bellas Artes this year. The Year 6, 7 and 8 Choir performed songs from The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady and Whistle Down the Wind, supported by two wonderful professional soloists, a professional accompanist and the fine hosting of Mr Crumpton. Their voices rang out in the hall clear as bells, every word beautifully enunciated and finely tuned. A real high point!

The Christmas Performance saw the choir sing Joseph’s Lullaby, When Children Rule the World and Christmastime al fresco. Years 3 and 4 provided sparkle with their beautiful rendition of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, glittered by Mateo on solo glockenspiel. Claudia Pini gave a wonderful rendition of I Don’t Want A Lot for Christmas and we were moved by Monty Gordon’s superb singing and guitar playing. Águeda Mármol and Paloma Arenas in Year 7 designed the programme cover, and the whole School singing Good King Wenceslas, with massed Year 5 recorders and organ was magnificent! Congratulations to all involved.

The School acquired 16 Ukeleles in the New Year and also hosted a ukelele making project led by Mr Toyota. I was really impressed at the speed with which Years 6-9 got to grips with frets, strings and strumming patterns and with the instruments that the Junior School children made. Before long we were strumming and singing along to I’m Yours by Jason Mraz like professionals. The ukelele has given pupils a real grasp of chords and structure in songs and has led to some really wonderful work.

String, piano, drumming and wind playing continue to be widely practised in the school. Results were very good for both the Autumn and Summer ABRSM Music Exam sessions with most students passing, many with merit and some with distinction. Pupils displayed their hard work for these exams at the Summer Fair, playing the music they had learnt over the year to appreciative audiences. Congratulations to all those who performed at the Summer Fair.

Musically, the year was rounded off by the Senior School Talent Show. All pupils were invited to perform in this event and the audience was lucky enough to witness some truly great talent. The acts ranged from emerging bands to more established and from fledgling soloist to virtuoso. It was a great way to spend the last Thursday afternoon of term and I am sure has inspired many to work on their talent and be on the stage next year, which promises to be another great year of music making at Runnymede!