Stroud Green Primary School

Composers and Singers

Image courtesy of the school

  • CLASS Renoir and Riley Classes, Year 4
  • SCHOOL Stroud Green Primary, London, England
  • HONOURS We have passed exams in playing instruments. Singing Echoes from London was really special.
  • MINERVA SCIENTIFICA PROJECT Echoes from London, June 2019

Scientific Connections

We went on a trip to the Science Museum to see a show called “It takes Guts”. We learnt about the digestive system, made poo and a digestive system and looked inside the stomach and the large intestine at the show.

Sometimes we do scientific art work.


Title:  The Hertha Ayrton Song
Composed by: Stroud Green Primary School Year 4
Written in: 2019
For: mixed voices
Performed by: the composers with Herbie Clarke, guitar and Dr Patricia Fara, speaker
First Performed: Stroud Green Festival, June 13th 2019

We wrote a song about Hertha Ayrton and we enjoyed singing it and that everyone took part. Each group wrote a verse. It was fun to write a song! Please join in!

Her name is
Sarah Marks or Hertha Ayrton, Physics, maths and engineering
In all domains she was pioneering
Her mother a seamstress her father long dead
From penniless immigrant to famous inventor
Hertha Ayrton

Verse 1 – The Electric Arc
Verse 2 –  She was a Suffragette
Verse 3 – Hertha’s Friends
Verse 4 – World War 1



Almost everyone in Year 4 plays an instrument. We have whole class sessions every week on cello, clarinet or trumpet and we sing with our teachers. Some of us play other instruments too – like the electric guitar, piano, violin and banjo.

At the Echoes from London show we learnt about Agnes Metcalfe and Mary Somerville, and on the project we learnt about lots of women scientists:

The women scientists we learnt about on Echoes from London

  • I want to be a scientist because I learnt about scientists in the workshop
  • Beatrix Potter, mycologist was studying mushrooms
  • Muriel Robertson was seeing things you normally can only see under a very good microscope
  • Mary Somerville went out every morning to find shells in a pond then study it in her garden
  • Isabella Gordon was a marine biologist who studies undersea animals
  • Hertha Ayrton was a physicist, engineer and a mathematician. She really loved inventing stuff and she invented the flapper fan. She died peacefully surrounded by loved ones.
  • Victoria Drummond worked in the underbelly of a ship in World War 2 – she saved many lives

We learnt a lot about science too and looked at crustacea with Miranda Lowe: 

Miranda Lowe from the Natural History Museum explaining crustacea to the class

  • A palaeontologist is someone who studies and digs up dinosaurs and identifies and studies what breed they were.
  • Maths helps you to be a scientist – helps us learn things for the future
  • Archaeology – a fossil finder also find other things underground and studies them
  • Microbiology is to study small things
  • Engineering helps you to do building


Some of us know we want to be scientists and/or composers and lots of us want to be singers or aren’t quite sure! Though some are very sure about what we want to do:

  • I would like to help animals
  • I want to study to be a doctor. I made the decision to be a doctor when I was 5
  • My main job would be a chef but at university I want to study science so I can study palaeontology, chemistry and nature

Musical Highlights

Singing Echoes from London!

  • We enjoyed all the singing involved in Minerva Scientifica.
  • It was fun singing and learning about different women scientists
  • I liked making up the song
  • I enjoyed electric voice theatre singing with us
  • I thought the best part was that you learnt things and songs as well
  • It was fun singing and learning about different women scientists
  • The best thing was creating a song with our own lyrics with our class members
  • I wasn’t at the performance but the practice was GREAT!!
  • It was great to sing in front of our parents and when we went on stage
  • We had a lot of performance and practices before and we all did our best

We performed Echoes from London with Frances, Herbie and Patricia

Did You Know?

  • We met Dr Patricia Fara the Vice Chair of the British Society for the History of Science. It was special because she is important.

Dr Patricia Fara. and Frances M Lynch with Votes for Children!

  • I think something from when we were practicing the song about Hertha Ayrton’s Flapper Fan was funny because our teacher kept saying FLAN instead of FAN! Flipper Flapper Flan!
  • It was a surprise that the book “Memoirs of a Mongrel” said it was by himself! (It was really by Agnes Metcalfe)
  • It was a surprise to meet Miranda Lowe – I didn’t expect to meet a real scientist. She explained and showed us pictures of Archie (a giant squid!). It was fun.

The class have lots of questions for Crustacea Curator Miranda Lowe. Click here to see what they asked!

An Inspiring Woman


MADELEINE DRING who lived, like we do, in Harringey. We liked her song “Echoes”

We also liked Frances’ song about Maths

  • I wanted to be a musician and scientist before, but Frances encouraged me


Agnes Metcalfe because she stood up for women

Hertha Ayrton was an electrical engineer and physicist and inventor. She’s inspiring because she was a suffragette and made a flapper fan to stop gas in the trenches. She also made improvements to the electric arc. She always tried hard and never gave up.