Having the opportunity to study and explore music isn’t a privilege, it’s a vital part of a broad and balanced curriculum.”School Standards Minister Nick Gibb
At Gallions Primary School, we place a strong emphasis 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 understand the benefits of a musical education and our school is recognised for its pioneering approach.
National Curriculum for Music at Gallions is taught not only through high quality projects, choirs and singing assemblies, but also through weekly musicianship classes and small group instrumental lessons. Children take part in musicianship lessons from nursery right up to Year 6 led by music specialists qualified in the Kodaly approach. This child centred approach aims to develop musical skills and teach musical concepts through practical activities rooted in song and movement. Breadth and depth of experience are important to us with children given the opportunity to not only experience music of many different styles and times, but to engage with music technology and both perform and hear live music performed by all sorts of musicians in a variety of venues.
The Gallions String Programme
We also run an instrumental programme in which each child in the school learns a string instrument from the age of 6 until they leave Gallions aged 11. These lessons are taught in small groups using the child-centred Colourstrings method, which builds on the previous three years of musicianship classes and is itself rooted in the Kodaly approach. We do not just teach Violin here, children are also able to choose to learn the Viola, Cello or Double Bass. Learning a string instrument has many benefits for the children; huge discipline is required, concentration improved and thinking skills and coordination developed as several different areas of the brain in use simultaneously whilst playing an instrument.
We have a number of extra-curricular music groups for the children to get involved with and there are concerts during each term for every child to showcase their hard work. We also take our choirs and orchestras out into the community with performances outside of school. Recent performances have including performances at The London Stadium, The Tower of London and The Copperbox Arena.
We currently offer the following ensembles:
Junior Orchestra (Years 3 & 4)
Junior Choir (Years 3 & 4)
Senior Orchestra (Years 5 & 6)
Senior Choir (Years 5 & 6)
Bass Attack (an ensemble for cellos and basses)
After school lessons are open to any pupil who shows commitment to their instrumental learning. Children receiving additional tuition through the scheme are given their own instrument to take home to allow them to practice and attend other out-of-school musical activities. They have the opportunity to play regularly in ensembles with other promising students, perform publicly in exciting venues and work alongside professional musicians.
There are also a range of different music clubs available to the children including Ukulele, Drum kit, Music Production, Keyboard and Recorder clubs.
All of these regular musical activities take place in our wonderful purpose-built Music Centre. The dedicated teaching rooms for instrumental lessons and musicianship classes are also spaces in which our pupils can undertake extra practice sessions, ensemble rehearsals and performance opportunities.
Art has always been a significant part of the Gallions curriculum and walking around the school, you are surrounded by high quality pieces by the children, enriching and deepening their understanding of subjects across the curriculum.
Art lessons, taught mostly in our bespoke art studio, which takes central place in the school, give children the opportunity to develop skills in drawing, painting, collage, printing, textiles and sculpture.
We are fortunate to have an Artist in Residence, who has worked with the school for many years. This develops both our staff and pupils as artists. We regularly exhibit at the Newham Showcase and seek opportunities to work with artist and art organisations. Most recently, we have completed projects with Bow Arts, Punchdrunk and we were an Ambassador School for the Year 3 Tate project. We are proud to continue to be an Artsmark Gold school.
We are very proud of the opportunities we give children to develop as performers at Gallions and the quality of performances we present strengthens every year. Every child in every year-group performs at least once a year. Our performances combine both dance and drama and are fully inclusive, involving every child. We have a Performing Arts Lead and Performing Arts Team, who write the scripts, design the set and make every prop and costume. This leads to bespoke performances, which engage and challenge our pupils.
Through Dance & Drama lessons weekly for Reception – Y2 and fortnightly for KS2, our pupils build up skills in dance and drama technique and performance skills.
In 2018, highlights include Y3 ‘Walking in Air’, telling the story of The Snowman through dance, drama and song. Y6 performed ‘The Grinch’, entertaining every member of the audience and inspiring our younger children to grow in confidence with their own performances.