Pupils from an East Lancashire primary school took part in a unique experience when they stepped inside 10 Downing Street for Red Nose Day.

On Friday (March 15), pupils from St Mary’s Haslingden and Cherry Tree Primary School in Watford participated in a range of workshops inside Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s home as part of a collaboration with Comic Relief.

The children took part in Lessons at 10, an initiative set up by Akshata Murty, wife of the Prime Minister, with the aim of providing children with the opportunity to experience the history of 10 Downing Street and in doing so encourage a love for learning

On Red Nose Day, students from Year 5 and Year 6 were joined by Waves Music Therapy to take part in a rap workshop with youth worker Ed Hallwood, a project supported by Comic Relief that uses music to help children develop literacy skills, build confidence and form bonds. 

Headteacher of St Mary’s Haslingden Donna McNicoll said: “It has been an absolute privilege and an honour for the children to visit such a prestigious house which has so much history attached to it.

“The children got a real insight into the working life of the Prime Minister and a unique opportunity to experience what happens behind the scenes of the famous black door.

“Lessons at 10 gives the children a real-life experience of democracy and to understand the role the government plays in society.

“It's been a once in a lifetime experience and an unforgettable day for all involved. We are extremely grateful and honoured to have been given this opportunity.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Akshata Murty, wife of the Prime Minister, hosted Lessons at 10 for Haslingden school childrenAkshata Murty, wife of the Prime Minister, hosted Lessons at 10 for Haslingden school children (Image: PM's office)

Mrs Murty joined students as they worked in teams to explore a beat, writing lyrics based on rhyming exercises and shared their rap skills in a short performance to improve creative techniques for the future.

Pupils also worked together to develop their writing skills as they were encouraged to spot rhyming patterns. This allowed them to build their understanding of vocabulary and its relationship to sound and rhythm while using word techniques as a vehicle to engage with learning.

Mrs Murty said: “It was wonderful to welcome the team from Waves Music Therapy to Downing Street and see the joy and creativity they brought to the kids during Lessons at 10.

“Comic Relief helps to fund so many amazing charities around the world, having raised over £1 billion in the last 30 years.

“Today’s incredible rap workshop was a great example of the support that Comic Relief and Waves Music therapy provide in schools across the UK.”

Lessons at 10 aims to bring education to life, encourage a love for learning and inspire children from across the UK, with any school being able to take part.

Mrs Murty also spoke to pupils about the importance of Red Nose Day raising money for Comic Relief, a charitable project which supports projects and organisations that are making a difference for people across the UK and around the world.

Lancashire Telegraph: Akshata Murty, wife of the Prime Minister, hosted Lessons at 10 for Haslingden school childrenAkshata Murty, wife of the Prime Minister, hosted Lessons at 10 for Haslingden school children (Image: PM's Office)

Founder and chief executive of Waves Music Therapy Victoria Hartkemeyer said: “Waves Music Therapy were delighted to be invited to No.10 to deliver our Rapper in Residence workshop for Lessons at 10.

“The Rap Workshops use professional rap artists, alongside our therapists, to engage young people in positive, creative music making, which builds relationships, confidence, self-esteem, community and most critically helps young people to feel heard.

“Music is a powerful tool to engage young people and support their mental health and wellness.

“The Waves Rapper in Residence programme is featured in this year’s Red Nose Day film and the team were delighted to share the work with the children attending today’s Lessons at 10 and Mrs Murty, and to have the opportunity to share how music therapy positively impacts those with additional needs.”

In 2022, the government set out its national plan for music education to 2030, which ensures that all children have the opportunity to progress in the world of music by learning to sing, play an instrument and create music together, while understanding the meaning behind lyrics.

Under these plans, all children and young people will experience a broad musical culture in schools and education settings and will access a high-quality music curriculum.