During our assembly on Friday 24th January, we turned our attention to Scotland’s National Poet Robert Burns who was born in Ayrshire on 25th January 1759 and died at the age of 37 of heart disease. Despite his short life, Robert accomplished a great deal and he is very important to the Scots not just for his literary talent and achievements but for his ideals of equality and social justice
“Rabbie” wrote many wonderful poems – some romantic, some satirical and some in praise of nature (since he was the son of a farmer). Two of his poems Red, Red Rose and To a Mouse were read aloud by Dr. Roche. Burns also was a great collector of old Scottish songs and it was he who rescued and revived the song we all sing when the bells ring out for New Year – Auld Lang Syne.
On Burn’s birthday each year, many Scots hold Burns’ Night celebrations in which they pipe in a haggis which they eat with ‘neeps and tatties” (turnips and potatoes), read the “Address to a Haggis” and then go on to read poems all the while having the odd sip of whiskey.
During the assembly we were treated to a performance by bagpiper Alistair Adams. He later showed the Reception classes how the bagpipes work after the assembly and they asked lots of very intelligent questions especially after they learned that the bagpipes were played on the battlefield during WWI and that the Germans often referred to the pipers as “devils in skirts”.
We were also treated to Mrs Gina’s Year 2 class dancing the Dashing White Sergeant on stage. They danced beautifully and with wonderful co-ordination.
The programme of assemblies at the school (particularly those held on a Friday when the whole school is present) are designed, among other things, to explore a full range of cultural traditions to reflect the lively and varied community in which we live.