Please send any comments thoughts or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you’re happy to have them published here, please confirm that in the email. If you would rather they were published anonymously then please say so.
Heads replies and comments, December 2018 and January 2019
Andrea Swift – Head Teacher, Holy Trinity, Rosehill – 18.12.18
Having attended a couple of sessions it felt wonderful to be a part of the programme witha class of our Y1 children. I really enjoyed the games and the children sang really well. I think this kind of activity is having an impact as the children appear to be listening more attentively. Many children are able to keep a “steady beat” which I know will impact on many areas of the curriculum.
Jane Weatherall, Head Teacher, Holy Family, Darlington 18.12.18
I have been along to the year 1 class to see how they are progressing with this project. The children like the songs; the are very easy to pick up- even I could do them! I particularly like the thinking voice, which all children do. It means we can ask them to use this voice for other aspects of school life e.g when in assembly, listening to others read etc It does really focus them and calm them after playtime ready to begin their learning.
Ms Lisa F Biggin, Headteacher, Ayresome Primary School and LEGO Education Innovation Studio (Northern)
Having attended a session this term I feel the following sums up my opinions; The sessions are well planned and engaging, Children are actively engaged despite any barrier they present eg EAL SEND or behavioural issues. The skills and enthusiasm of the trainer is contagious. The opportunities for rhythm and patterns including dynamics are ripe. The structure of the sessions are sequential, stimulating and present opportunities for interleaved learning that benefits all children. I would love to attend more and more sessions and roll it out across my year 1 team. I feel the staff, children and any volunteers are benefiting greatly by the active learning of core songs, language development and musical opportunities
Delyth Linacre, Principal, Easterside Academy Tue 18/12/2018,
I have really enjoyed participating in the First thing music over this term. This is something we used to do a lot of a few years ago and reminded me of some of our key music practice we’ve had in the past that we need to revisit and on a more regular basis – we are looking at this. I can see that the children are really enjoying the sessions and they were fun for me to join in with them – think they enjoyed that too. I have also noticed that the children are growing in confidence when singing both together and individually and skills like their rhythm and pulse are also improving. I am a huge believer in the impact of music / song / rhythm on other areas of the curriculum and a child’s development.
Mrs G Cunningham, SLT, Mortimer Primary, Wed 19/12/2018,
I have observed both classes in a session which I found very exciting. All children were on task and both members of staff delivered the sessions with confidence. From the observations and from feedback and discussions with the intervention staff, we all felt that the children had become more used to taking turns and choosing different partners to those that they would usually choose. I noticed that the children were encouraged to make eye contact which was especially helpful for those children who find this difficult. One child who is normally very shy and extremely quiet, beamed throughout the session as it gave her the opportunity to find her voice. In both classes I saw the children really listening to the instructions which were required for each activity.
Edwin Squire, Head Teacher, Billingham South Community Primary School,
Myself and my Deputy Head have attended sessions. We could see that children and staff enjoyed the sessions very much. Over time, First Thing Music has assisted with the children’s speaking, listening, turn taking and short term memory development. Clearly, as a school that wishes to encourage children’s musical ability, they are also learning a wide range of songs and many have become proficient and “keeping the beat” over time. I could also see developing skills of pitch and volume. Thanks so much!
Fogg Assistant Headteacher Heathfield Primary
went in to see the First Thing Music session on Friday and were really impressed with how it is going – confidence, concentration, social skills, speaking and listening skills, musicality, enjoyment were all evident
Cathy Rowland – Head Teacher, Dobcroft Primary, Sheffield, Fri 21.12.2018,
I have attended a number of music sessions over the term with squirrel class. I have noticed a real improvement in terms of their understanding of beat and also engagement of some of the harder to reach children. My subject at college was music so for me joining in elements holds no fear and are very enjoyable. Mrs Sharon Robertson Headteacher
The children are participating more with all aspects of the music and learning. Confidence is developing and I am particularly impressed with levels of focus and concentration which is transferring to other sessions.
Year One Teacher Feedback
Helen Glass – Year One Teacher 13 November 2018
Working in a multilingual school with children from many nationalities and various levels of English, the First Thing music programme has been a brilliant way to get all the children involved. So far I have had two entirely non- English speaking children join my class and one of them had never even been to a school setting before. At first he used to cry and scream at having to come to school, wouldn’t sit down on the carpet and definitely wouldn’t join in with social times such as playtime or lunch with the other children but gradually he would come and sit at the back of the hall during our music and then (with a little encouragement from my TA) he joined the circle. After a short while he was willing to join in with our welcome song and then he was the postman with ‘Early in the Morning’, which he did on his own! He now comes into the hall along with the others and participates with the others despite having no English. As for classroom behaviour, he is still struggling to sit and listen to stories and he’ll wriggle etc but if I sing his name or sing an instruction he will turn and correct himself! This is an absolute difference to when he first arrived.
Katherine Haynes, Yr One Teacher, Hinde House, Sheffield
The daily singing sessions are helping with consistent behaviours for learning.
Liked that the project really embedded each song and the layering of games.
Helped the class with taking turns, concentrating, sharing, looking at each other which is benefiting general teaching.
Good mix up in the morning between English and Maths.
Confidence grown in all the children and children who normally wouldn’t be so quick to volunteer are excelling.
Equaliser – all join in, all suggest idea, all perform/ lead to each other.
Best in the mornings.
The class are getting more consistent with keeping a steady beat.
Jacqui Fountain, Intervention Teacher, Fairfield Primary, Fri 21/12/2018,
We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our singing this term and are looking forward to more in the new year.