There is something about adversity and music! Three years ago the Hampshire Music Service (HMS) was flooded out. Since then it has operated out of three separate “portacabins” and each year has been awarded an NMC Diploma. No Diploma this year, but the Major Award.
A Music Service which doesn’t have an effective partnership with schools is unlikely to succeed. HMS has taken a significant step with the establishment of “Partnership for Music in Hampshire”. Characterised as a “networked learning community for teachers of music”, it brings together all the teachers in the LEA who have a designated outreach role. Thus it includes schools with music advanced skills teachers, arts colleges, beacon schools, Artsmark schools and many schools with whom HMS already has established links. The Partnership will be responsible for sharing, informing, co-ordinating, researching and stimulating practice to lead on learning in music. The development, identification and dissemination of effective practice throughout all the schools will be a key role. The Partnership will be co-ordinated by HMS and the dominant theme in all its doings will be support, of teachers in school, of teachers in outreach roles, of schools and of all pupils.
Evaluation and feedback from schools is embedded in the HMS strategic plan, which has been shared with us: the Service has cause to be proud of wholly positive feedback. On the Wider Opportunities front, we were particularly impressed by the expansion of the world music programme from a series of individual workshops into residencies lasting half a term in each school. All the schools were able to set up training sessions for their staffs enabling skills to be reinforced and practised by pupils at any time during the school week. HMS is satisfied that the wider opportunities thus promoted have become integrated and complementary parts of National Curriculum delivery.
Of the many activities supporting curriculum delivery, the Primary Curriculum Project is demonstrably successful. It is accessed by all Hampshire Primary Schools, and all the heads endorse the central retention of the budget to fund the Project. One of the main components is CPD for teachers – in the year over 1000 primary school teachers benefited from an extensive range of courses, such as ICT in music for beginners and for advanced users.
The HMS website continues to be utilised heavily by teachers; a new section advising on KS 3 teaching, planning and assessment received 3000 visits in the year.
We warmed to the excitement felt by HMS as it has begun to establish links with community music making. We do not underestimate the resource priority tensions involved when Music Services reach out to community and adult education music, but the rewards of so doing can be inspiring, as Hampshire and others have found.
All in all, we found the range and quality of provision in Hampshire to be quite superb.
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