primary school pupils

How a Bradford primary school improved its Sats results with music

A primary school in Yorkshire has gone from being in special measures, to being in the top 10 per cent nationally for progress in reading, writing and maths – and the head attributes this to music, writes Josh Halliday in The Guardian.

Music is embedded into every part of the school day – and it’s seen improvements in reading, writing and maths

At Feversham Primary Academy, headteacher, Naveed Idrees, has embedded music, drama and art into every part of the school day. Every child will get at least two hours of music a week and songs are incorporated into other classes, with pupils singing about times tables, or history.

This year 74% of its pupils achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths, against a national average of 53%. It is 7.1 points above the average for reading, 3.4 above for writing and 6.5 above for maths. Its results for disadvantaged pupils are well above average and the school’s attendance has increased to 98% as the amount of music taught has risen.

A strong school community, increased attendance

The turnaround is even more notable given the makeup of the school: 99% of its 510 children speak English as an additional language, and the local area, Bradford Moor, is one of the city’s most deprived and densely populated neighbourhoods.

Idrees admits the new approach was a “big risk” but he says he is now convinced it could transform other struggling schools: “We could have gone down the route where we said we need to get results up, we’re going to do more English, more maths, more booster classes, but we didn’t. You might hit the results but your staff morale is gone, the kids hate learning. We want kids to enjoy learning.”

He continues: “My hope is that headteachers and people holding purse strings, possibly even the people who make important decisions in the government, will read about our school and realise that creative subjects are not mere add-ons but essential for the progress of all pupils.”

Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd.

Image from Pixabay, reproduced under Creative Commons CC0.

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