Music is at the heart of the Curriculum at Flora Gardens Primary School. All year groups come together to start the week with a singing assembly led by a vocal coach from the Tri-Borough Music Hub. These assemblies are thoroughly enjoyed by pupils, parents and staff alike. Pupils with a real passion for singing can join the school choir, who regularly perform to the whole school and participate in concerts such as the Tri-Borough Music Hub’s Christmas Festival at the Town Hall.
Music plays a big part in our Early Years classes. Pupils have access to an array of instruments from the moment they arrive in class and singing can often be heard from Nursery and Reception. Pupils in Nursery and Reception come together with children from other schools each year to celebrate their musical journey in a jamboree. There is a more information on music in the EYFS and a fantastic video below.
Pupils in all classes have weekly music lessons provided by tutors from the Tri-Borough Music Hub. Music can always be heard on the corridors of Flora Gardens. Throughout their time in the school, all pupils have the opportunity to learn an instrument, including recorder, violin, ukulele and guitar.
Flora Gardens Primary School has just completed the third year of a three-year partnership with Wigmore Hall and the Tri-Borough Music Hub. This Partner Schools Programme is a new, strategic approach to working with schools, through which Wigmore Hall Learning is working in partnership with music hubs and the schools themselves to place music at the heart of their ethos, empowering them to co-create their own cultural activity across the school. This programme is taking place in four schools in four different boroughs: The Tri-borough, Havering, Tower Hamlets and Haringey. We are very fortunate to be a part of this programme.
Year 2 of the Programme
Music leader Esther Sheridan continued to work with Reception and Nursery classes (age 3-5), working alongside teachers to deliver Flora Tots – a bespoke programme of work which supports the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework, as well as having a focus on English as an additional language (EAL) and special education needs and disabilities (SEND). The sessions used a variety of techniques to support the students with EAL and SEND, including using pictures and music together to create and tell new stories, and then adding language to these stories. Wigmore Hall increased the number of musician visits this year, as the school said they were very impactful, and have also been able to include students from the Royal College of Music, who developed their skills in Early Years music making. Parents were very involved, with a special parents’ session in May, and a workshop held at the our Summer Fete in July. Flora Gardens also hosted two training days for Early Years teachers at other Tri-borough schools in March, and worked with five other schools on the Flora Tots programme, culminating in a joint jamboree in July.
Our Key Stage 1 project What’s the Buzz? worked with Years 1 and 2 (age 5-7) and their teachers, linking in with their Life and Living topic. Our pupils visited The Hive at Kew Gardens, a structure that encapsulates the story of the honey bee and the important role of pollination, through an immersive sound and visual experience. We worked with a composer-musician and a visual artist whose work is inspired by the life of bees, to create music and artwork in response to the pupils’ visit to Kew, resulting in a performance to parents and an exhibition of the work created.
Chamber Challenge was co-created to support Flora Gardens to provide an engaging and interactive introduction to string quartet music, and to launch an after-school chamber ensemble for Key Stage 2 students. Music leader Neil Valentine worked with the Year 3, 4 and 5 classes (age 7-10) over four sessions to compose new pieces, which they performed themselves alongside the Heath Quartet in the school for the wider school community. The project provided the momentum for the school to start an after-school club, creating their very first string ensemble which will continue into next year. Four further schools in the Tri-borough took part in extension activity around Chamber Challenge, participating in half day workshops with both Neil and the Heath Quartet over the course of the Summer Term.
Year 5 and 6: Guitar Composition Project with Paul Griffiths
Last year, Year 5 and 6 took part in a composition project with guitarist and composer Paul Griffiths. The two year groups wrote new compositions and performed these during an in-school sharing on the afternoon of June 23rd and at Wigmore Hall on July 12th. The compositions were based on the theme ‘Stepping Up’ – the Year 5s were focusing on stepping up to be the new school leaders this year, and Year 6 were focusing on leaving a positive legacy at this school before they stepped up to secondary school.
To encourage a culture of music-making throughout Flora Gardens, there have been opportunities throughout the partnership to deliver supporting activities outside of the core activity, and the school is being supported in gaining Arts Mark status and for pupils to achieve Arts Award Discover and Explore awards through the Partner School Programme activity.
Did you know that your children can take part in choirs, play in bands, and learn instruments in your
local area? Visit or visit www.triboroughmusichub.org to find out more!
You can always speak to Ms Owolabi about musical matters and queries.
Whatever your child’s musical interest, there are abundant opportunities at Flora Gardens.