At Eliot Bank, we have numerous opportunities for children to be involved in music. Our music curriculum runs for all pupils throughout the year, introducing them to concepts such as pitch, tone, rhythm, composition, performing and listening. We have a wide range of instruments which are displayed in the hall and shared across the school for these lessons.
Our choir, for years 4, 5 and 6, has many chances to perform both in and out of school as part of Lewisham Music concerts and events. In the Autumn term, for example, they take part in the Turning of the Year concerts at Blackheath Halls and visit Castlebar Nursing Home to sing carols. Choir also lead some of the songs in our weekly assemblies and the carols at our own annual Carol Service. All of this singing has contributed to our Sing Up Award which recognises the wide range of opportunities for singing at Eliot Bank, in class, as a whole school and beyond the school in concerts.
In year 4, all pupils take part in weekly Djembe Drumming lessons throughout the year. We have a full set of school drums for children to use and they get to show off their skills in the drumming concert at the end of the year. Some Year 3 children, who have attended Drumming Club, also get to perform with Pablo, our fantastic tutor from Lewisham Music.
In year 5, all pupils take weekly guitar lessons throughout the year, using the school guitars, and they perform in a guitar assembly. In year 6, especially keen guitarists are able to work on their skills in small tuition groups which take place after school then perform in the concert at the end of the year. Geoff and Gerard, our fantastic tutors from Lewisham Music, perform too. It is a real treat to hear them play.
In Year 3, all pupils take part in weekly Recorder lessons taught by our Recorder and Flute tutor, Mrs Lukas. Year 4 children have the opportunity to take small group flute lessons after school. The recorders and flutes perform in a concert at the end of the year during which the children enjoy hearing Mrs Lukas playing her flute brilliantly.
We try to provide as many opportunities as possible for the children to experience quality live music. We have already had a performance from “The Junk Orchestra” this year funded by EBSA. Saul really inspired the children to get involved and many of them have since made their own instruments out of junk at home, which we have used in class.
As a whole school, we introduced the musical term of the week last year which has enabled the children to be able to talk about their musical learning and relate it to the song they have sung each week. Ask them on a Friday if they can explain the musical term for that week. Maybe they could show you by singing.
Rhona McKail, Arts Team Leader