The Chelmsford Teaching Schools Alliance is delighted that we have been successful in our application to the Paul Hamlyn Teacher Development Fund for 2 years of funding to support us in developing the use of music to improve school ‘readiness’ by targeting improvement in PSED and CLD in the Early Years. The project is in partnership with Essex Music Services and London Music Masters (a charitable trust with Essex connections) and runs from July 2019 – July 2021.

The purpose of the Teacher Development Fund is to support delivery of effective arts-based teaching and learning opportunities in the primary classroom, and to embed learning through the arts in the curriculum. It aims to do this through supporting teachers and school leaders to develop the necessary skills, knowledge, confidence and experience.

The EYFS framework forms the basis of a child’s learning throughout their primary school career. Schools are increasingly reporting that children are starting school without the skills necessary to thrive and learn.

There is significant and growing evidence suggesting that engagement in music can positively impact on a child’s personal, social, emotional and intellectual development. Engagement in music, therefore, provides a vehicle through which a child’s readiness to learn in a social school setting might be addressed.

This project focuses on the development of the EYFS framework Prime areas of Learning and Development: Personal, Social & Emotional Development and Communication and Language Development with additional benefits in Expressive Arts & Design. It is also developing teacher skills in using music to develop key skills such as self-confidence, collaboration, turn taking, listening and attention as a foundation on which to build successful learning throughout the curriculum.

 The project teachers are working alongside specialist music tutors to deliver adult-led music focused class/group sessions and also to integrate musicianship approaches into continuous provision so that the children can explore and extend their learning through self initiated activity.

Project schools have met for their first review session and even at an early stage in the project are reporting significant gains for individual children and groups. Each teacher has selected, and is tracking the progress of,  ‘case study’ pupils. An end of first year interim evaluation will be developed and the full outcomes of the project will be disseminated from Summer 2021 onwards. 

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