Music Education and the performing arts

All classes from KS1 and 2 receive a weekly music lesson from a music specialist teacher. In KS2 whole class instrumental teaching is used such as Ukulele and keyboard. As well as this all pupils sing as part of a choir through a weekly singing assembly lead by a professional conductor. All of KS2 attend the Young Voices concert at the O2 every two years. Every pupil in the school performs at some form of concert / production at Christmas, Years 3 and 4 put on a dance concert in the spring term with Years 5 and 6 putting on a full musical production in the summer.

As well as the music specialist teacher, we have a team of peripatetic music teachers who visit the school each week. These lessons are paid for by parents or subsidised by the school ie Pupil Premium funding. We have peripatetic music teachers teaching guitar, cello, West African drumming, singing, piano, violin and harmonica.

At John Ball Primary School, we are passionate about having as many opportunities as possible, to experience and develop their performing arts skills.  John Ball Primary School believes that the arts should be central to a well-rounded education. We provide a range of integrated experiences, carefully planned to fit in with topics, which give a dynamic focus for the pupils’ learning. We integrate the arts into the teaching of other subjects and find that this not only enhances pupils’ enjoyment but leads to better outcomes for all.

We have seen how arts activities help develop the capacity to formulate and communicate ideas and emotions; they enhance perceptual skills through responding, synthesising and evaluating, and physical skills through the control and use of movement.  Involvement in the arts helps to foster a positive attitude among our students by developing a wide range of qualities such as cooperation, enthusiasm, passion, inspiration, tenacity and ambition.

Throughout the school calendar, pupils are given the opportunity to perform in a variety of contexts for different purposes: from harvest celebrations, to the KS1 nativity and the KS2 end of year production.  We have a theatre on site, and are lucky to have extensive lighting and sound equipment to really create a professional final product.  Each year children from Nursery up to Year 6 are involved in some form of production from the Early Years’ Christmas and KS1 Nativities, Year 4 Showcase and Year 5 & 6’s grand Musical Theatre finale! Alongside this, each class show cases their work through a class assembly twice a year. We also take pride in showcasing our concerts in the community; we are looking forward to a number of local events such as:

  • Young Voices
  • Music For Youth
  • Blackheath Halls Christmas Concert and Opera
  • School Choir of the Year
  • Lewisham Live
  • Rock Band Party
  • Collaborative Choir
  • Turning Of The Year​

Music plays an integral part in the life of everyone at John Ball; from the tiniest child to the oldest member of staff.  All children have class music lessons from a specialist music teacher. The lessons are wide-ranging;  teaching the key elements of music (rhythm, tempo, dynamics, pitch, structure, timbre and texture) through a breadth of study that includes performance, composition and appraisal in a variety of styles and ethnicities. As part of Lewisham Education Arts Network, John Ball Primary School works in close alliance with other schools in the area, as well as local artists and galleries. This enables us to offer children a range of experiences and opportunities, and they can learn a variety of musical instruments from our peripatetic teachers. The performing arts and related subjects act as a catalyst for cultural development and are a point at where different cultures meet and recognise one another’s worth and diversity. Singing is at the heart of John Ball, and each week we hold a KS2 singing assembly.

Dance is an aspect of the arts which we have shown excellence in with pupils expressing pride delight in their performances on stage at John Ball. We are lucky to have a dance specialist teacher who teaches across the school. These sessions underpin our school values and are loved by the children.  At the end of each term, we hold a Recital Assembly, where the children showcase their talents. The children’s enthusiasm is shared by the staff with teachers and teaching assistants who embrace Charity Concerts and our beloved Staff Christmas Panto!

The arts have the power to inspire, inform, stimulate, challenge and entertain.  We believe that it is important to open up the world of theatre to the children and we take them to see a high-quality production regularly such as London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Unicorn Theatre and Trinity Laban.