When I was ten and in year 5, as a pupil, I learned all about the Ancient Egyptians for the very first time. I fell in love with all things Egyptian because of the most amazing school trip I have ever been on, in my entire life. No school trip, as a teacher, will ever beat it. (I don’t think.)
We (my family and I) were living in Cyprus at the time, so we were literally a day’s ferry ride away from Egypt itself. My school planned a trip to Egypt for the year 5 and 6 children. We spent a day travelling to Egypt, a day in Egypt and a day travelling back to Cyprus. Like I said, it was the best school trip ever. I saw the pyramids, the Sphinx, Cairo museum, the mummy hall, Tutankhamun’s underpants, bought a papyrus and got heat stroke, all in one day!
So now I get really enthusiastic when it comes teaching children all about Ancient Egypt. I drag out the photos and things I have from that trip. I show them photos online and say “I’ve seen that in real life!” It’s my favourite history topic to teach. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of it.
In 2013, the same year that my class sang Roman style in their class assembly, we also sang “We built the pyramids on rock and roll!” for a performing arts week at school. The teachers had to plan a week of lessons around their term topic but also one of our school values linked in cross curricularly. We had creativity. Instantaneously, in the staff meeting, my head was swarming with ideas. I knew what I wanted to base the song on, but couldn’t find the right song to play it to. On the drive home, the other year 3 teacher texted me with “we built this city on rock and roll.” It was a brilliant idea. The text from my team leader assured me that we had this performance covered and nothing was going to stop us from doing it now. I parked my car outside my house, ran inside and began typing the new lyrics to the song. I’d finished the song by the time my dinner was on the table. I was a genius and I knew it in that moment.
I returned to school and began teaching the children a few weeks before our themed week even started. The children loved learning the song and rocking away on air guitars, during the instrumental part in the middle. The other year 3 teacher wrote the script for the play the children performed, all about Pharoah Achu wanting to build a huge monument in his rememberance. He filmed it all on his school iPad, put it together and we gathered all of the year 3 children into the corridor space to perform the song as the finale! It was another huge success. Another moment where I felt like I love my job! I still have the script to the play somewhere and hope that one day he’ll give me copyrighted permission to perform it with another class.