Music is an integral part of life here at Whitehall Park School. Children are immersed in music from the morning, when we sing together and learn new pieces during singing assembly, to the afternoon when we have the whole class music lessons, lunchtime choir, peripatetic instrument lessons, and musical after school clubs.
WHAT WE DO AT WHITEHALL PARK FOR MUSIC:
This is a weekly event loved by all the children, where the whole school comes together in their phases, EYFS/KS1 and KS2, to sing and enjoy our time together as a school community. We learn new songs each week and have an impressive repertoire of pieces old and new. Many of the children play a vital role in the running of the assembly by accompanying the singers using percussion instruments and creating actions and dances to perform along with the songs.
WPS KS2 Choir
Our school choir is run during lunchtime and is comprised of Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 students. Our song list repertoire includes pop, Disney, musical theatre and folk songs. We rehearse weekly and have events throughout the year where we work towards a performance in various concerts. We often look for performance opportunities and give children as much experience of performing to an audience as possible. Here there are opportunities to have solos and group parts as well as dance routines and movement that the children have ownership of and involvement in creating. We have had two years of high-quality, successful performances in events such as Music for Youth, Pure Voices as well as special appearances in productions and PTA events.
In-Class Music Lessons
Children are encouraged to explore and understand the concepts of pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo and notation through their time studying music in class. The children can perform and compose in both solo and ensemble settings during these lessons. They will be exposed to a range of different instruments and musical styles to encourage their musical development and will have fun in the process! Class teachers will be trained in using Charanga to support and progress their skills in ensuring our children make progress across the Music curriculum.
We have introduced the Charanga scheme into our school from Summer term 2020. Charanga is a system that provides planning, lessons, resources and materials for covering the entire music curriculum from Reception to Year 6.
Children can also access music lessons at home via their login to Yumu. If you do not have this login, please either ask your child’s teacher or send an email to the office and the Music Coordinator will be able to send it through.
An overview of Yumu
Yumu is a safe online space where students learn, play and develop their musicianship by:
completing assignments that you set using your own and Charanga’s materials
engaging in simple independent learning, chosen from a range of exciting Yumu Packages
Formative (continuous) and Summative Assessment: Formative assessment is, of course, intended to support high-quality, in-depth teaching and therefore will inform subsequent learning. Formative assessment typically involves qualitative feedback for both pupil and teacher that focuses on the details of content and performance within the music lesson.
Summative assessment will enable you to evaluate how much a pupil has learned, more than often through performance, at the end of a learning episode.
To use each form of assessment to best effect, it is important to understand their various purposes within a musical learning situation. It is important to be clear why pupils are being assessed, what the assessment is intended to achieve and how the assessment information will be used. The outcomes, whether they are musical, cultural or social, can be amazing. When the pupils begin to take responsibility for their own learning, there will be exciting outcomes in addition to those expected or planned for.
Peripatetic Music Lessons – Guildhall Music Service / Music Education Islington
Currently we offer Piano, Trumpet, Guitar and Violin lessons as both solo and group lessons. The lessons are given during the day by experienced instrumental tutors. Throughout the year, the children are encouraged to perform during concerts at school to showcase what they have learnt during their lessons. We have found that this greatly improves the children’s confidence, encourages a love of performing and inspires other children at the school to learn an instrument.
If you have any instruments that you can donate to the school, we would be incredibly grateful, as this would enable many more children to enjoy the valuable gift of music!
Equipment and Resources
We are very lucky here at Whitehall Park as we have just invested in a brand-new sound and lighting system. This has drastically enhanced our performances and productions by bringing them to life, creating the right mood and ensuring that all children can be heard clearly from any part of the hall.
Upcoming Music Events:
TBC – we ask for your patience as we navigate this difficult and challenging time. We will await government advise on when music events and performances may be resumed. For now, all instrumental tuition is happening online.
WPS Year 2-Year 5 Production of Aladdin – December 2019
This year, as we felt as a school, we had exhausted all the Christmas songs last year, we decided to provide a different kind of performance. Working closely with the Year 5 team, we put on a production of Disney’s classic, ‘Aladdin’. For this production, the Year 5s took on the leading characters, Year 4 provided additional singing and dance routines, and Years 2 and 3 performed their own song and dance. It was a huge project, but the entire team came together to make sure that it was the best experience possible for our children. They were involved not only with the singing, dancing and acting, but with making props, set, costume, lighting design, sound design and backstage crew. The Year 5s took ownership over all the additional work that goes into a production behind the scenes.
WPS Reception and Year 1 Nativity – December 2019
Reception and Year 1 joined forces this year by working together to put on a fantastic Nativity performance. The children gained essential skills in singing, dancing and acting and put in so much time and effort to make sure that their performance was the best it could be. The children had amazing costumes and took full advantage of our brand-new lighting system.
WPS Year 4 Gamelan Workshop – 31st October 2019
Year 4’s topic in the Autumn term was ‘The Sound of Music’ and they had the amazing opportunity to learn all about ‘Gamelan’. A gamelan is a musical ensemble of Indonesian origin typically featuring metallophones, xylophone(s), drums, and gongs. Traditionally, the term “gamelan” is used to refer to either the set of instruments making up the ensemble, or the players of those instruments at any given time.
