The B&NES HUB Singing Strategy, written in Jan 2012, builds upon the Music Service’s existing Vocal Strategy, and uses exsisting specialist staff, collaboration and partnership to ensure that every child and young person sings regularly (both in and out of school) and receives high quality vocal experiences for all children and young people in the LA. The present B&NES Music Service currently offers high quality one to one and small group teaching, as well as a recognized progression route from KS1 ensemble singing through KS2 Local Area Choirs and KS3 & 4 School Choir Support, ultimately to County Choir level. The HUB also offers signposting and support for those able and talented singers to progress further into Regional and National Ensembles (NYCGB). The HUB is also continuing to build on its partnership with Wells Cathedral School (MDS) to offer signposting and support for pupils to provide ‘pinnacles of achievement’ opportunities. The present Music Service also offers specialist Vocal CPD training sessions to LA Teachers and is exploring the HUB’s partnership opportunities to increase this provision to schools. The HUB has also partnered with Sing Up as Local Area Provider and is working in collaboration with Wiltshire Music Service to further enhance the outcomes for our young musicians whilst also providing bespoke CPD packages for school staff (the B&NES HUB also intends to widen this Sing Up partnership to neighboring HUBs). This continues to build on the exisiting Music Service provision (for example, LA vocal training events, the Annual KS1 Singing Festival, the formation of KS2 Cluster Choirs, the Partnership with Charanga and CPD offered to staff to increase the use of technology and the voice within their settings).
As a pupil-outcome based strategy, the Singing Strategy contains, at its core, the newly created Vocal Inclusion Policy (called Every Voice Counts). This policy will see all Providers of vocal experiences within the LA recognizing the rights of every child and young person to high quality vocal experiences. The governance and regular review agreement built into this policy ensures it will provide the Singing Strategy with a robust and sustainable policy. The Vocal Inclusion Policy has signed partnership agreements (at Management level) from the LA Special Schools, ASD Unit, Primary Singing Schools, Secondary Schools as well as representation from HUB Specialist Singing Staff. The Vocal Inclusion Policy working party will be chaired by the Vocal Coordindator.
It is an aspiration of the HUB that three new KS2-3 transition choirs will be created to provide out-of-school choral opportunities to the entire geographical area, as well as the formation of KS1 Cluster choir (centered around schools recognised in the Singing Schools Partnership Programme).
The HUB also acts as a signposting body, making all pupils aware of the many non-HUB choral opportunities within the LA. In order to effectively signpost the children and young people in our LA to the most relevant vocal and choral opportunities, the HUB has begun to build a directory of Choirs, Choral Leaders, Vocal Animateurs and Specialist Singing Teacher within the community (this directory is contained within the Singing Strategy Document).
The Singing Strategy also recognises the vital role that high quality CPD plays in providing the best outcomes for the children and young people in our LA. The implementation of the Singing Strategy will see the creation of the ‘Singing Surgery’ which will provide all HUB Music Staff and Class Teachers/TAs with regular specialist support for the creation and maintenance of schools choirs and vocal ensembles, turning your school into a Singing School (as part of the HUBs new Singing Schools Partnership Programme), as well as providing direct support to staff so that they can better sing in their settings and with their pupils. The HUB also intends to use its partnerships with external providers (for example: Theraputic Media Company & Soundbeam Trainers to increase and enhance the provision to Special Schools and SENCOs) and its collaboration with Wiltshire Music Service (in Partnership with Sing Up) to provide an ongoing programme of cross-authority CPD events). Under the mandate of the Vocal Inclusion Policy, the HUB will expand the training and performance opportunities for boys singing (Wells Cathedral School, Bath Abbey Chorister Programme, Mendip Male Voice Choir and Bristol Male Voice Choir. The HUB is also registered with the Keep Boys Singing Project).