Caroline Walton of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School answers questions about the impact that Musical School has had on her school’s music provision.
C How would you characterise the school and what are its main challenges?
CW A large two-form entry primary school where the pupils come from a range of backgrounds and have a wide range of abilities. We have an ongoing programme targeting parent participation and last year we offered music workshops for children and their families. We focussed these on the year group class instrument and children showed their parents how to play their instrument. We used Charanga for the ukulele and recorder workshops.
C How would you describe music in the school before Musical School was adopted?
CW Music was more traditionally taught and relied heavily on published schemes with very little use of ICT.
C What impact has Musical School had on the pupils?
CW Pupils now access Music World in school and at home regularly. They respond well to the courses as they are used for class djembe, ukulele and recorder lessons. We use the Charanga Scheme lessons interspersed with written Scheme lessons. We use the animations to reinforce the main Musical Elements. We use the Listening section including the BBC Ten Pieces to ensure that pupils hear a range of music. We now use the Ten Pieces orchestral parts in our orchestra club after school.
C What impact has Musical School had on the staff?
CW Some staff assist with after-school clubs and use the recorder and guitar courses to support this. Staff use the songs in cross-curricular work and for assemblies. Support staff use the Charanga Scheme and Music World when covering music lessons.
C What are your plans for music going forward?
CW We have just achieved the County Music Hub’s Gold Award for Music and one of our targets has been to develop the use of ICT in music. As Charanga is constantly reviewed and updated, it has given us the chance to utilise sections such as the rhythm grids to develop composition skills.