At Whiteshill Primary School, music is an important part of our school vision. It gives the children opportunity to be curious when trying out new instruments and songs or performing for the first time, it celebrates their uniqueness as they play a whole range of instruments both in and out of school and it gives them opportunity to play, sing, dance and appreciate music together all throughout the year.
Not only this, but music brings joy to our school and pupils, supporting their mental wellbeing and keeping us all smiling!
The children at Whiteshill are offered a whole host of music opportunities, below is just a flavour of these.
Whole Class Music Tuition
We work alongside Gloucestershire Music to provide all the children in school from year 1 to year 6 with a 10-week block of whole class music tuition, run by a specialist teacher. Last year, Elm class (year 1 and 2) learnt how to play the violin as an orchestra and this term, Maple class (year 3 and 4) are learning how to play brass instruments together as a band. This gives everyone in school the opportunity to learn how to read and perform music, as part of our national curriculum, to a high standard. They build on this skill each year and by the time they leave our school in year 6 they will have been exposed to a number of different instruments in this way, without having to pay for private lessons unless they choose to.
We do also facilitate private music lessons in school for those who wish to take it up and we actively encourage those who have shown a natural aptitude for an instrument during whole class tuition to go on to having private tuition if possible. At the moment, Mr Cormack-Hicks teaches drum and guitar on Tuesday and Wednesday during school hours and Mrs Wheeler teaches the violin on Tuesday. To learn more about drum or guitar lessons, please contact Mr Cormack-Hicks directly on 01453 757886 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org Throughout the year, there are opportunities for the children to perform these instruments to share with the school and parents the progress they have made. In the summer term, we hold a summer rock concert where all the guitar and drum students play on our outdoor stage. Violin students also have chance to perform during assemblies throughout the year.
Specialist Music Teacher
We also work alongside Superstars who are a company who provide specialist teachers to primary schools to cover teacher planning time. At Whiteshill, we work with Mr Perrins who teaches music lessons across the school in Willow, Elm and Oak classes. He is an experienced musician and brings knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to our music teaching at Whiteshill.
After School Clubs
Mr Perrins also runs a Key Stage 1 choir on Tuesday after school and a Key Stage 2 choir on Wednesday. Last year, the Key Stage 2 choir was a real success and the children performed in two concerts during the summer term with songs from Moana, Mary Poppins and the Greatest Showman! As a result, we decided to extend this opportunity to the children in Key Stage 1 as well this year.
The teachers at Whiteshill are also big fans of singing and dancing so each week we like to take the opportunity to spend some time just enjoying music together! Miss Davies leads singing assembly every Friday morning where the children learn songs together, often accompanied by sign to support those with communication needs. Miss Francis also leads Wake and Shake for 10 minutes every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after assembly where the whole school goes out in the playground and dances to some of our favourite songs. This time not only increases the children’s physical activity levels, it is fantastic for their mental well-being as well, getting them in the right frame of mind for a successful and happy day.
During lunchtime on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week, Mr Perrins supervises the children in the cabin and outside if the weather allows, whilst they play their instruments together, practising and enjoying music. Mr Perrins also takes out a range of instruments for those who wish to join in and have a go!
At Whiteshill, the children are encouraged to learn signing at every opportunity, to support children within our community who have communication needs. Each Tuesday morning, we sing Happy Birthday to the children who have celebrated their birthday that week and we sign along with the song. One of our children also accompanies the song on their violin to keep us all in time. During singing concerts and assemblies, we also teach the children signs to go with the songs they are learning whenever possible.