At Toftwood Infant and Junior Schools we value music as a subject. We aim to develop children’s musical ability and their confidence to perform. Alongside this we aim to develop the children’s appreciation of different music, including music from different countries, cultures and periods of history and a cross curricular approach is taken. All year groups in KS1 and EYFS combine discrete music lessons with the use of music in other subject areas. Music is also used day to day when attending assemblies, tidying up and lunchtime clubs. In the EYFS, the children have access to high quality music provision both indoors and outside. There is a clear progression in skills from EYFS through KS2 with the use of the Charanga Musical Schools Programme, enriched with units of instrument teaching, such as ocarina in Year 2 and Samba in Year 6. A success of last academic year was the use of music and dance visitors and workshops which enriched the learning across all year groups and improved outcomes. This will be built upon this year by organising a music enrichment week for the whole school to take part in. In 2019-20 we are excited to have the Music Hub provide whole class instrument teaching for all children in Year 4 (more details to come!).
June 2018 – Music Hub Award Winner
Mr Hardy was nominated for the Norfolk Music Hub in their innovation award category, reflecting on his enthusiasm and approach to the teaching of high quality music.
Mr Hardy, the Junior School music lead has been working with Miss Coombes, the Infant School music lead and they have used Music to draw the two schools closer together. Our first training as a combined staff group was a singing workshop which was an incredible success and great way to break the ice when bringing two lots of staff together. They applied for and received the Hub’s bespoke project grant which we used to fund a series of steel pan workshops for Yr2 and Yr3 children to play alongside one another. Not only was this an amazing opportunity for some really top quality instrument tuition it helped with the younger children’s transition to KS2. (It also added some much needed focus on Music from around the world.) After attending a Singing Playgrounds workshop Mr Hardy formed a singing group of Key Stage 2 children who have learned some of the songs and have visited the Infant School playground at lunchtime to teach these to the younger children
In terms of innovation, Mr Hardy has introduced making music with technology to each of the Year Groups – Yr3 using the fantastic ‘Isle of Tune’ online program, Year 4 using MadPad, Year 5 Scratch and Year 6 Garage Band which led to a group of Yr6 students running a lunchtime Garage Band club.
The amazing loan of Samba instruments from the Hub has enabled Mr Hardy to start teaching Yr 6 a term of Brazilian percussion (with a great deal of help from John Owen from Neatherd High School and by joining Norwich Samba to give himself a crash course in an area of music he had had no previous experience of) again trying to give children a more global idea of Music.
Mr Hardy has been playing and teaching ukulele for 16 years and has a very dedicated Ukulele Club who have recently performed at a concert organised by BTEC Music students from Neatherd High School.
Mr Hardy has also ensured equality of access for all students, regardless of physical difficulties and carried out some research into open tunings and spending an afternoon with a child and her uke a uke blu-tacked to a table and various plectrums and sticks to use as slides they were jamming together playing ‘Three Little Birds’. She is now a stalwart member of Uke Club.
At the awards ceremony, Mr Hardy was one of 3 Norfolk Music-Coordinators shortlisted. In the speech, the judges recognised his engagement with the Music Hub over the last 2 Years, the work he has done with Miss Coombes to use music to bring the federation together, organising the steel pan workshops; the whole federation staff singing workshop; taking children from Juniors to do Playground Singing with the children at the Infants at lunchtime , the inclusion of music technology in each Year Group; the Yr6 Samba lessons; the ongoing Ukulele club and the efforts to be fully inclusive.
We are pleased to say Mr Hardy was chosen as the winner of the award for innovation in music co-ordinators 2018. Congratulations Mr Hardy!
During the second half term children across the Federation took part in Arts Enrichment Week. The week allowed the children to experience lots of activities revolving around the arts. You can read all about this week on the Special Events section of the website.
On Thursday and Friday there was a greater focus on music and children from both the Infant and Junior school had the opportunity to look at and explore different types of musical instruments, including some the children hadn’t encountered before! A string quartet also came into each school to perform and the children really enjoyed being part of this experience.
At the end of the week we held a family Open Morning and parents, carers and other family members were able to joint their children and participate in making musical instruments out of found materials. Each year group focused on creating a different type of musical instrument and children used their imaginations and got creative! Plenty of fun was had by everyone and children and grown ups alike were up for the challenge!
