Cookham Rise Primary School
Alison Rogers of Cookham Rise Primary School, Maidenhead, answers some questions about the impact that Charanga’s Musical School has had on the school’s music provision.
How would you characterise the school and what are its main challenges?
We are a one-form entry school of approximately 210 pupils. We have an extremely wide range of family profiles and an increasingly diverse set of needs.
How would you describe music in the school before Musical School was adopted?
Teachers were reluctant to teach music as the only resource was Music Express. One lady used to visit weekly where she would run singing sessions for two classes at a time. There was no choir and no opportunity for other music-making.
What impact has Musical School had on the pupils?
Children are showing real enjoyment. They are keen to learn the songs and those who play instruments are encouraged to use those skills outside their instrument lessons and share their music-making with their friends. We have seen a big take-up in instrumental tuition, particularly with ‘rock band’ instruments.
What impact has Musical School had on the staff?
Since adopting Musical School, all teachers feel empowered to teach their own music lessons. They love the choice of songs and can see that the spiral curriculum model means that the children are learning meaningful skills throughout their whole time at school. Staff now don’t see music as a dispensable extra and it forms part of the regular curriculum. Even the most resistant staff are now keen for their pupils to perform in assembly using a mixture of instruments.
What are your plans for music going forward?
We want to continue to encourage children to learn an instrument and see music as a key lifelong learning subject. We want to develop links with secondary schools so that children continue to love music.