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Pupils team up with rock stars for Commonwealth Games single

IT is a school so dedicated to music that crotchets and quavers have replaced traditional gold stars to reward success.

St Anne's Primary so impressed Freddie Cowan of The Vaccines, above right, that he began mentoring pupils, and Franz Ferdinand's Paul Thomson, above left, appears on their single
St Anne's Primary so impressed Freddie Cowan of The Vaccines, above right, that he began mentoring pupils, and Franz Ferdinand's Paul Thomson, above left, appears on their single

Now pupils at St Anne's Primary in Glasgow are to release their first single - with the help of indie rock stars The Vaccines, Franz Ferdinand and Frightened Rabbit.

The school, in the east end of the city, was launched in 2013 as a self-styled "school of music", aiming for all pupils to have access to instruments and tuition, with the help of funding from Celtic FC Foundation.

When Freddie Cowan, lead guitarist of The Vaccines, heard an anti-sectarian song written by the pupils he was so impressed that he began mentoring the school, and its efforts have also been recognised with messages of support from Bob Geldof, Abba and One Direction.

The pupils will this week release a song to celebrate the Commonwealth Games on iTunes that will raise funds for children's charity Unicef - and that, with the help of Cowan's industry contacts, has been made with contributions from members of the leading indie rock bands. Franz Ferdinand drummer Paul Thomson is among those who helped out on the single

Their group, called East 40, is a ­collaboration with two secondary schools, four other primaries and two nurseries in the area, which is known as St Mungo's Learning Community.

Louise Hamilton, headteacher of St Anne's, said: "When we started off with the school of music I knew it was something good - but I didn't think it would be quite as good as it is at the moment.

"Sometimes I have to step back and think 'this is unbelievable' - we are a school and a learning community in the east end of Glasgow which is launching a song on iTunes and have got all these fabulous artists from all these different bands working with us now.

"In my office I have got a great big One Direction poster signed by Louis Tomlinson saying good luck to everyone and I've got personal messages from Abba about the school of music.

"I don't think I ever imagined that would happen - that so many people would be so blown away with the things that are happening in St Anne's and the impact the music is having that they have wanted to be part of it and they have wanted to help."

Hamilton said music was involved in all aspects of the school - including having a rewards system based on musical notes so that, for example, a crotchet counts as one point for good behaviour.

She said the success of the music programme had been such that many pupils had received presents of drum kits and guitars for Christmas instead of the usual toys.

She added: "The children are very young and they are going to be so musically skilled when they are older.

"There are not many children that would have the opportunity of working with Freddie Cowan, Franz Ferdinand and Frightened Rabbit.

"It is such an honour for the school to have those kind of links."

Councillor Stephen Curran, executive member for education and young people at Glasgow City Council, said: "This is a wonderful school and an amazing ­opportunity for the young people of the east end.

"The children are an inspiration."

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