As parents we were reading to our children, and we fell upon a book, ‘Journey to
the River Sea’ by Eva Ibbotson - and as we talked about it we realised that we were
all bemoaning the lack of a ‘joined up’ education for our children. . . Subjects
don’t link up to describe life ‘in the round’ . . And so we did just that for our
own children . . .
What happened in the education sector :
Well, in some ways we don’t need to tell you, really. More and more regulation,
erosion of quality face to face time with teachers, increasing legislation and guidelines,
and the swop and changes in curriculum in the last 10 years while our children were
growing up, are all too well documented.
As we were thinking about ‘joined up education’ so the Rose report came out, re-designing
Primary Education to fit in with how we were thinking. . .cross curricular - how
very fortunate !
We were asked by people in the ‘learning out of school’ sector to come and do our
The home education sector seemed interested and invited us to join them at HESFES,
their home education fair. There Daniel directed a full production of his play ‘Carlos’s
field’, and we took the Journey to the River Sea research to the Gifted and Talented
Westminster Abbey Education Department engaged us to write a specific unit about
one of their scientists - and illustrate the story we tell with music by composers
who are buried in the Abbey. It seemed to appeal to the teachers, parents and pupils
We found that we liked working together. It was great !
Why we started : What we believe about learning and teaching:
a global view is important
Today’s child is fully aware of the internet and the plethora of information which
exists in the ether.Tomorrow’s adolescent will need to be able to DISCERN who to
HOW TO DECIDE WHAT IS IMPORTANT.
The key component of any new learning is this discrimination, this ability to give
‘weight’ to a snippet of information, according to context.
Teaching our children that EVERYTHING IS INTER-RELATED will help them to discern
between information that ‘adds up’, and incomplete, biased or inconsistent material.
So all our units are cross curricular.
We are fascinated by the power of music; some of us are professional musicians.
MUSIC IS REMEMBERED IN A WAY WHICH IS UNIQUE - how the mind organises itself and
the unique way it recalls music
bears more detailed research, in our view.
Also, STORYTELLING is a very potent communication tool, with adults and children
alike. Children respond to stories most immediately, and if they can participate
in the making of the story, then all the better
IN PYR WORKSHOPS WE MAKE SURE WE LINK MOST OF WHAT WE TEACH TO PIECES OF MUSIC, WHICH
ILLUSTRATE AND EMPHASISE THE EMOTIONAL CONTENT OF OUR STORY.
THIS MAKES OUR WORK MEMORABLE TO CHILDREN
“Music, uniquely among the arts, is both completely abstract and profoundly emotional.
It has no power to represent anything particular or external, but it has a unique
power to express inner states or feelings. Music can pierce the heart directly; it
needs no mediation.”
― Oliver Sacks, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain