‘Ofsted has said that music is central to a broad, balanced curriculum and an essential element in every pupil’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural education.’ Darren Henley OBE Chair of The Mayor’s Music Education Taskforce, Introduction to the London Music Pledge.
Gallions is unique amongst primary schools in the strong emphasis it places on the creative arts, particularly Music. Every child at Gallions receives a musical education above and beyond what is laid out in the National Curriculum. We are very fortunate to be supported in our work by the Gallions Music Trust: The Gallions Music Trust aims to improve, through the power of music, the lives and life chances of children and adults living on and around the Winsor Park Estate, a highly deprived large housing estate in the London Borough of Newham.
From the moment children join Gallions (whether in nursery or higher up the school) they have weekly musicianship classes, using Kodály methodology, which continues up to the end of Year 6. In Year 2 our pupils begin learning their chosen string instrument (violin, viola, ‘cello or double bass) in small groups, using the Kodaly–inspired Colourstrings method. The relationship between Colourstrings and Kodaly creates a cohesive music provision throughout the school.
There are a number of ensembles for the children to join, including Junior Orchestra and Choir (for Years 3 & 4), Senior Orchestra and Choir (for Years 5 & 6), Bass Attack (an ensemble for ‘cellos and basses) and a KS1 choir. These extra-curricular activities are very well attended and each year the senior groups take part in local and national music festivals. For the past few years the senior orchestra has had the opportunity to perform at Birmingham Symphony Hall as part of the National Festival of Music for Youth.
Learning an instrument in school has also enabled the students to access out-of-school schemes including the Newham Academy of Music, through which they get more opportunities to perform and make new friendships. Some of the children who truly excel in the musical field have gone on to gain Scholarships from the Mayor’s Music Fund and independent secondary schools.
Gallions have a wonderful new purpose-built Music Centre for all their various musical activities. The dedicated teaching rooms for instrumental lessons are also spaces in which their pupils can undertake extra practice sessions and performance opportunities.
“What they’re doing shows the effect that music can have not just on the children but on the whole community”
Tasmin Little OBE, Patron of the Gallions Music Trust
Gallions school was recently featured on the Arts Council England supported website – How Music Helps Us Learn