WPS Three Discovery Workshop – 2nd October 2019
All children from all year groups had the opportunity to experience online music and gaming sessions at the Three Store with the Three Discovery Team. Here, the Year 4s had the opportunity to look at Garage Band, an app that allows you to create and compose your own pieces of music spanning all genres. The children worked in groups to create their own music track. Some children even recorded their voices to add to it!
WPS Year 4 Orchestral Workshop – 26th September 2019
Year 4 were lucky to have a workshop from George and Evie’s grandparents who are professional musicians in the London Symphony Orchestra. The children listened to different pieces of music played on the violin and double bass and discussed each one with a Q and A. It was fantastic and the children gained a lot of insight into how you can turn music into your career.
WPS Richard Frostick Assembly – 23rd September 2019
We were very lucky as a school to receive a visit from Mr Richard Frostick who is now acknowledged as one of the UK’s premier singing leaders. In London, he is founder and director of two music centres that provide high quality tuition for 500 children and young people. In this role he has prepared young choirs for six BBC Prom concerts and for numerous performances on television and radio. He was also series consultant on the popular BBC1 series ‘Play It Again’. He now works across the country as a singing workshop leader and choral conductor.
WPS Choir in Birmingham for Youth Festival – 4th July 2019
The WPS Choir had an amazing opportunity to travel all the way to Bristol to take part in a Youth Music Festival: a feast of live music! Hear performances from the very best jazz, brass, classical, folk, choral and contemporary young musicians. The children performed just outside the symphony hall in a beautiful garden with lots of other schools taking part. We got to watch orchestras and choirs performing inside and outside the venue as well as performing ourselves. The sun was shining, and we had an amazing day. It was a fantastic performance opportunity for all involved.
WPS Choir perform at Union Chapel – 9th July 2019
As promised, our choir returned to the annual Pure Voices concert at the Union Chapel. It was a great day for everyone involved and the children performed exceptionally. They had been preparing a ‘Matilda-the Musical’ medley including hits such as ‘When I Grow Up’, ‘Naughty’ and the grand finale, ‘Revolting Children’. We had fantastic soloists as well as an incredible dance routine. The medley went down a storm and the choir really did shine on that stage in front of a huge audience.
WPS Choir perform at Union Chapel – July 2018
On Wednesday 4th July 2018, Whitehall Park Choir made their highly anticipated debut performance at the Union Chapel Pure Voices concert! It was an exciting day for everyone, and the children worked tirelessly running up to the performance, committing to lunchtime rehearsals once a week and squeezing extra rehearsals in where we could! The choir worked hard to learn all their different parts and dance moves and enjoyed singing alongside other schools from Islington to create one mass choir which sounded beautiful. The pupils kept up the energy levels in rehearsals and concentrated hard despite having some quite tricky parts to sing but luckily the thought of their yummy packed dinner kept them going and filled them with the enthusiasm ready for the performance.
The atmosphere was brilliant inside the chapel as the audience began to grow, and everyone was buzzing with excitement to perform on stage. It was fantastic to see how encouraging the choir were to each other and how they have grown to work as one big team, supporting and encouraging each other as well as taking on all the performance tips that were given to them! It was a great experience for the choir to watch the other schools perform and listen to such a range of different genres of music!
As our school was announced the choir took to stage like professionals. They looked out at a gigantic audience and gave the performance absolutely everything. It was full of passion, energy, big smiles and beautiful voices! We are all so proud of the choir, and they should feel so proud of themselves for representing our school at this event. All I have heard is praise for their fantastic performance and they absolutely deserve it!
We are looking forward to working towards our next performance and building on developing the pupil’s vocal skills and having more opportunities to perform at events!
Well done Choir!
Please have a look at our performance below:
Time to Change Music Event – 2018
We started off the month of February with a special day dedicated to thinking about our wellbeing and happiness. We took part in the national ‘Time to Talk’ day that encourages everyone wherever they are to talk about mental health. Lots of fun was had learning different techniques and exercise we could do to train our brain and keep it happy and healthy, just like we do every day with our physical health.
The children took part in several workshops ranging from Yoga to mindful eating and learnt all the functions of the different parts of the brain. In class they created their own superhero characters to remember the different parts of the brain and enjoyed taking part in the whole school ‘all about your brain’ quiz!
We learnt about different ways to calm and relax our brains in the yoga and mindfulness workshop. The children loved the sessions and have been showing me all the different yoga positions they have learnt!
In our mindfulness workshop we used our senses to be present in the moment and practiced different breathing exercises. The children loved our mindful eating exercise, where they focused their awareness on each of our senses as they ate a strawberry and reflected on the how the experience made them feel.
Each class also created their own kindness calendar. They worked together to come up with acts of kindness that they could carry out every day to put a smile on someone’s face. Each class now has their own kindness calendar which they can choose an act of kindness to think about each day. They came up with lots of acts of kindness that they can spread throughout the school and act upon at home!
Year 3 created some excellent posters to promote our mentally healthy school and being kind to others was top of the list. We ended the day thinking about 3 positives in our day and talked about how it was always good to celebrate what had gone well in our day!