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Ukuleles and ocarinas

From this September all classes from Y1 to Y6 are working on the content and skills from the revised National Curriculum (2014). This week saw the children starting to use their new books to record their learning. It is always a pleasure to walk around our classes and see the care and pride the children take as they start a new book-don’t we all remember that experience of opening the first page of a new exercise book and starting to write!

We work hard at Unsworth to plan a curriculum experience for our children that ensures that they embed the basic skills of reading, writing and mathematics. Having these skills gives children confidence to engage fully with their learning. It is practice, consolidation and over-learning that helps them to do this. That is why we have introduced, over the last few years, our homework journals. The tasks contained in these give the children the opportunity to use the content of their lessons to reflect through writing whilst also giving them the chance to be a little bit creative in the way they present their understanding.

We all know that basic skills are important. Having said that, we also need to enthuse and engage our children. We do that through our enquiry curriculum and through the variety of learning experiences we plan across the year. It is true to say that there is always ‘something going on’ at Unsworth! This year will be no different. We will continue to take the children out on trips and plan special events in school.

On Tuesday, our music specialist, Miss Geelan was in school again. She works tirelessly to develop the musical education of every child. She also extends their opportunities by introducing them to other providers for more individualised musical tuition. This week we had music demonstrations from Fidler Music and from Bury Music Service. If you would like your child to learn to play a musical instrument with either of these providers, details of fees etc can be obtained from the school office.

As a school, we feel it is important that every child has the opportunity to play music during their time with us. For this reason, we have designed our music curriculum so that the children have three chances to play an instrument with their classmates. In this way they learn the basics of musical notation but more importantly, they experience the fun and enjoyment of playing music together.

In Y5 our children learn to play a brass instrument. This year they will be taught by a brass specialist, Mr. Dixon, who will be assisted by Miss Geelan. The brass lessons taught by Mr. Dixon and Miss Geelan are always fun and interactive but both insist on effort and excellence and, of course, practice! By the end of a few short months we can truly say we will have our own brass band!

In Y3 our children learn to play the recorder. Mrs. McLoughlin will teach the children how to play and very soon they will perform together in one of our assemblies! This year, we have also introduced a class instrument into Key Stage One. Children in Y2 had their first ocarina lesson this week. The ocarina is a small wind instrument with a mouthpiece and finger holes. They are all different colours and caused much excitement in Y2!

In addition, Miss Geelan will work with each class across the year to develop their singing and general musical understanding. This half term she is working with Y1 and Y4. She leads our weekly ‘Big Sing’ with the whole school and is also busy recruiting for our Y5/6 Choral Group. Thank you, Miss Geelan for all that hard work!

As well as musical experiences, we want our children to enjoy other aspects of the curriculum. This year we have introduced French lessons into Key Stage Two. We have appointed a new teacher, Madame Jackson, who will teach Y3-Y6 every week. She came into school this week for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed working with our children. Bienvenue, Madame Jackson!

Finally, Mrs. McLoughlin has introduced a whole new sports and PE programme for our children this year. This includes a number of new sports coaches coming into school to work with the children and class teachers in different aspects of sport and PE. It also involves lunchtime sessions and some after school clubs. Look out for more details coming soon on our PE curriculum page.

So, it’s been a busy old week…just how we like it!

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