music and school

Music has been an integral part of the improvement journey at our school

Mitch Moore, Executive Headteacher St Laurence’s CE Primary School (Coventry) & Queens CE Academy (Nuneaton) Diocese of Coventry Multi-Academy Trust, described in 2014 to the Music Education Council how his school has gone from Special Measures to being a ‘good’ school in 16 months with the help of music :

“Music has been an integral part of the improvement journey at our school.  We were placed into Special Measures by Ofsted in September 2011, 13 days into my headship.  I was determined that we would make rapid progress out of category and equally determined that we wouldn’t do it by narrowing the experience that our children had.  We came out of Special Measures as a ‘good’ school in just 16 months. As with any school improvement programme there was a complex set of factors that contributed to the success and it would be misleading to attribute the outcome to any single one.  However it is evident to me that the focus on music that we developed through our involvement with whole class ensemble teaching in Key Stage 2 was a very significant element.

Firstly, it provides children with an excellent musical experience, incorporating performance, improvisation, notation, ensemble playing and an exposure to a wide range of musical genres in a very accessible form.  It also provided the gateway to further musical experience within school and beyond as audience and performer that had a massive impact on cultural development in school.

On a wider scale, what we have observed is that the key elements of effective learning that we have been developing through our teaching across the curriculum, were very effectively reinforced through music. These include independent and collaborative leaning, the development of higher order thinking skills, problem solving, evaluation and responding to feedback.

At the start of this journey my belief was that it was possible to support children in making accelerated progress in English and mathematics and also provide them with a broad, balanced curriculum including musical performance.  That has been borne out, but I now believe that the high quality musical experience that we give our children has actually contributed to the improvements in outcomes that our children have achieved.”

SOURCE: Music Education Council website

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