Charanga Training

On Wednesday 5th April 2017 I organised for Stephanie Dufty, from the music hub to conduct some Charanga training for the staff. Charanga is a fantastic music programme we have bought which helps children learn how to play instruments and encourages them to use more musical language. It also helps staff gain confidence teaching music.

The training went great, all the staff were very enthused and Stephanie was fabulous, the feedback from the staff was all very positive, one member of staff quoted saying “it was very informative and explained everything step by step.”

I believe this training helped the staff feel more at ease using the programme to teach music after half term.

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Mini MusE – Music Educators Group – meeting 2.

I recently went to my second Music Educators Group meeting, as part of my role as Music coordinator.

We first spoke about the ‘All wrapped up for Christmas’ event, which looked spectacular, and there was discussion that this would definitely be happening again next year. This is an event that I would look to put the choir up for in the future.

They also mentioned that from this event parents have asked for a junior choir to become available at Forest Arts. This is now available and there are flyers available from the office.

We then spoke about the Transition/Leadership day event ‘Black History Month meets Rock School’, which is an event run by Secondary school and A level students at Forest Arts. This event will take place in October 2017 and the primary school students who take part must have some musical instrument knowledge, at grade 2 or above. Unfortunately for us, we won’t have any students with this ability, however there are 2 events that our school would be able to take part in and they are for beginners. This event will be offered to Year’s 5 and 6 students across Walsall.

We then spoke about the singing festival, which is taking place in March. The children are invited to sing two songs and then will take part in vocal workshops. I will hopefully be taking the choir to this event, as it’s a great opportunity to perform and boost their confidence and profile for our school for having a choir. This in turn will open up possibilities of networking with other schools for performances and shows.

We then were given a CPD on Signing in the Music Classroom. This was a practical session whereby a lady, called Bev Cullen taught us various Makaton signs that will be needed when teaching signing and music. She offers training sessions for all years and has her own resource books to help sign with various songs. I spoke to Bev about possibly doing a whole school session, in which she replied that she normally does phases but is willing to do bespoke sessions for schools.

This is something I would like to look into and get our teachers trained in this area. As whilst music is being taught via an outside agency this is may not always be the case and I would like all staff to feel confident delivering stand alone music lessons in the future.

Sonic Pi Training

On 17th November, I conducted Sonic Pi training for a KS1 and KS2 staff. It was explained how Sonic Pi incorporates both Music and ICT as part of a cross curricular lesson. The staff also got the chance to play on the programme themselves, so they knew how it looked and worked. The staff seemed to enjoy playing ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’ and I had great fun too. I also asked staff to complete an evaluation form. I asked for feedback in the form of Debono’s thinking hats – Yellow hat (positive) and Black hat (Improvement). I asked for their thoughts about the training I gave and any improvements they could think of for myself, so I could improve this for the next time I deliver any training. The results were great and all staff enjoyed the task, but would have liked more time to play on the programme. This is something that I will keep in mind for the future.


Mini Muse – Music Educators Group

I recently went to a Music Educators Group meeting, as part of my first introduction to my new role as Music coordinator.

It was very interesting and insightful to meet Music leaders from others schools and draw on their years of experience in the role at their school. I also got to meet the leaders of Muse and the Forests Arts department. I got a full understanding of what Forest Arts provides to our school and to all the schools around Walsall.

During the meeting I got to see a version of a Music policy and assessment, which I will draw upon when making our schools.

A very interesting piece of information was the pupil voice, whereby, we ask the children for feedback on the music lessons and gan knowledge on what they would like to see more of in school regarding music. It’s away of catering our lessons to what the children want, as well as their needs.

One of the programmes that we were shown was called Sonic Pi. This is a coding programme, which incorporates parts of Maths, ICT Coding, as well as Music.

The children will have the chance to follow codes, which when played altogether becomes music. As part of the new National Curriculum within ICT, the children need to understand coding by gaining knowledge on; how it works, how to debug and how to create something from a code. The programme does all of these – It is great fun!

The aim is for KS2 staff to become familiar with this and to teach the children how to use it. In the near future I will lead a Sonic Pi twilight training for all staff.




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RE Network Meeting


RE Network Meeting

Attended Lisa Francis and Michelle Hill

Led Fiona from RE Today (

  • Each class to complete an RE curriculum overview – Units do not have to be delivered in sequence eg ABCD. Try to tally units with topic wherever possible.
  • Give a brief description of what you are doing in your first unit. (Units are for us to ‘harvest’ from. Keep existing good practice!
  • Set two dates (mid-term and end) to meet LF to revise and reflect on Unit.
  • Refer to 9 outcomes by the end of each key stage – (Units are there to support us but how we achieve this is entirely up to us.)
  • Re can be taught weekly or in blocks – MUST teach 40 hours of RE over the year.
  • KS1 Christianity and Islam
  • KS2 – 4 other religions
  • Suggested to visit 2 places of worship on the same day to compare and contrast.
  • There are suggested places of worship to visit in your Units but at the meeting the following Sikh Temple and Mandir and Mosque were highly recommended

Guru Nank Sikh Gurdwara 65-67 Walsall Road Willenhall was highly recommended 01902605286 ask to speak to Gurnam

Maha Shiv Shakti Mandir 14-15 Fletchers Lane, Willenhall – 01902 633361

Aisha Mosque & Islamic Centre 4 Rutter Street Walsall – 01922 620982

  • We had a discussion about inviting members of the community into school that are doing something because of their beliefs eg Islamic Aid, Christian Aid etc
  • We discussed the weddings and said one idea for display might be wedding vows from different religions
  • See handout for 2B ideas including; Treasure Hunt and Labyrinth
  • 6A Exploring Key Leaders  – use inspirational people like Ghandi and Rosa Parkes – also mentioned using people that are alive such as Mo Farrah (prays at the end of every race) or Malala Yousufzai.  The trailer for Ghandi – gives you the story.  Another activity face 15 chairs outwards and 15 chairs inwards in a circle. Children to talk to the person opposite about quote that is given.


