Sidmouth Primary School

Composers and Singers

A colour photograph of a group of primary school children and a teacher working on arts and crafts at a table

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

  • CLASS Years 3 & 4, “Squirrels”
  • SCHOOL Sidmouth Primary, Sidmouth, Devon, England
  • HONOURS One of us received trophies for achieving and flourishing in school, and one of us passed a piano exam with a merit
  • MINERVA SCIENTIFICA PROJECT Mary Anning Megasongs – Sidmouth Festival

Scientific Connections

In our classroom we have been learning about:

  • Birds and mammals
  • We learnt about birds outside in school

On the project we learnt:

  • Jack helped us make clay squares and turn them all into Ixy the Icthyosaur!

    We learnt about dinosaurs

  • We learnt about a new dinosaur called Ixy the ichthyosaur
  • About Mary Anning’s story
  • That Mary Anning got struck by lightning
  • There are different types of fossils (ammonites, belamites, coprilites and trilobites)
  • Working together


Title: The Story of Mary Anning and Ixy
Composers: Years 3 & 4, “Squirrels” Sidmouth Primary School
Scientist: MARY ANNING
Words by: the composers
Written in: October 2021
For: voices, piano, digital instruments, and funny noises
Performed by: the composers
Commissioned by: Frances M Lynch for the Voices for the Future – Mary Anning project
Film by: Jack Sewell
First Performance: online as part of the electric voice theatre performance “The Fossil Detectives” for Sidmouth Science Festival, 17th Oct 2021.
Sound Production by: Herbie Clarke & Frances M Lynch

We created this amazing song during a series of 5 workshops which included talks from Emma Bernard, a palaeontologist and Curator of Fossil Fish at Natural History Museum in London and Dr Patricia Fara, a science historian, as well as a session with Dorset composer Karen Wimhurst. Frances M Lynch and volunteers from Sidmouth Science Festival helped us use our new science knowledge to write this musical story about ixy the ichthyosaur, and Mary Anning.
The film was created by Jack Sewell using materials from his onsite workshop at the school, including a model of Ixy which we made together.

Voices for the Future – Mary Anning was funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Marchus Trust and was also supported by Mary Anning Rocks, The Geological Society and Sidmouth Science Festival.

A colour photograph of a puzzle-like artwork of a dinosaur skeleton made from clay

Our final artwork, ‘Ixy the Icthyosaur’


About half of our class play musical instruments including the drums, piano, guitar, ukulele and violin.


Some of us want to be singers, especially after Frances came to give the workshop in our school, and we really enjoyed singing in our piece. Several of us also want to be artists, footballers and vets!

After the project we drew pictures of what we remembered about Ixy

Musical Highlights

The guitarists in our class are really proud that they have been able to learn songs on the guitar. One of us once sang in front of 100 people. Learning to play the drums was a real achievement for one of us. And of course we loved making our MEGASONG where we made an amazing, new piece of music! We loved making the sounds and watching the song come together.

Did You Know?

  • That dinosaurs poo
  • That coprolites are dinosaur poo
  • That Mary Anning actually had a dog called Trey

An Inspiring Woman

Music: Frances M Lynch

  • Frances was a composer. She was very positive and joyful

Science: Mary Anning, Emma Barnard, Marie Curie

  • Marie Curie invented the X-ray that helps to save lives today
  • Emma was a very helpful and happy woman
  • Mary Anning finds fossils