We continued our work in Reception and Nursery classes (age 3-5) throughout the year, working alongside the teachers to lead bespoke work relevant to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework and the needs of the students, including a focus on English as an additional language (EAL) and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). In February, we also spent half a day in the school working with every staff member to look at singing, creative composition, and how they can use instruments in class to boost pupils’ confidence and creativity. The aim of the day was to support the implementation of the school’s strategic plan for music, and encourage music making to happen in all classes and subjects.
In addition to the work in Risley Avenue Primary School, many other local Haringey schools were able to take part in extension activity, which allowed the learning at Risley Avenue to be shared more widely. This activity included teacher training and in-school workshops, as well as celebratory events to bring all of the schools together with the Partner School to share and celebrate.
A key priority for Key Stage 2 at Risley Avenue is writing, so together with the school, we co-created a project for the Year 4 and 5 classes (age 8-10) that encouraged reading, writing, thinking critically, and reflectiveness – Tales from Beyond – which took place in May and June 2017. The pupils went on a creative journey with writer Laura Dockrill and composer Omar Shahryar to explore the links between language and music by writing lyrics and music for new pieces. The pupils also created journals about their creative process to document the journey, and writing was used throughout as the main way of capturing the process to reflect the importance of literacy.
The other key priority for the school during the second year was providing a creative project for pupils with SEND, and those in challenging circumstances. Music technology specialist, Gawain Hewitt, worked with both the school choir and two further groups of students with SEND. These students were identified by the schools’ Special Education Needs Coordinator as being in need of creative opportunities, and so this project was created to offer them a creative platform to compose, create, and work together as a team. As part of this project, Journeys by Sound, participants created songs based on the theme of journeys, as well as sound installations which were accompanied by raps and music also devised by the pupils.