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Hamlin Robinson Winter Concert Event

This year Hamlin Robinson School is celebrating Winter with sounds of the season. Levels 2, 3, 5 and 8 have all busily been preparing music to celebrate this snowy time. Our Winter Concert will also include a performance by our music faculty, and perhaps even a snow-themed singalong.

Level 2: As early as the 13th century, King Henry VIII proclaimed that there would be a fair in late autumn to support merchants and tradespeople through the harsh Winter season. Later, the story of Scarborough Fair was popularized as a folk song, and then again made popular in 1960s by Simon and Garfunkel. The Level 2 class is performing this song as two people separated by impossible tasks, with students coming up with motions to interpret the often mysterious Olde English language in the song.

Level 3: Fuyuzakura are a breed of cherry blossom that bloom from late fall to early Winter in Japan These delicate white flowers are often accompanied by snowfall, and there are many folk songs about their natural beauty. The Level 3 class has worked hard to learn a verse of the song Yuki (translated as Snow). Students have learned the song in Japanese and English. We’ve even sung the song for Japanese-speaking faculty members in order to improve our pronunciation. The song will be accompanied lightly with piano, and sung in a 3-part round.

Level 5: You’ve probably heard of Elvis’ rendition of the song Hound Dog, originally popularized by Big Mama Thornton, but have you heard of a… Winter Dog?! The Level 5 class has learned the ukulele chords to Hound Dog, and as a special treat, each of the three classes have collaborated on their own original verse of this new song, referred to in our class as Winter Dog.

Level 8: As students enter their final year before high school, the priority of our music program is shifted from large-scale performance to personal advocacy. Level 8 students work in small bands to create music for assemblies and/or concerts. We have three bands performing for our Winter Concert and each has picked music and arranged it based upon their specific skills and interests.

Our first band will be performing an arrangement of White Winter Hymnal by the Fleet Foxes, a piece that weaves complicated singing, xylophone, and body percussion together into one song. Another group has chosen to do an assembly singalong to Jingle Bells. Finally, we have a reprise of the Jingle Buddies who bring a percussive passion to Winter parties.

Our goal as a music program is to approach music in a historical equitable fashion. This year we chose secular music for our Winter Concert. If you have any questions about music programming or repertoire, you can contact me at ofox@hamlinrobinson.org.

Happy New Year, and welcome to the HRS Blog!

Being a part of a school community provides the opportunity for two new years, one in September as school gets underway, and one in January as the calendar resets for another cycle. The Back to School are events behind us, students are settled into their routines, teachers have completed progress reports and held conferences, and parents have connected with teachers and others in the community.

Winter break allows us to slow down just enough to catch up with all that has happened and to reflect on the first few months of the school year. By the time we celebrate this second New Year, we are refreshed and excited for what the future holds.

As I reflect on my first months as Head of School, I find much satisfaction in what Hamlin Robinson School is able to accomplish on behalf of our students. I am surrounded by incredible people working tirelessly to deliver our mission.

I am reminded that Hamlin Robinson School is a special place. Here are my top reasons for feeling this way:

  • The Students: At 284 students, HRS has more than doubled its enrollment since 2012. Strong enrollment isn't just good for the business of a school, it also enriches the learning environment by filling classes with students with shared experiences and diverse backgrounds.

    Our students' unique talents and gifts are given the opportunity to shine at Hamlin Robinson School. The acknowledgement that, for some, learning to read, learning to write, and learning the language of math takes dedication, time, and hard work, creates a shared experience of camaraderie and creativity. These challenges are no longer viewed as though something is "wrong". Students are able to see themselves as successful learners, have a positive experience at school, and then fully embrace their learning process. All while being themselves. It is rewarding and enjoyable to watch this process unfold.
  • The Teachers: The number one school-based factor in a student's success is the teacher in their classroom. A caring, skilled, and compassionate educator will not only create but also enhance a child's learning experience and set them on the path of success and lifelong learning.

    Hamlin Robinson School has an incredibly talented and dedicated faculty, one that finds great enjoyment supporting students with language-based learning differences. Our teachers enjoy their work and are excited by the challenges they see in the classroom every day. All of our classroom teachers have extensive training in teaching reading and writing skills, as well as understanding the educational, social, and emotional impact of a language based learning difference. The faculty appreciates the challenges of each age group. They are invested and engaged with the learning that happens every day, whether it is academic, social, and/or emotional. It is often the work that happens outside the curriculum that makes the greatest impact on the life of a student.
  • The Parents: Every school strives to create a welcoming and inclusive community where the individual gifts of each student are treasured and accepted. Nowhere, though, is that goal realized so quickly as amongst the families at Hamlin Robinson School.

    Many of our families share similar experiences with previous schools. The journey to understanding your child's unique learning needs can be fraught with worry and questions. As a result, I find that our parent community is incredibly welcoming and generous. The time and talent offered to support not only their child, but every student, is amazing. The networking and support afforded to each other helps build a strong and resilient school community for everyone.

    These shared experiences are so powerful that many of our families and alumni return year after year just to volunteer or visit with faculty and staff.

Equipping students with the skills to be successful students is important work. Being in an environment where students, teachers, and parents feel successful in their endeavors is very rewarding. Looking back over the past year, I feel a real sense of pride in all that has been accomplished. Looking forward to what the New Year holds, I feel hope and excitement for what is to come.

Stacy Turner

Head of School

Hamlin Robinson School

Read more about Head's Notes: Happy New Year from HRS!

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