Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Maidstone have been embracing QR code technology to share their musical performances. Lead Teacher for Music, Georgina Kershaw tells us how they create a QR ‘buzz’.
Can you introduce yourself?
Hi, I am Georgina Kershaw. I am the SENCO/Vice Principal/DDSL/RHE Lead/ECT Mentor as well as (since Sept 22) the Music Lead at Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Parkwood, Maidstone. I have been at Holy Family since September 2019.
What is your approach to music in your school?
We use our Kent Music funding to pay for one class to have Clive teach the Ukele. This is shared between Yr 4 and Yr 6. We also have two TAs who deliver most of the other music lessons in school – one for KS1 and one for KS2. The Charanga scheme is used throughout the school. This ensures that music is happening and is being consistently taught.
What is your vision for music in your school?
Music has struggled to come alive at Holy Family in the past for a variety of reasons including COVID, teacher confidence, pupil self-confidence, etc. – so I want to develop the subject as much as I can.
I would love for the pupils to believe that they are musicians; to build their confidence and sense of pride in their musical work and to experience as many live performances as possible.
The children at our school have very limited opportunities to be exposed to live music and I want them to leave our school believing that they can achieve great things musically or in any other curriculum area.
Tell us about how you use QR codes in music.
At Holy Family, we have adopted the idea of using QR codes. The idea was shared with us by the STLS, who had seen it used in another school.
Initially, we used it as an alternative method of recording a child’s English. For example, for pupils who are unable or reluctant to write. Now we use the idea more widely. For example, in Music, the children take part in a lesson or a choir session or performance of some kind. This is videoed using an iPad. Next, the recording is converted in to a QR code.
We use See Saw to do this – it is free and simple to work out – but I believe that there are other ways to make QR codes. Once the QR code is available, we print it out and add it to the class Floor Book or to a display. The QR codes can also be sent home so that parents and carers can enjoy their child’s performance.
Other than in Music, we also use the QR code method to capture samples of drama, science experiments, PE or spoken work, 1:1 SEND interventions and also pupil voice.
How has this been received by pupils, staff and parents?
Visitors to the school, Governors and parents love it! This idea has been shared by our School Improvement Team with other schools in our Trust. We have found that QR codes makes so much sense.
Do you have any plans to develop your use of technology in music?
As a school we have bought in to the Charanga scheme. Charanga have recently developed YUStudio which is an online music studio. We are planning to use this more often with our YR 5/6 students.
What has been your proudest moment?
This was definitely the Musical Showcase. The first of its kind at our school. In particular, the pride that was clear to see on the children’s faces and the ambiance it created of togetherness – it was just beautiful.
What are your top three tips on being a new Music Lead?
Engage with the Music Hub. I have always found the staff friendly, approachable, knowledgeable and resourceful. Reach out to other schools in your area.
I have been in contact with a secondary school locally to invite their musicians into my setting. I am hoping that they will come and demonstrate their instruments and play for us.
Speak with other Music leads for your phase in similar “catchments” – I find it helpful to problem solve collaboratively.