  • Work on what they need to do, as everything we do is leading to those end of key stage outcomes.
  • At the end of the unit make a decision based on LO, teaching and feedback which children have grasped the unit and place their names under the ‘Expected’ column. Think about the children that have exceeded the expected and place them under the ‘Exceeded’ column and finally think about those children that have not reached expected and place them under the ‘Emerging’ column.
  • Start to create an exemplification file. Great examples only please! I will provide a large book for this and use it when I’m networking with other schools.
  • My next network meeting is 24th January 2017 – If you have any questions that you would like me to raise, please let me know before this date.

Key Stage 1 Programme of study

To develop their knowledge and understanding of religions and world views. They find out about simple examples of religion that are drawn from local, national and global contexts. They learn to use basic subject specific vocabulary. They should raise questions and begin to express their own views in response to the material they learn about and in response to questions about their idea.

Specifically, pupils should be taught to:

  • Know about and understand religions and world views

A1. Recall and name different beliefs and practices, including festivals, worship, rituals and ways of life, in order to find out about the meanings behind them;

A2. Retell and suggest meanings to some religious and moral stories, exploring and discussing sacred writings and sources of wisdom and recognising the communities from which they come;

A3. Recognise some different symbols and actions which express a community’s way of life, appreciating some similarities between communities;


  • Express ideas and insights into religions and world views

B1. Ask and respond to questions about what communities do, and why, so that they can identify what difference belonging to a community might make;

B2. Observe and recount different ways of expressing identity and belonging, responding sensitively for themselves;

B3. Notice and respond sensitively to some similarities between different religions and world views.


  • Gain and deploy the skills for learning from religions and world views

C1. Explore questions about belonging, meaning and truth so that they can express their own ideas and opinions in response using words, music, art or poetry;

C2. Find out about and respond with ideas to examples of cooperation between people who are different;

C3. Find out about questions of right and wrong and begin to express their ideas and opinions in response.


 KS2 Programme of Study

To extend their knowledge and understanding of religions and world views, recognising their local, national and global contexts. They should be introduced to an extended range of sources and subject specific vocabulary. They should be encouraged to be curious and to ask increasingly challenging questions about religion, belief, values and human life. Pupils should learn to express their own ideas in response to the material they engage with, identifying relevant information, selecting examples and giving reasons to support their ideas and views.

Specifically, pupils should be taught to:

  • Know about and understand religions and world views

A1. Describe and make connections between different features of the religions and world views they study, discovering more about celebrations, worship, pilgrimages and the rituals which mark important points in life in order to reflect thoughtfully on their ideas;

A2. Describe and understand links between stories and other aspects of the communities they are investigating, responding thoughtfully to a range of sources of wisdom and to beliefs and teachings that arise from them in different communities;

A3. Explore and describe a range of beliefs, symbols and actions so that they can understand different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.


  • Express ideas and insights into religions and world views       

B1. Observe and understand varied examples of religions and world views so that they can explain, with reasons, their meanings and significance to individuals and communities;  B2. Understand the challenges of commitment to a community of faith or belief, suggesting why belonging to a community may be valuable, both in the diverse communities being studied and in their own lives;                                                                                                                                    B3. Observe and consider different dimensions of religion, so that they can explore and show understanding of similarities and differences between different religions and world views.


  • Gain and deploy the skills for learning from religions and world views


C1. Discuss and present thoughtfully their own and others’ views on challenging questions about belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, applying ideas of their own thoughtfully in different forms including (e.g.) reasoning, music, art and poetry;

C2. Consider and apply ideas about ways in which diverse communities can live together for the well-being of all, responding thoughtfully to ideas about community, values and respect;

C3. Discuss and apply their own and others’ ideas about ethical questions, including ideas about what is right and wrong and what is just and fair, and express their own ideas clearly in response.

EdPuzzle – Interactive Video

EdPuzzle is a fantastic new website that allows you to turn any video into an interactive learning resource. The idea is that you select a video based on the areas you are currently teaching. Then you can crop the video if needed to ensure it has maximum impact. Whilst watching the video, you can click the question mark icon at any point to add either an open ended or multiple choice question.


Better still, if you use multiple choice questions, the site will mark the answers for you meaning that you only have to review the open ended questions. On these, comments can be left to further the explanation of answers or can be marked as correct or incorrect. The child receives this feedback immediately and can respond or adapt their answers.

*If you aren’t overly keen of the current audio track, you can voice over the video to add your own track.

The site offers a step by step guide to starting your first EdPuzzle so don’t worry about being a tech magician! If you would like to see an example of what the pupils would see, use the code below to try the Nelson Mandela video out for yourself.


Maths Problem Solving Twilight

What a lovely time we had at tonight’s ‘Problem Solving’ twilight with Paul Godding!

Don’t forget to check out Paul’s website and blog!

Paul Godding (AKA as @7Puzzle)

Paul Godding (AKA as @7Puzzle)

Clicker 6 With Jean Rawle

See Michelle for notes taken during twilight session. See here for 90 seconds video from Crick. Click here for the Learning Grids that Jean shared with us.

Possible uses/differentation opportunities for Clicker 6:

  • developing word banks – differentiated by the words included or access to having the words read back
  • creating word banks from “Magpie” work
  • Using the app to read back success criteria throughout a lesson to poor readers
  • Sentence building tools
  • The opportunity for searching picture banks for particular sounds
  • The potential for using to support Makaton
  • Matching tasks could be used for Maths or MFL
  • There’s a famous places picture bank that could support the current Travel topic