I had the pleasure of going to see our school choir perform in a competition at our town hall yesterday. I know from other visits to the school how confident the children are and how well they perform in front of a small audience. However, this was something else. The audience must have been two hundred strong, the stage was huge and the judges were sitting on a raised area in the middle of the audience, with the cups and trophies positioned in front of them. It would have been a really nerve-wracking experience for an adult, yet these seven year olds performed with great confidence and obvious enjoyment.
Eight choirs performed, and it really was a privilege to see what they could do. And the benefits to the children were huge; aside from the obvious singing skills, there was the pride of achievement, the boost to their self-esteem (the clapping nearly brought the ceiling down on one or two occasions!), the self discipline of standing still and concentrating and the teamwork to name just a few.
I wonder how you measure this in terms of league tables?