Blog: Reflections from an Assistant Head Teacher
It’s hard to believe that we are coming to the end of our three-year partnership with Wigmore Hall. I’d like to start by saying a big thank you to the Wigmore Learning team whose help and support has been invaluable. I’ve been lucky enough to share the Lansbury Lawrence music journey with the other partner schools over the past three years, and a sense of gratitude has been a reoccurring theme at each meeting.
At the beginning of our journey the teaching and learning of Music across the school was inconsistent and its quality varied. The partnership really began by igniting a love of music through Chamber Tots in the Early Years. Staff and children alike were excited by the power of vocal and orchestral music. The success in the EYFS led to a whole-school staff INSET day at Wigmore Hall to plan cross-curricular learning experiences with a musical element at the beginning of the second year. Our staff came together, stepped out of their comfort zones and the day was an incredible team building experience. Music began to filter its way into classroom practice and visiting artists and musical groups ensured that all children at our school participated in music.
Year three has made us really reflect on the legacy of the project, particularly ensuring that there was a progression in singing skills across the school. Visiting artists from a wide range of vocal genres inspired our children through assemblies and workshops. However, we really reflected on the sustainability and legacy of the project so that we could keep it going ourselves. As such, we worked with the incredibly talented Lucy Drever to create a Singing Strategy for our school. What would come next for Lansbury Lawrence? What would weekly Singing Assemblies look like? How could teachers compose songs with their children that related to our half-termly themes? How could the performing of these songs be incorporated into whole school assemblies?
Music now filters its way through our cross-curricular and thematic curriculum. Class teachers compose and write songs with their children, and performances in assembly have become the norm. Children have become much more confident singers and are keen to share and explain what they love about music. The joy that the Arts and Music can offer has been embedded in the Lansbury Lawrence school community for teachers, families and our children.
Dean Benoit, Assistant Head Teacher, Lansbury Lawrence Primary School