‘You Can’t Stop The Music…’

‘You can’t stop the music…’ (Village People, 1980)

I would like to share an article with you that was sent to me by the Director of Music, Mr Hoban, a few months ago. It is entitled ‘How a school in Bradford is beating the odds with music’. It was written by Dougal Shaw for BBC Stories. Read it here.

In summary, this article talks about how music affects children and to some extent how teaching and learning music can significantly impact upon academic results. It suggests and notes that music:
‘…lulls children back into concentration …’
‘… it gives pupils courage …’
‘…young children have a natural enthusiasm for Music …’
…Music helps children to be engaged not just at the mind and body level, but also at the level of the
‘…Music is a catalyst that changes schools …’
‘…Music should always be a joy …’

Certainly, I think that music is the heart and soul of a school and here at St Peter’s it can be heard seeping through the walls from morning until night.

The physical benefits of singing are:

• Singing strengthens the immune system
• Singing is a workout
• Singing improves your posture
• Singing helps with sleep
• Singing is a natural antidepressant
• Singing lowers stress levels
• Singing improves mental alertness
• Social benefits of singing
• Singing can widen your circle of friends
• Singing boosts your confidence
• Singing broadens communication skills
• Singing increases your ability to appreciate other singers

To keep you updated: We are currently hunting for some pockets of time in our 2019-2020 timetable structure for some shared community time and service – time to sing, time to pray, time to reflect on religion and philosophy and maybe most importantly time to come together and make some magical music. This is looking likely to be timetabled for first thing in the morning – aiming to set our souls in the right gear for the rest of our busy day. I will keep you updated on our progress.

As written in the January edition of Attain magazine (the leading education magazine for parents and staff in the independent schools’ sector), Christopher King (Chief Executive of the Independent Association of Prep Schools) highlights why curriculum freedom is so important for prep schools.

Here at St.Peter’s we designed our own music curriculum, as well as creating unique curriculums for all the other school subjects and faculty areas that we offer. With huge freedom and choice over what we teach, when we teach it and how long we teach it for, we created a curriculum which is often discussed in educational circles as an example of curriculum design fit for the 21st Century.

This confidence in our own destiny, maintaining control over how our school functions and what it provides allows us as a staff team to be creative and innovative in our offerings. All the staff work simultaneously towards the end goal of benefitting the pupils we teach – every last one of them. With little set in stone and freedom in design, our units of work began to grow and change organically, meaning that at St Peter’s, today and into the future, nothing ever stands still and nothing ever grows stale.

Please see below the passage from Christopher King’s article. He discusses our very own school and the St. Peter’s School Baccalaureate®!!! We are famous!!!

Thinking Ahead: Variety and choice By Christopher King (Chief Executive of the Independent
Association of Prep Schools)

“I am fortunate to see lots of examples of real innovation taking place in our schools. For example, St Peter’s in Lympstone developed their own examination. At the heart of the St Peter’s School Baccalaureate® is a model for rewarding academic achievement, weighting all subjects equally and empowering and inspiring pupils, parents and staff with a flexible, current curriculum. They use Assessment Grids for all years and subjects and these provide for reflection and target-setting. As a
result, it is equally possible to be awarded Honours at the end of Year 8 for an artistic, musical, well-mannered, hard-working pupil who is weaker in traditional academic subjects but engaged in their learning, as it is for an Academic Scholar. A truly holistic, empowering, ladder for learning for all.”

The Full article can be found here: https://attain.education/spring2019/variety-and-choice

Deputy Head Teaching and Learning.

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