Parents and children try out Taiko drums at summer school

It is meant to be the time when they are off on summer holiday - but one eager group of students have even brought their parents to school this week.

At the summer school at Thomas Adams School in Wem students and parents have enjoyed a Taiko drumming session.

Organised by senior teacher Tom McAleavy, the session taught first time players the art of the Japanese drumming.

He said: “We commit to running a summer club every year and it is always quite popular.
“Everyone enjoys the drumming because it is quite fun and different to anything most people have done before.

“They learn something new and it might encourage them to explore music a little more.

“To be able to share this with their parents is also a unique experience.”

About 40 students and parents took part in the session, which is part of a whole schedule of events across two weeks. It includes art work, acting, singing and sporting competitions.

Cole Murray, 11 of Wem, is due to start at Thomas Adams School in September after finishing year six at St Peter’s Primary School this month.

He said: “The drumming was great fun, I have never done anything like this before and I liked the noise - I like things when they are loud.

“I learnt a lot in a short space of time and the summer school has been great so far.”
Mia Lewis, 11 of Market Drayton, is also due to start in year seven in September.

She said: “I find it really good that I get to try new experiences, with the drumming I liked that I got to express my talents, whether it’s shouting loud or the music.

“I have made lots of friends during summer school so far.”

One of the parents who joined in the drumming session was Paula Grimes, 50 of Quinebrook. Her son Frank, 11, has just finished Whixhall Primary School and she believes the summer school is great to ease him into his new school.

She said: “It is invaluable for the kids and helps with preparation for secondary school.

“It helps with coordination and interaction to meet who will be his classmates before they start school.

“For me too, it was great fun - I have never done anything like that before.”

The session was lead by Martin Fischer, who leads Taiko in the Community drumming group, and his son Steven.

He said: “The students really seem to like the drumming.

“It is nice to see them turning up in the holiday and where else can you go and make noise and shout your head off without getting told off?”

Taiko in the Community meets in term time at Thomas Adams School in Lowe Hill Road and St Peter’s Primary School in Shrubbery Gardens.
The group has been campaigning to raise £10,000 to buy new big barrow drums - Mia drums - as the current drums are 16-years-old.

After a donation from Shropshire Housing Group Community Development Fund earlier this year they have now been able to order the first drums which are being made in China and shipped from Germany. They are due to arrive in September.

Head teacher of the school Liz Dakin said she was very proud of the number of events taking place at Thomas Adams School over the summer.

She added: “The summer school is optional but is always very busy.

“Students and their parents get to experience something they might not otherwise be able to.

“It is about continuing to challenge children whilst having fun in the holidays, they can socialise and enjoy themselves and hopefully this will help them grow as a person and feel more confident in joining the school in September.

“Obviously it is good for parents who have to continue to work but when they can also join in with their children for the activities it is a great day out.
“We hope this kind of event will continue at the school for many years to come, it is down to the hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers, whom I would like to thank.”