Newsletter to Schools and Colleges
Welcome to the first Encore newsletter of 2023 – we hope you have settled back into your daily routines and all is going well in your schools. The school’s section on our website has been updated with links to free resources, inspiration and relevant information, so please do take a look here.
I am really excited to be sharing Encore’s CPD offer to schools, all of which can be booked through our website here. There is a real variety targeted at EYFS through to secondary schools. The EYFS and Primary courses are suitable for all teachers, regardless of music teaching experience, and will help both generalists and specialists with their music teaching. There are some free one-hour twilights, so spread the word to teachers in your school!
Our Singing for Well-Being Leader, Jo Lowry, has started a new project called Rise Up, which uses singing to promote positive mental health and well-being. This is a pilot project focusing on Year 6 and 7 pupils and involves two secondary schools and four feeder primary schools. We are combining the transition between KS2 and KS3 with well-being, where all pupils are learning the same songs and will be coming together to perform at one of the secondary schools. If the response and feedback is positive, we are looking to expand on this next year, involving more pupils and helping them transition from their primary schools into secondary, using singing as a way of feeling connected.
Early Years and Foundation Stage (EYFS)
We have a new EYFS lead, Wendy Goddard, who is creating CPD for EYFS teachers across Herefordshire. This CPD is currently aimed at Reception class teachers with the aim of including nursery practitioners at a later date, to enable a smooth transition from nurseries to school. This training will focus on the Musical Development Matters skills (see link here), and will help teachers to deliver practical, daily music making activities to their young children.
Wendy will be delivering the first CPD session on Tuesday 28th February. Unfortunately all places for this session are now booked, however we will be holding another session in the summer term. More details and the online booking form will be available on our website in due course. If you would like to register your interest for that session, please email: email@example.com
(Photos courtesy of Bosbury Primary School)
Secondary School composers’ scheme
If you are a secondary music teacher, do you have any aspiring composers who show real talent? If so, there is a wonderful opportunity to apply to join the ORA Young Composers scheme. More information about the scheme can be found here.
The closing date is Monday 6th February.
Encore provide a list of accredited instrumental teachers to those schools who sign up as a partner school (this is free!). If you have a child who would like to learn an instrument in your school, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Bishop’s recorder project
(Photo courtesy of The Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School)
We were really delighted to hear about a challenge given to form tutors at The Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School, where some of them were encouraged to learn a new skill with their pupils.
Sarah Griffiths decided to take on the challenge and learn the recorder with her Year 9 form. Encore supplied her with 30 recorders and she began the task of enthusing and inspiring her pupils. The class started learning at the end of October and, after some initial embarrassment, managed to complete Silent Night by the last week of the Autumn term – what a fantastic achievement! She is hoping to continue, squeezing in practices where possible, and potentially having a go at some 2 part harmonies.
Free access to Music Express
Music Express are offering up to 20 schools across the country free access to Music Express for the rest of the academic year to help them get their music provision on the right track. To be eligible, and ensure they have the most impact, schools should be currently without a scheme/curriculum, or seeking to move away from an existing programme that isn’t working for them. They would have access to any webinar training we run over that period (likely to be two sessions) and our new ‘Teacher support’ training videos, designed to promote best practice in primary music teaching.
The school will need to commit to:
Weekly music lessons (as a minimum) using Music Express
Capturing evidence regularly to monitor progress (audio and video recordings)
Staff completing three short surveys (Easter, May half term, end of summer term), with one staff member attending a 1-hour focus group at the end of the summer term
If you would like to be considered for this wonderful opportunity, please email email@example.com by Tuesday 31st January, with your reasons for wanting to be nominated, your name, job title and email address. Sue will then apply on your behalf. Music Express will notify successful schools by 7th February and have access arranged by 10th February, ready to launch on Monday 20th February.
Encore Youth Music
Do you have pupils in your school who can play five notes or more on their instrument? They may be having private instrumental lessons or may be showing potential in their whole class instrumental lessons with our tutors. If so, please encourage them to come to any of the relevant youth music ensembles. Beginner sessions include Starter Strings and Starter Concert Band and we also have a Ukulele Ensemble, which is for all levels of ability.
Livewire is our Popular Music programme consisting of weekly drop-in sessions (Livewire Tuesdays), Saturday sessions (Livewire Saturdays) and week-long programmes that take place during the half term (Livewire Central). Livewire is open to anyone aged 11 - 21 who is interested in music. During these sessions you can explore different song & lyric writing methods, an original take on covers, band development & recording. There is even the opportunity to perform at live gigs.
Dates For Your Diary
Encore Youth Music Concerts
Herefordshire Youth Orchestra Concert
Tuesday 2nd May - 7:30pm - 9:30pm
The Courtyard, Hereford
Saturday 6th May – Time TBC
The Loft Cinema, Hereford
Encore Youth Music - Bands Concert
Monday 8th May 7:00pm - 8:30pm
The Courtyard, Hereford
Encore Youth Music - Strings and Starters Concert
Tuesday 9th May 7:00pm - 8:30pm
The Courtyard, Hereford
School Network Meetings
Next Secondary Network meeting – Tuesday 28th February 2023
Next Primary Music Network meeting – Thursday 2nd March 2023