GALLERY: Peckover Primary School’s multi-cultural festival is a big success

Pupils from Peckover School held a multi-lingual singing festival at Thomas Clarkson Academy.

Pupils from Peckover School held a multi-lingual singing festival at Thomas Clarkson Academy. - Credit: Archant

A SCHOOL at the centre of a controversy over children being asked to sing a Lithuanian song won tumultuous applause as it staged a multi-cultural singing festival.

Pupils from Peckover School held a multi-lingual singing festival at Thomas Clarkson Academy.

Pupils from Peckover School held a multi-lingual singing festival at Thomas Clarkson Academy. - Credit: Archant

Thomas Clarkson Academy, Wisbech, was packed with 200 parents, a civic delegation and a Lithuanian Embassy representative for the hour-long concert by pupils from the town’s Peckover Primary School.

Pupils from Peckover School held a multi-lingual singing festival at Thomas Clarkson Academy.

Pupils from Peckover School held a multi-lingual singing festival at Thomas Clarkson Academy. - Credit: Archant

Head teacher Sarah Conant said: “It was an absolutely fantastic afternoon which attracted lots of positive comments from people who attended.

Pupils from Peckover School held a multi-lingual singing festival at Thomas Clarkson Academy.

Pupils from Peckover School held a multi-lingual singing festival at Thomas Clarkson Academy. - Credit: Archant

“The point was to have a multi-cultural interaction which celebrated our diversity.”

Pupils from Peckover School held a multi-lingual singing festival at Thomas Clarkson Academy.

Pupils from Peckover School held a multi-lingual singing festival at Thomas Clarkson Academy. - Credit: Archant

The concert was a far cry from a week earlier when a group of parents organised a petition and claimed children were coming home in tears after being forced to learn the Lithuanian song.


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Mrs Conant, faced at one stage with a media outcry that saw 600 people comment online to the Daily Mail’s version of events, responded by keeping precisely to what had been planned.

It was a universally popular decision by the majority of parents and townsfolk as children took part in a concert that embraced all eight different languages spoken in the school.

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Guests at Thomas Clarkson Academy, where the concert took place, included the Mayor, Councillor Samantha Hoy, and the leader of Wisbech Town Council, Councillor David Oliver.

Mrs Conant said: “Staff and children had a fantastic time.”

The children sang a range of songs in a high-energy concert opened by children saying hello in Lithuanian, Russian, Polish, Latvian, Mandarin, Greek, Turkish and English.

The event was funded with the help of a cultural fund grant from Cambridgeshire County Council and is the first time that the school has organised a festival on a grand scale.

Mrs Conant, in a letter circulated to parents in advance, insisted alternative arrangements were available to those who did not want their children to attend.

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