We were delighted to be taking part at the Teach Through Music Inspire Event - London's Cultural Offer at the Southbank Centre on the 2nd of February.
The event was a great opportunity for us to connect with London schools and teachers who came together to explore different ways to enrich the new KS3 music curriculum through engagement with London’s musical offer.
It was through a MarketPlace that we were able to talk to teachers about how we support Artsmark and Arts Award. It was great to find out that some teachers were already familiar with both programmes, however we offered them support and encourage them to take part in our INSET programme, the networking events like the Schools Forums or Arts Award training if they were new to the award.
We also came across some familiar organisations at the Marketplace. EFDSS, Trinity Laban, Barbican, Southbank Centre, Royal Opera House and the Greater for London Authority were also there talking about their programmes and cultural offers for teachers and London schools.
Other highlights from the day
At the event, attendees had the opportunity to hear from pupils and teachers about cultural projects that have enhanced and supported their learning.
It was inspiring to listen to young people articulating their wish that there were more opportunities at their schools or after school to get involved in music.
"I would like to see more ensemble opportunities and chances to perform outside of school" said one of the young people in the fantastic panel debate chaired by Adem Holness - member of Wired4Music (the young Londoner's’ music council hosted by Sound Connections) and Young Trustee of Roundhouse.
At the event, attendees were split into groups, focusing primarily on the nature of relationships between schools and cultural organisations. Groups examined:
What does a sustained partnership between a cultural organisation and school look like?
Participants commented on the role of artists and teachers as co-creators and collaborators, having a clear communication of goals between schools and cultural organisations and mapping outcomes against these. Evaluation was also discussed, noting the importance of feedback from teachers and pupils alike.
What are the barriers to effective partnerships?
The group commented on the prominence of KS3 opportunities, and the challenge of moving these opportunities forward to the post 14 curriculum, with more support needed in the GCSE curriculum.
Questions around CPD were also prominent, in particular how a responsibility to connect to cultural organisations could be included in teacher training, and support for trainee teachers to bring in new ideas.
At lunch time, we were delighted with an amazing music performance by Tomorrow’s Warriors, an organisation that aims to champion, develop and promote the most talented jazz musicians in the country.
Towards the end of the day, a panel discussion took place in which our CEO Steve Moffitt gave some ideas, suggestions and thoughts about education, creativity, schools and young people in London. He highlighted:
"There has to be a different system for schools deciding what they want/need, and what they can afford"
"We need a way to identify what schools really need or what they are prepared to do"
"The local offer is crucial. What can we do to ensure young people access it"
The session was chaired by Sean Gregory of Barbican Guildhall and also joined by organisations like Southbank Centre, Southwark Music Service, Tomorrow's Warriors, and Frank Marshall - Head of Music at ARK Putney.
The event was definitely a great way to kick off the beginning of the month and gave us a better idea of how schools and cultural organisations can work together in sustained, effective partnerships.