Every year Kent Music offers all schools in Kent the chance to access Funded Opportunities to support music education. From memberships to ensemble leaders and WCIT, there are lots of options for schools. One unique opportunity which Kent Music provide is Bespoke Support, an opportunity to work with a member of the Kent Music team to drive the development of music in your school.
But what exactly does it involve? We spoke to a school who accessed it this year to find out about their experience.
Please can you introduce yourself?
My name is Jane Wakelen, and I am a reception class teacher at The Oaks Infant School which is a three-form entry Infant School. I am a non-specialist music lead/coordinator for the school. I have held the role for a year and a half and feel I have lots to learn about the best way to deliver music across KS1 providing a clear progression from EYFS (Early Year Foundation Stages) through to Year 2.
Why did you choose to apply for Bespoke Support as a Funded Opportunity?
As a school we were aware that our music curriculum was not where we wanted it to be. I took on the role of music lead being a non-music specialist and felt I needed support to move us in the right direction. I didn’t know where to start. Therefore, we chose bespoke support from Kent Music.
How has your experience been?
I met Lucy (Lucy Duff, Kent Music Area Manager) through meetings with other schools and she put me in touch with Liv Edwards (Kent Music Senior Leader, Music Hub) who has been so supportive and understanding.
She has asked me to say what we felt we needed and has recently come into school to deliver two bespoke music meetings and provided a power point that I have put on our shared files, enabling staff to keep referring back to. She gave us lots of practical ideas about how to teach lessons on dynamics, tempo, and pitch, using basic classroom resources and percussion instruments.
What kind of bespoke support did you access?
I sent a questionnaire to all teaching staff to find out what they felt they needed support with. They wanted to know what activities they could do with the children and how to show progression through the year groups. Liv came to deliver two bespoke sessions on practical activities and how to use percussion instruments with the children.
How will you use this moving forward?
We continue to develop our curriculum and hope to receive more support to ensure we are delivering a curriculum that reflects the National Plan and Model Music Curriculum. I am hoping to gain more confidence to be able to support all staff in planning their lessons across the year groups.
Do you think you would pick it again?
Yes, because I still have a lot to learn to feel confident in supporting staff across all year groups. We are only just beginning to implement ideas and plan lessons to ensure we are offering a full curriculum covering all what we need to.
How has your music changed in your school this year because of your choice?
It has given me the confidence to work with the teaching staff to promote our music curriculum and express the importance of aiming for an hour a week, including our singing assembly. Music is definitely being given more emphasis and taught more frequently. Staff are more confident to plan the music for their year groups now. I have subscribed to Kapow now too, which staff are beginning to look at and use.
Find out more about all our Funded Opportunities for schools, including Bespoke Support, on our dedicated page: