Report prepared by Claire Kent (Headteacher)

Weekly YMCA music sessions have been a valuable part of our provision and we would like continue with these into the next academic year.

Research shows that creative development has a positive impact on closing the gap and ensuring that children reach their true potential. Good quality teaching alone cannot make such a difference to the attainment of pupils, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds. A broad and balanced provision is needed to give every pupil a chance to succeed.

‘YMCA providers are exceptionally talented’

In order to maximise the potential of every pupil, it is essential that parents are valued and recognised as important partners in their child’s development. The parents have been thrilled this year with their children participating in this project. Many of these parents came to the final showcase assembly. Some of these parents have had negative experiences during their own school lives and so it is important for them to feel that they can engage in school without academic fears.

Within the Mount C of E Primary School, we have a very diverse community. 40% of our families are EAL, 30% are Gypsy, Romany Traveller and 30% are in receipt of Pupil Premium. These families are classed as hard to reach.

Priority has been given to engage the parents through non-academic projects which then lead to academic support as the confidence of parents increases.

In terms of skill set, the YMCA providers are exceptionally talented and certainly deliver sessions that our own staff would not currently feel confident to implement. In future, it would be great to encompass an element of CPD into the project so that the project could continue in future years without the need for YMCA providers every week.

‘Heart-warming active engagement’

In terms of the equipment used, this is something that our current school budget could not extend. In the current climate we are struggling to provide expected provision and resources. Therefore, the provision of digital musical equipment and technology has been valuable in supporting us to provide this enhanced experience.

The emotional wellbeing of our pupils is essential to us and it has been heart-warming to see the active engagement of each and every one of our pupils in these sessions.

I would certainly recommend this wonderful project and hope that we can be part of future ventures. Thank you for the commitment of your team and for giving our pupils a sense of achievement.