Join a growing number of educators who are transforming transition
There has been significant government investment in music education in primary schools in recent years. Yet, many primary teachers feel their pupils are failing to benefit from this when they move on to secondary school.
Flagship programmes like Wider Opportunities, where a whole class learns an instrument together, and the national singing programme, Sing Up, have inspired thousands of children and helped develop music teaching in primary schools.
Yet secondary teachers very often say they have little or no knowledge of pupils’ previous musical learning and feel they need to ‘start from scratch’ in Year 7.
Many say it’s easier to assume a zero starting point and work from there, rather than differentiating between pupils and building on the progress they have made so far.
Musical Bridges has shown it doesn’t need to be like this. There are many simple, practical ways in which teachers, schools and pupils can come together to recognise and build on each other’s work, so that the musical journey for every pupil is smoother and more continuous between primary and secondary school.
As a result, teaching music is a lot more satisfying and better supported too.
Over 200 schools across 20 local authority areas have participated in the testing of Musical Bridges approaches and resources. These are now freely available to all schools. They are inclusive, and promote teaching and learning that allows every pupil to progress. They can help you to transform transition in your school.
Musical Bridges has been praised by Ofsted, with our work with Humphry Davy School and Newlyn Primary in Penzance showcased in Ofsted’s Music in schools: sound partnerships case study booklet.
Hear what other teachers have got out of their involvement with Musical Bridges:
Explore our resources, tools and professional development materials
Go to Getting Started for ideas about first steps that you can take – for making contact with your counterparts across the primary-secondary phases or developing joined-up music making activities -and to see practical tips on making these a success.
See our Going Further page for an introduction to the Musical Bridges Framework which presents five key ‘bridges’ – factors that particularly influence pupils’ transition experience – and provides practical guidance on how these areas can be strengthened. Our Transition Tracker tool helps you to review your current provision and identify areas of existing strong practice along with areas for development. Our case studies illustrate how other schools have used Musical Bridges to improve the continuity of pupils’ musical learning and their progression as they move from primary to secondary school.
The Musical Bridges CPD Programme brings our knowledge and tools together and offers the opportunity to develop deeper understanding and follow a more structured, practical and collaborative approach to improving transition.
The Programme incorporates four online modules with background reading, resources, downloadable tools and session plans for practical activities. You begin by identifying where transition practices can be strengthened in your school and go on to build successful ‘musical transition bridges’ with other participating schools. It recognises the challenges you face and offers practical, workable suggestions and solutions to help you improve transition in and through music in your school.
Your local music education hub may provide facilitated workshops for schools wishing to follow the programme. Alternatively a group of schools is free to use and tailor the programme to meet their needs. Most commonly, the programme is delivered through four 90 minute workshops, often offered as twilight sessions.
Whether you explore Musical Bridges resources as an individual teacher or with colleagues from other schools, you will become part of a growing number of teachers who are transforming transition.