Newton Poppleford Primary School

Composers and Singers

A colour photograph of a group of school uniform in outdoor clothes standing in a group next to a road bridge.

All images on this page courtesy of the school. This page also includes quotes from the children gathered from data collected after the project.

Scientific Connections

In our classroom we have been learning about:

  • We made an allotment
  • We did experiments about plants and magnets which attract and repel
  • We did mirror experiments

On the project we learnt:

  • Jack helped us make clay patterns on squares and put them all together to create Jane Dories!

    That Jane Dories was a dapedium

  • Jane Dories had a very powerful tail so it could quickly swim away from predators
  • That Mary Anning was a palaeontologist, we learnt who she was and how she lived
  • Jane Dories was very scaly
  • We learnt to invent our own music and megasong


Title: Mary Anning and Jane Dories the Dapedium
Scientist: MARY ANNING
Composed by: Kestrels class, Newton Poppleford Primary School
Written in: May 2022
Arranged by: Frances M Lynch & Herbie Clarke
For: Voices, piano and electronic
Film by: Jack Sewell
Performed by: the composers
First Performed: released online, summer 2022

A Dapedium is often known as a John Dory – but in this story, this particularly fish is Jane Dories who lived millions of years ago and whose identity was only recently revealed by some young fossil scientists – the children at Newton Poppleford Primary School. The final film is created from drawings and a model of the Dapedium by the children.

  • The funnest part was us singing and the most amazing part is working with someone that knows a lot about Mary Anning. We were lucky to work with Frances Lynch
  • It was strange at first because we did not know who the people were but then we got to know everyone and then we got more confident and we did not feel strange

    Our completed artwork, ‘Jane Dories the Dapedium’

    to sing anymore

  • It was fun to do but it explains the story
  • We liked the fossilisations and when we sang bones bones, sea sea, land land

The children worked with an electric voice theatre team to write a song which would reflect the extraordinary work of Palaeontologist Mary Anning (1799 – 1847) while exploring how fossils are made with Emma Bernard from the Natural History museum. They know a lot about Mary Anning too – and part of their song forms the chorus sung for the unveiling of a statue of this important Victorian palaeontologist in May 2022 (A Song for Mary Anning). Don’t forget to sing along!

Title: A Song for Mary Anning
Words and music by: Cohen Baulch age 9; Year 3, Newton Poppleford Primary School; Sarah Mirkin age 8; Mabel Slade age 11; Class 1, Hawkchurch Church of England Primary School; Beech Class, Payhembury Primary School.
Written in: October 2021
For: voices, piano, digital instruments, and funny noises
Performed by: Mrs Ethelston’s Primary Academy Choir and Cohen Baulch
Commissioned by: Frances M Lynch for the Voices for the Future – Mary Anning project
Film by: Jack Sewell
First Performance: 21st May 2022 at the unveiling of a statue of Mary Anning in Lyme Regis

A Song for Mary Anning is a compilation of the winning entries to the electric voice theatre Mary Anning Song Competition, and was created for the unveiling of a statue of Mary Anning by sculptor Denise Dutton on 21st May 2022 in Lyme Regis, commissioned by Mary Anning Rocks.


Our teachers are Mrs Singfield and Mrs Laureys. Nearly half us play musical instruments including the guitar, piano, keyboard, recorder and clarinet, and one of us is learning to edit music on his computer. In our school we do half an hour of music in class every week, and only some of us have private music lessons. We have done experiments in science. So the Mary Anning project was unlike anything we have ever done before!

After the project we drew pictures of Mary Anning, Jane Dories, Trey, Frances and Emma


The Mary Anning project really helped us think about what we want to do – loads of us want to become singers and and a few want to become scientists, including palaeontologists! Some of us want to become composers as well. Lots of us also want to become YouTubers.

Musical Highlights

In reception we did the Nativity. One of us has been going up in grades in piano.

Did You Know?

  • One of us wants to become a singing, hairdressing scientist!
  • It was funny when Frances lifted her thumb to touch a light switch
  • It was strange standing up in front of the whole school

An Inspiring Woman

Music: Frances M Lynch

We drew lots of pictures of Jane Dories!


  • Mary Anning because she finds interesting fossil in Lyme Regis
  • Dr Patricia Farathe electric voice theatre Science Historian and Emeritus Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge
  • Emma Bernard – the electric voice theatre Palaeontologist and Curator of Fossil Fish, Natural History Museum