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Reggae stars UB40 visit school where band features on the curriculum

Reggae stars UB40 paid a visit to a primary school in Birmingham where the band features on the curriculum.

Members of UB40 in front of pupils' work
Members of UB40 in front of pupils' work

Pupils at St Edward's Catholic Primary School in Selly Park, who are studying the musical and cultural impact of the band, performed to its members at a special assembly on Monday.

It came after teachers added learning about the influential Brummie musicians to the school's oracy curriculum as a way of introducing different music genres to children and developing their understanding of culture, identity, and community.

Hundreds of schoolchildren from reception class up to year six presented their research and sang a selection of the seminal group's hits including Higher Ground and Can't Help Falling in Love.

In return the band will be providing music equipment to the school, provided by electronic instrument brand Roland, and offering a legacy award for outstanding pupils over the coming years.

Members of UB40 watching the presentations

Robin Campbell, founding member of the band, said, “When we first started out making music over 45 years ago, we could never have imagined that we’d be part of a school curriculum – it’s a bit surreal, it’s very flattering – it’s a wonderful thing. It's great that the kids are getting to study this kind of subject.

“Our sponsors Roland are going to be supplying instruments and equipment to the school who don’t have the funding that they used to have, and we’re also going to be initiating an award for the child that progresses the most within music – they’ll get the UB40 award every year.”

Natalie Carry, deputy headteacher at St Edward's Catholic School, said: “It was an absolute privilege to welcome the band members today.

"A lovely group of people, they were so humble and so appreciative of the children's work.

“Our children have all worked so hard on this project, learning about the music, lyrics, and history of UB40 and learning from their example as a diverse band from Birmingham.

Members of UB40 visited St Edward's Catholic Primary School

“To have an authentic audience - the actual band - to perform to was just the icing on the cake.

"Truly a day that every child and staff member will remember forever.”

Teacher Jess McDonald, who introduced the band to the school’s curriculum, spoke of her delight at its members supporting the special assembly.

She said: “As a teacher there are so many surprises in store, however this was by far the biggest one and the highlight of my career to date.

"For the children to be learning about a local Brummie band who then came along to the school was just phenomenal.”

“At St Edward's we strive for a broad, rich and balanced curriculum; so, the children have not just focussed on the music of UB40, but the lyrics, the art – we’ve stretched the topics across the whole curriculum."

With over 100 million albums sold worldwide, 50 UK top 40 singles and 10 UK top 10 albums, UB40 are the most decorated and successful reggae group of all time.

Formed in Birmingham in 1978, they proudly wore their working-class roots on their sleeves, championing causes and concerns on songs that tackled political and social issues head on.

Capturing the hearts, minds, and dancing feet of disaffected British youth, that loyal audience has grown and evolved with them over the past 45 years, thanks to the power and importance of music that continues to resonate today.

For all the latest band news and tour announcements, visit

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