Singing helps children to learn

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New figures from Sing Up, the National Singing Programme, show that well in excess of 80 per cent of primary schools across England have signed up to making singing part of daily school life.

The aim of the programme is now to make every school a singing school through the launch of a major drive, giving each primary school child the opportunity to enjoy the learning and developmental benefits of singing.
Ahead of the new drive, new research commissioned by Sing Up has shown that singing is a widely used and celebrated tool in both reception and Year One, with 88 per cent and 58 per cent of teachers respectively using singing to deliver lessons to pupils.  In addition, 55 per cent of teachers remember learning through song in the classroom when they were children.

The findings highlight that in addition to reaching 100 per cent of primary schools, there is a clear opportunity to bring the benefits of singing to learn to a greater number of older children. 

At present, only one in five Key Stage 2 teachers use singing in lessons at least once per day, using singing as a teaching tool less than their Key Stage 1 counterparts.   This is despite the fact that three quarters of teachers (78 per cent) felt that their senior leadership teams were supportive of singing as a method to deliver lessons to older primary age children.

The findings indicate that singing is used less regularly by teachers at Key Stage 2 because they feel under increased pressure from the core curriculum and to drive attainment (70 per cent). 

To address these issues Sing Up will be launching a targeted effort at Key Stage 2 teachers to explain the benefits of using singing to deliver on the curriculum, rather than as a further workload.

Baz Chapman, Programme Director of Sing Up said:  “We are delighted to have signed up 80% of primary schools.  We have seen some tremendous success stories as a result of Sing Up and our practical teaching resources, training and awards scheme.  We regularly hear feedback from schools and headteachers who tell us how it has not only improved the quality of singing in their schools, but helped to drive attainment across the curriculum, raise standards and improve behaviour and concentration.  This is our message to the final 20% - that singing works and is great way to help children learn and develop.

“We also want to deepen Sing Up’s connection in primary schools where we are already present – particularly among key stage 2 - to ensure that primary school children of all ages can benefit from the difference that singing can make to their development.” 

Sue Whylde, headteacher at William Gilbert Endowed Primary School in Derby, one of the first schools to earn the prestigious Sing Up Platinum Award, said:  “Singing has a very high profile at our school and is an important part of the timetable across all key stages.  We also provide additional support in particular to Key Stage 2 classes, with a specialist Music Teacher holding sessions with pupils that address the National Curriculum and enhance the thematic curriculum.

“We have found that singing has played a real part in helping to build children’s self-confidence, improving behaviour and concentration in class, and greatly aiding educational development across the school. Sing Up has been integral to our success.”