A couple of weeks ago we were at Rodings Primary School in Essex. This recording took us once again into the county of Essex, although on this occasion we were just inside the M25 just on the edge of Romford at St Bede’s Catholic Primary School.
Access to the School
Prior to the recording day, we had been asked to submit copies of our DBS clearance and company insurance and were requested to bring photo ID for all our staff attending on the day. Security at St Bede’s was definitely tight. On arrival we had to get through a gate with a camera, we then had to go through 2 more security doors, accompanied by a member of staff to give in our photo ID where we were also photographed before being allowed on site.
All the doors inside the school had similar security on them and we therefore found it quite tricky to unload our kit as every trip meant stopping at 3 doors to have someone open them for us. Propping open a door here was definitely not an option.
Don’t misunderstand – this is certainly not a complaint. We fully support schools taking proper care of children and ensuring they are safe and secure environments for both staff and pupils. Curiously not all schools are equal in this respect. Most schools will get us to sign in (although not all) some need photo ID, some don’t. St Bede’s is only the second school in the last few years who has requested evidence of our DBS clearance. We always carry these documents with us but mostly they stay in my briefcase!
Once we had our kit inside, we worked out the best place to set up in the hall, given that it was also going to be used for lunch. Usually we try to make use of stages for our kit as this means less has to be moved at lunchtime which also means we can record for as long as possible up to the point where kitchen staff need to set up tables and so forth.
The music teacher at St Bede’s was extremely welcoming and we had a lovely day recording the pupils and also the staff choir. There was the usual mix of year group singing, the school choir and the whole school. The staff choir were also extremely good and, compared to many, very well prepared!
We had a great time recording at St Bede’s and the CDs will shortly go into production to be ready before the end of the Summer term.