Schools Focus: Prior Weston Primary School
To celebrate our partnership with LMM Learning’s newest school, Prior Weston Primary, situated in Islington, we asked musicianship teachers Rosanne Jacobs and Esther Dee to give us an insight into life at the school.
‘Teaching musicianship at Prior Weston is a great experience’ says Rosanne, who works with all of Key Stage 2 at the school. ‘The atmosphere is one of the warmest I’ve encountered in London. The school unites children of all backgrounds and abilities to work together.’ This feeling is echoed by Reception and Key Stage 1 musicianship teacher Esther, who describes the school as ‘really welcoming and relaxed.’
Prior Weston is a two-form entry school, which means that there are two classes of up to 30 children in each year group. ‘Most year groups have a few children with special needs and disabilities, which challenges me as a teacher to create activities that always include everyone, also those who can’t stand, move or even talk’ says Rosanne. Esther agrees, saying ‘I’m learning about the range of different needs of children in each class. It seems obvious but one approach doesn’t suit all, so I’m working on the classes being as inclusive as possible.’ She is also enjoying seeing the benefits of her sessions: ‘There are quite a few children for whom English is not their first language; I’m thinking of one particular child that spent the whole first lesson looking quite distressed because she didn’t understand anything, but now is smiling and participating and has managed to sneak her way into the lesson twice in one day!’
A key feature of London Music Masters’ musicianship programme is its strong focus on working closely with class teachers to increase their confidence in teaching music and allowing it to become a natural part of the school day. Rosanne says ‘the challenge is getting all classroom teachers involved in a way that they will feel confident enough to provide music sessions themselves. I believe this is quite a tough thing to ask of Key Stage 2 teachers, but I look forward to seeing them grow throughout the course of the year, together with the children.’