At the end of the week we had “The Arts Showcase” where children from each class got to show off their talents to the whole school. We had singers, dancers, comedians and even dinosaurs! It was a lot of fun and we were lucky enough to have a number of children from the Junior School come to perform for us as well!
In Nursery the children have been exploring instruments, such as drums, cymbals, rain makers, rhythm sticks and the glockenspiel. They joined in and played their instruments in time to lots of songs and nursery rhymes. The children experimented with using the instrument by playing them slowly, quickly, quietly or loudly. They had a close look at the instruments and discussed how they made their sounds (vibrations) and what material they were made of.
Reception children have been enjoying exploring the musical instruments in the outside area, singing songs they know as well as making up their own. Some of the children worked as a group to try to make their own tunes and rhythms. Children have also had the opportunity to make instruments from other items found in the learning environment.
Year 1 have really enjoyed listening to different types of music on Charanga this term. They have listened and discussed music from a variety of genres including blues, jazz and big band. They have learnt how to sing the songs ‘In the Groove’ and ‘Round and Round’ and performed these as a class. They also used our new chime bars to play these songs and began to learn about musical notes.
Year 2 have also enjoyed learning to play on our new chime bars! This term their theme has been ‘Zootime’. The children have enjoyed listening and singing to Reggae songs such as ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ and ‘Kingston Town’.
During Spring 1 pupils across the Federation have been busy learning how to sign to the song ‘The Greatest Day’ by Take That as part of our This was to raise awareness for deaf health in school and part of the national Sign2Sing event. The event was a huge success and children from Toftwood Infant School and Toftwood Junior School shared participating in the main halls. The local newspaper also came to see our performances – please see the published article through the link below:
In Nursery and Reception classes children have had an exciting week learning about Chinese New Year and had a visit from Miss Helen who came into school to do a dance workshop. Children enjoyed listening to music, learning how to use a gong and boomwhackers and also had the opportunity to dance to Chinese music. Some of the children even became Chinese dragons for the dance!
Ukulele Club are off to a flying start this school year, welcoming back seasoned stalwarts and saying hello to a new crop of players. Our experienced musicians (some in their fourth year of playing!) have been helping the newbies get to grips with those tricky first three chords that open the doors to music making.
Next half term our attention will be turning to Christmas songs (apologies to parents, we know it seems far too early!) so children will be ready to entertain at any festive gathering!
Once again, Mr Hardy would like to say a massive thankyou to our wonderful ex pupil Chloe Partridge for her continued help and support.
Ukelele club perform at livewire – June 2018
Toftwood Ukulele Club were invited to perform at Dereham Memorial Hall on Wednesday 27th June as part of the ‘Live Wire’ concert.
The event, organised by Year 10 BTEC Music students at Neatherd High School, was the Ukulele Club’s first experience of playing on a real stage to a packed audience (quite a leap from playing in our own school assemblies) however everyone performed brilliantly and were cheered and applauded enthusiastically.
‘It was really fun,’ said Edward, ‘we were nervous at first, but we managed to pull it off and it sounded really good.’
Evie added, ‘We got more confident as it went on. It was fantastic to play in a concert and all of the acts were so good. When we were actually on stage it sounded amazing!’
Not only was this a fantastic opportunity to gain experience of performing in a wonderful venue, it also gave our pupils a chance to see the incredible musical talents of the high school students and see what they can aspire to in the future.
Thank you so much to all the parents and grandparents who supported the event and Mr Owen (Neatherd Head of Music) who helped make it all happen.
The children are still glowing with pride from their success and are looking forward to more chances to get on stage and shine.
Congratulations to all of the children who worked so hard and embraced the opportunity to perform in front of such a large audience, with such enthusiasm and such excitement. Thank you to Mr Hardy for all of his work in preparing the children for the concert and for encouraging and supporting them on the night. We are proud of all of you.
Ukelele club is offered free of charge to all children in the junior school currently and we are looking to possibly extend it to Year 2 at some point in the future.
Live Music Summer 2 2018
The junior school were treated to music through the ages on Tuesday 5thJune as the Live History of Music Show performed for us in the main hall. After a rendition of the Doctor Who theme song (so we could travel back in time!), the children listened to music by Vivaldi and Mozart and learned that the oldest recorded instrument was a flute/recorder-type instrument from the Ice Age. They were also treated to a segment of John Cage’s 4’33’’ – a song written to be totally silent – and movie soundtrack music from John Williams (Star Wars and Jaws). The performance ended with Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ – which the Year 3s couldn’t help but join in with.