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Saturday, September 18, 2021

St. Michael’s Middle School: “Absence” Makes the School Grow Stronger

The pandemic has certainly brought along challenges none of us had ever even contemplated. It has, however, also inspired some incredible creative projects from all walks of life. St. Michael’s Middle School have come together in song to address the differences and difficulties we’ve had to endure…

The pupils and staff of St. Michael’s Middle School in Wimborne have released a song called Absence in the midst of a pandemic. The song was composed by the school’s head of music Ed Johnston and is themed around the challenges people have faced during these difficult times.

Rehearsed in COVID-safe classrooms over the last few weeks, over 600 pupils aged between ten and 13 have learnt the melody and the lyrics as part of their music lessons. They have been able to showcase their skills, gain confidence and contribute to a great cause.

Whilst the song title suggests otherwise, the actual meaning of it is quite the opposite of absence. It’s all about presence, the importance of caring for the people we love even if we can’t be close to them this year.

The determination, awareness and positive outlook is truly inspiring. “We’ve had a lot of different feelings during this pandemic and singing this song has helped us express some of those emotions,” said Chloe Ryan of Year Six.


Composer and head of music Ed Johnston says it was all about the shared experience. “The song is about not being able to be together this Christmas as much as we’d like to be, but also remembering the old adage, absence makes the heart grow fonder”.

Indeed, it’s been fun for both the pupils and the staff, but the cause behind it is just as important as the people involved.

The school is encouraging people to make a donation to their chosen charity Routes to Roots, who work with homeless people in Poole. The children of St. Michael’s have been taking part in a reverse advent calendar, where they have been giving instead of receiving. So far, they have collected over 1,000 items of clothing, food and other essentials key to those in need.

You can check the video out on YouTube and donate to the schools Just Giving page. For more local music stories, click here. And you can also follow HQB News on all our socials: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Dan Rushton
Dan is a Birmingham-born lad who moved down to Brighton in the summer of 2019 to pursue a career in PR within the entertainment technology industry. The events industry was hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic. In March 2020 he made the move to Bournemouth and intends to stay here to try take his career further. He has always been a keen writer and talker, describing himself as confident, funny and outgoing. His interests include politics, football, art, music and live entertainment. He has been with HQB since June 2020.

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