Musical Bridges is an initiative to help schools improve children’s experience of transition to senior school. It uses the subject of music as its focus, but its approach is relevant right across the curriculum, and the benefits can extend well beyond the curriculum.
Over 200 schools in more than 20 local authority areas have participated in the Musical Bridges pilots. Now our professional development programme, tools and resources are freely available to schools across the country.
Primary and secondary schools already using Musical Bridges approaches and resources tell us that it has benefited them:
- By creating happier, more settled pupils, who are ready to learn and achieve in music and other subjects too
- By improving the way transition is managed across their school
- By developing teachers’ pedagogy and their skills to support transition
- By building strong links between schools in their locality
Music is the ideal subject to put at the heart of a transition initiative because it’s a subject that offers a wide variety of opportunities for academic, personal and social development.
Musical Bridges helps schools to improve transition by providing practical guidance and resources to help schools strengthen their practice in the following areas – the ‘Five Bridges’ of transition:
- Sharing pedagogies – improving continuity in teaching and classroom practice
- Joining up the curriculum – improving continuity between years 6 and 7
- Supporting personal and social needs – ensuring effective induction into secondary school and secure pastoral support
- Engaging pupils as agents – recognising pupils as active participants in the transition process and in their own learning
- Managing pupil information – ensuring effective and robust administrative arrangements to support transition
Read more on the Five Bridges here. Our Transition Tracker helps schools to identify areas of strength and areas where improvement can be made, across the Five Bridges. The tool offers solutions to challenges and suggests practical ideas for improvement.
Hear why the role of headteachers is key to successful transition:
The Musical Bridges CPD Programme
One of the best ways to benefit from Musical Bridges is to enable your staff to participate in our CPD Programme. This is designed for all teachers with responsibility for music and/or transition in primary and secondary schools, but also impacts on many additional areas of school life.
The Programme is made up of four modules, most commonly delivered through four practical 90 minute sessions. All the resources are FREE and you can run the Programme in-house for your staff or in partnership with other schools in your areas.
The impact of the CPD Programme is much greater when clusters of primary and secondary schools collaborate with each other. To get started, all you need is an appetite to make transition and transfer the best experience for pupils in your school, and a commitment from at least one other local school to take part with you. All you need to set up and run the programme is available here.
Many local Music Education Hubs/Music Services also offer the Musical Bridges CPD Programme for groups of schools and will welcome you approaching them to do so.
Listen to Max Bullough, Head teacher of Hayling College and Alison Whitney, Head teacher of Newlyn Primary School describing the benefits of Musical Bridges for their schools: