The Partner Schools Programme is a new approach to working with schools; in partnership with our three partner Music Education Hubs we are collaborating with three primary schools keen to develop their cultural offer, co-creating a programme of opportunities which meets their needs and places music at the heart of their ethos, empowering them to become culturally engaged, proactive schools.
In partnership with Haringey Music Service, Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Education Service, and the Tri-borough Music Hub we identified a primary school in each Hub area which could benefit from engaging with a cultural organisation, providing them with the confidence and skills to sustain a cultural education offer for children over the long term. The Partner Schools are Risley Avenue Primary School (Haringey), Lansbury Lawrence Primary School (Tower Hamlets), and Flora Gardens Primary School (Tri-borough).
We are working with each Partner School for three academic years, from 2015 until 2018. Opportunities to share practice across the schools’ ‘clusters’ and the wider boroughs is central to the programme, benefiting a greater number of teachers and pupils, fostering new relationships between cultural organisations, Music Education Hubs and schools and providing a new model for working together. This activity will be devised with each Partner School and partner Music Education Hub.
Learning points will be disseminated across the sector, inspiring more schools to take a lead in strategically designing their own cultural education programme, drawing on the support of Music Education Hubs and cultural organisations. The Partner Schools Programme allows us to act as a catalyst, empowering schools to create their own strategic and sustainable cultural offer.
We are working in partnership with Havering Music School to deliver a wide range of activities for local Havering Schools, including teacher training, in-school workshops and celebratory events. Over the past two years, on-going music making in early years has taken place working closely with teachers and staff through CPD, as well as workshops in schools working with children in nursery and reception classes. This work has focused on embedding a legacy in the school through empowering the teachers to lead music making activities.
Last year, we ran two teacher INSETs focused on early years music making, and also worked closely with Havering schools to create a project for Year 1 students to explore Rousseau’s painting Tiger in a Tropical Storm through musical responses. Students in Years 2 – 6 worked with a music leader to write their own songs about their current topic of study, and gathered to perform the songs to the other schools. Topics ranged from navigation to dinosaurs! We also celebrated music making in the early years with a jamboree with musicians and leaders at Havering College theatre as a way to celebrate the end of the school year.