9:00am Sunday 8th April 2012
By Clare Buchanan
A popular nursery rhyme was thought to be the black sheep of children’s yarns after political correctness was believed to have gone mad at a school.
Pupils at Park Hill School, in Kingston, sang Baa Baa Little Sheep instead of the traditional version of the popular rhyme at their Easter concert.
Confused councillor Andrea Craig, whose son sang in the show, tweeted on the night: “At my son’s Easter concert I saw a song called Baa Baa Little Sheep which I assumed was new. Not so – not allowed black. Really?”
But the Queen’s Road school assured the Surrey Comet the song had been changed as a way of teaching children phonics and to fit in with the Easter theme, rather than a skewed approach to political correctness.
The school’s marketing manager Holly Christie said: “We sang that because it fitted in with the theme of what we were doing. It was about baby sheep.
“We have always had adjustments to Baa Baa Black Sheep just because the children like to sing different variations of that.
“It’s a way of teaching phonics so that children understand these words that they are using that then they are reading.”
However Coun Craig said most parents in the audience on Thursday, March 29, misinterpreted the change of wording and said she is going to suggest the school does not use the song when using the teaching method.
She said: “It’s good they want children to think about what different words mean but this is one nursery rhyme I personally don’t think should be used because it could be so easily misconstrued as political correctness gone mad.
“They have got to be a bit smarter about it.”
The independent school for children aged three to seven uses the phonic learning system as part of their curriculum to teach children word meanings through well-known songs and rhymes.
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