This project has been a long time in the planning – and it’s always a hugely exciting time when you have the first reveal of a project to those who are going to be participating in it.  That happened in our planning sessions.

Some of our primary school partners told us that they were keen to have an injection of new ideas to support their delivery of the coding curriculum.  We brought these teachers together with a community projects team from Rolls Royce and following those discussions the Rolls Royce team has designed a series of coding and programming activities, intended to inspire key stage 2 students to exploring coding in a dynamic and interesting way at school, as well as giving them the chance to work directly with the Rolls Royce team on an activity all about controlling a robot.

Alongside this, writer Hazel Gould, composer Raph Clarkson and music workshop leader Jessie Grimes met the Rolls Royce team and explored a range of coding, programming and algorithm ideas, which led to Hazel writing text for three new songs, which Raph then composed.

The planning session is the first time when we really get to hear the songs and feel the reaction of those involved in the project, and it’s such a great feeling – finally bringing together all the different partners who have a stake in the project – and seeing what it is that inspires them – and hopefully sending them off with a spring in their step, and an enthusiasm to get started on the project.

The session included composer & workshop leaders Raph & Jessie, music hub singing lead Rachel, Deirdre and Clare from the orchestra, the Rolls Royce community project team, BSL interpreter Sarah, staff and teachers from Derby College, Bemrose Secondary School, Becket Primary, Firs Primary, Cavendish Close Junior, Portway Junior and Repton Primary.

We met Edison the robot, looked at how Edison would navigate a maze, organised times, confirmed sessions, sang songs, chatted about BSL signs for the songs, made a text piece inspired by James Tenney’s Swell Piece, which will feature in the final performance, looked at a range of different computer algorithms and musical codes, and ate cake together – a brilliant way to bring the team together so we are all ready for the project which follows over the next couple of months.