As part of our Optimistic October activities, we invited Rookie Rockstars to promote positive mental health to all our pupils from Primary 1 to Primary 7.
Rookie Rockstars is a Scottish charity dedicated to improving children and young persons' mental health and wellbeing. They offer a four-day music programme where they work with children, teaching them original songs which they record to CD and then perform in a concert. The programme is free with any money made from the concert tickets and CD sales going back to Rookie Rockstars to support their school programme and Rookie Minds, their children's mental health counselling service.
"I liked how they were putting kids problems into rock songs and making them fun."
- Patrick Reilly (P6)
The sessions began with our pupils learning and rehearsing five rock songs, each with a different theme. The children loved the programme, and learned positive messages about self-esteem, anti-bullying, perseverance, determination and positive friendship values.
Pupils were organised via the House system allowing them to collaborate across year groups with over 500 children from Melville Ogilvie and Cockburn Greyfriars participating in one session and over 500 members of Laurison and Preston Falconhall in the other.
“Loved the experience which allowed us to see the teachers and pupils out of their norm and relaxed, performing head-banging movements and the penguin dances as well as singing songs about important topics”
- Katy (P4)
Deputy Head Teacher Kate Wilson said: "Being all together in one place, every pupil from P1-P7 with all members of staff, everyone participating, smiling, working together and having fun was so powerful. It was one of those treasured moments when you know that you are indeed part of something special."
Day four saw the entire Junior School come together to record a CD of the songs they had learned. It was quite something to hear over 1,000 voices in the Sports Hall!
Pupils were also given the opportunity to design the CD cover for their recording. Molly and Fern (both P7) were chosen as joint winners by Rookie Rockstars and will have their designs combined to create the cover.
All of this had been building up the main event – two rock concerts in the Senior School Assembly Hall for our children's families. Pupils and staff really made the most of it with many dressing up for the occasion. Many staff took the opportunity to dress up very seriously!
Some of our Primary 4 pupils wrote a poem about their experience:
Rookie rockstars was amazing,
Everybody was star gazing,
Singing and dancing and clapping along,
I’m so Glad was my favourite song,
Air-guitar and rock-and-roll,
Our head-banging was out of control,
Energetic jumping and GWC shufflin’,
I’m so glad the rockstars came along.
- Andrew, Fraser, Olivia, Hamish and David (P4)