Music leader Esther Sheridan continued to work with Reception and Nursery classes (age 3-5), working alongside teachers to deliver Flora Tots – a bespoke programme of work which supports the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework, as well as having a focus on English as an additional language (EAL) and special education needs and dsiabilities (SEND). The sessions used a variety of techniques to support the students with EAL and SEND, including using pictures and music together to create and tell new stories, and then adding language to these stories. We increased the number of musician visits this year, as the school said they were very impactful, and have also been able to include students from the Royal College of Music, who developed their skills in Early Years music making. Parents were very involved, with a special parents’ session in May, and a workshop held at the school’s summer fete in July. Flora Gardens also hosted two training days for Early Years teachers at other Tri-borough schools in March, and worked with five other schools on the Flora Tots programme, culminating in a joint jamboree in July.
Our Key Stage 1 project What's the Buzz? worked with Years 1 and 2 (age 5-7) and their teachers, linking in with their Life and Living topic. The pupils visited The Hive at Kew Gardens, a structure that encapsulates the story of the honey bee and the important role of pollination, through an immersive sound and visual experience. We worked with a composer-musician and a visual artist whose work is inspired by the life of bees, to create music and artwork in response to the pupils’ visit to Kew, resulting in a performance to parents and an exhibition of the work created.
Chamber Challenge was co-created to support Flora Gardens to provide an engaging and interactive introduction to string quartet music, and to launch an after-school chamber ensemble for Key Stage 2 students. Music leader Neil Valentine worked with the Year 3, 4 and 5 classes (age 7-10) over four sessions to compose new pieces, which they performed themselves alongside the Heath Quartet in their school for the wider school community. The project provided the momentum for the school to start an after-school club, creating their very first string ensemble which will continue into next year. Four further schools in the Tri-borough took part in extension activity around Chamber Challenge, participating in half day workshops with both Neil and the Heath Quartet over the course of the Summer Term.