Holywell School is committed to providing an enriched Arts education for all pupils and to embed Music into the wider Arts and National Curriculum based topics.
Every child at our school engages in quality music education from their entry into Mayflower Class until the end of KS2 in Challenger Class.
In the Early Years, music is incorporated consistently into daily routines and is used to enhance teaching of the core curriculum in addition to being taught as a stand-alone subject.
In KS1 and KS2, pupils participate in weekly music assemblies and have many additional opportunities to participate in musical activities in addition to their curriculum music lesson.
Musical Instruments in the Learning Environment
The key to any good learning environment is to ensure that it has the capacity to meet the needs and interests of the learners as well as afford them opportunities to extend and challenge their learning. Our aim is to develop our learning environment to include music throughout the learning space and our plan is to develop our capacity for children to access music both inside and outside the school building.
As well as organising high quality lessons for our children, we ensure that children have access to high quality instruments for learning in lessons. Our primary focus for a musical indoor/outdoor environment has been our Early Years area. Here the children have access to musical instruments both inside and outside the classroom, as well as tools and resources to make their own. We also ensure our children have access to computing software that allows them to explore music and musical application.
We hope to be able to further develop other areas of the school environment to include music instruments and resources to make music in the near future.
As music is an integral part of our learning environment in Early Years, many of our children express an interest in playing music as they move through the school. For this reason, we are currently trialling the use of Ukeleles with our Year 1 children after purchasing a class set. So far, the children have enjoyed exploring the instruments and seeing what they can do when using them independently. They have also experienced some guided group practice when they have been ready to explore as well as having regular tuition with the class teacher. The children are very keen to improve and have already been able to present their learning to parents after only a few weeks.
Children in our Lower KS2 classes expressed an interest in playing an instrument and so we have purchased a class set of Recorders for our Year 3 class and those children are learning to play, alongside their class teacher and TA.
Learning to play the recorder at this time is a good grounding in learning musical notation and the sounds of notes in preparation for learning Clarinet in Year 5.
We work closely with our local Music Hub and are lucky to have access to weekly clarinet lessons from Kent Hub’s Mr Vinal. All of our Year 5 children receive high quality and engaging learning experience during these lessons throughout the year which is at no cost to them. It is something that our children always look forward to and is considered a rite of passage for our Year 5 children.
We have a very enthusiastic choir who come together at many points throughout the year. They enjoy learning a range of songs in a wide range of musical styles as well as developing their skills of teamwork, collaboration and self-confidence.
The children get many opportunities to perform:
Our choir is very popular and we take every opportunity to perform for others, sharing our love of music and singing.
Holywell’s Got Talent
Like many schools, we have an annual talent show ‘Holywell’s Got Talent’. Although we are rarely able to secure any A List celebrities to judge our show, we have many local and school celebrities lining up to judge the acts. The show is the highlight of our performing calendar and we are always overrun with acts wanting to audition. The acts can have any talent, from Magicians to Comedians, from Singers to Dancers. Every year we see children who have developed their musical talents at Holywell share them in the Talent Show.
Last year, our winner was a Year 6 child who stunned us with his drumming skills and our second place was awarded to a beautiful singer in Year 5. We feel very privileged to be part of this talent show and look forward to seeing what each show brings us.
When canvassing our parents and children, many of them expressed an interest in having guitar lessons in school. Although this wasn’t something that we were able to provide in-house, it was something we were able to organise for the children.
Our children have now had access to high quality and exciting guitar lessons for over 3 years now with Buster Gibbons. The children have the opportunity to have one to one tuition as well as a group ‘jam’ each week for a small payment from parents for those wishing to take part.
Children also get the opportunity to share their learning in our musical assemblies, during the talent show and during musical events.
This year we have welcomed Rocksteady into our school. During an initial assembly, we were shown how to play many different instruments in many different styles and it is something that many of our children were excited about.
Rocksteady now run an extra-curriculum paid-for club where children have formed their own bands – choosing unique band names, playing a variety of instruments, singing and generally ‘Rocking Out’!
We have many musicians and musically minded people as part of our school and wider community. We are always looking for ways to promote playing and sharing music together and these events have included:
Click on the picture below to play some music games