The unmistakeable strains of legendary rock anthems have shaken an independent school in Liphook to its very foundations.
The occasion was Rock Day at Highfield and Brookham Schools, held last Friday as a feel-good celebration in response to almost two years of restrictions and disruption caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
And it followed hard on the heels of national Children’s Mental Health Week at the end of February, which the school marked with a series of workshops, presentations and themed lessons which put the focus firmly on the continued well-being of its pupils.
The school chapel, usually the preserve of choristers and classical musicians, was transformed into a stunning arena of rock as children, suitably attired in sensational outfits, make up and big hair and wielding inflatable guitars, belted out classic tunes from the likes of AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Status Quo and Queen in a bid to be crowned rock gods of their particular year group.
And the three-strong judging panel, complete with Strictly-style score paddles, couldn’t fail to be impressed by the poise, character and vibrant vocals of the young songsters as the likes of Highway To Hell, Born To Be Wild and I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll reverberated around the chapel.
Not to be outdone entirely by the talented children, Highfield Head of PE Jo Gordon (vocals) and Head of Maths Patrick Davies (guitar) teamed up to perform four ZZ Top and Led Zeppelin tracks at break time while Slash (aka Head of Drama Sarah Baird) and Axl Rose (Head of Maths John Mühlemann) rocked the playground with superb covers of Guns n’ Roses hits Paradise City and Sweet Child O’ Mine.
Highfield Headmaster Phillip Evitt, who was on the judging panel, was in awe of the standard of the performances of the children, who were aged nine to 13.
“What our children achieve here at Highfield never ceases to amaze me,” he said.
“They have the talent, the aptitude, the resolve and the confidence to turn their hands to pretty much anything, either as individuals or in groups, to incredible effect. What we saw in the chapel on Rock Day was nothing short of sensational.
“Getting up on stage in front of your peers and in front of your teachers can be quite daunting to many children, but each and every one of them got up there, did their best and performed to an exceptional standard. I am incredibly proud of each and every one of them.”