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Minutes From PF Meeting 'Music at Ivydale' 15/11/14

 Minutes From PF Meeting 'Music at Ivydale' 15/11/14

Ivydale Parent Forum Minutes
  1. Welcome and Introduction from Meeting Chair Diane Regan. Today’s Parent Forum discusses the subject of music provision at Ivydale School.

 1.2 Tahlia Woollatt introduces parents to the Parent Forum, how it works and its role in the school, listen to and discuss views of the parent body that feds into the decisions made by the Senior Leadership Team and the Governors.

1.3 Helen Ingham (Head Teacher) Introduces her vision on current and future music provision at Ivydale. Music should be a key part of every child’s education at Ivydale. Ivydale is striving to be a centre of excellence in the performing arts. It is reflected in the curriculum time and budget dedicated to music, including a specialist music teacher, who manages over 13 peripatetic teachers.

1.4 Kate Broadbent (Creativity Leader, Music Dance Art and Drama) presents information of delivery of music curriculum and arts within school. 

  • Ivydale hasArtsmark Gold status, this demonstrates Ivydale’s commitment to the arts, music being its greatest strength. Kate (Broadbent) and Margaret (Omoniyi) worked together to submit the application. Which was considered by Artsmark to be one of the strongest they had ever received.
  • Working with Trinity Laban to develop dance at the school.
  • Listing the plans of future presentations including Christmas Carol concert and nativity play. 
  • Encourages parents to accompany on school trips and perform in school.

1.5 Sarah Stokes (Music Leader) Explains her role in school, working three days at school  weekly, teaching music for two days and one day managing music in the school. 

  • Upcoming Christmas concert, whole school focused on singing in preparation for Christmas productions.
  • Sarah organises and accompanies school trips to various venues and performances for classes.
  • A third of Sarah’s time is spent organising peripatetic music teachers. 
  • There is a new policy for children on pupil premium to receive instrument lessons at a discount of 50%.
  • Children will have to opportunity to perform at Monday assemblies.


2.0 Parents were encouraged to write down their thoughts about the strengths of music provision at Ivydale (these are available on separate sheet some examples are below)

  • Please See appendix A

2.1 Parents asked to write what they would like the school to consider as part of the future development of music.  

  • Please See appendix B

3.0 Diane Regan introduces an opportunity for parents to raise questions directly. (questions raised in italics)

3.1 Who delivers music curriculum to KS2, parent concerned that the whole class music teachers are unqualified to deliver music curriculum?Response from Kate Broadbent, they are music specialists that work alongside class teachers and they are monitored by Kate and Sarah. There is an expectation that class teachers will also deliver music curriculum.  In January Sarah will join the whole class teachers to deliver music curriculum and class teachers are to have training in delivering music curriculum.

  • Who do we direct questions to with regards to music? Email the office and they will filter it to the right person.
  • Can you explain the model that allows children in receipt of whole class lessons, who demonstrate potential the receive lessons, can you give an example of how this has worked? Sarah Stokes responds with a recent example, during a year 3 recorder lesson Simon Woolf (recorder teacher) noticed potential, highlighted it to class teacher who spoke with parents and they are in the process of setting up lessons. 
  • Does the school have a position re music bursaries, ‘it is a idea in process. The school is planning to develop further the inclusion of children in receipt of pupil premium’
  • What is the schools position on whole school music performance, there has not been one since Mulan 4 years ago, parents are very keen for this to happen? Kate Broadbent replies, very hard to organise, takes a lot of work, Kate would love to see it, the school is looking into the possibilities, Sarah has been away on maternity leave.’ Sarah Stokes responds ‘she would like to do this, is taking it a step at a time, it is of course something she would like to do, there are time constraints.’ Show of hands, many parents express a desire for a performance and a willingness to help.
  • New parent asks is there an acceptance from senior management that there has been a drop in music quality? Helen Ingham responds, ‘No from our point of view music quality has been maintained. There is no orchestra now, that is a change but there are other things that have moved forward.’

4.0 Diane Regan closes the meeting, thanking all the attendees and the school for facilitating. If you have more to add to the conversation, please do email Helen Ingham with your thoughts.





Appendix A

What parents like about music at Ivydale


• Lots more singing in reception

• Singing makes them positive and confident

• My children come home singing new songs with actions all the time

• Concerts

• Linking music to teaching other subjects

• Offering music lessons to those who can’t afford it

• Amazed how the kids learn lots of lyrics

• Lots of class singing

• Great variety of instruments available here

• Music and playing together develops self confidence and social skills

• Inclusivity of all abilities

• Opportunity for in depth study regardless of ability

• Variety of instruments on offer

• Embedded in the broader curriculum

• Great that children in whole class lessons who show talent will be identified (but


• There are many music opportunities in comparison to other schools

• Inclusion of all

• Good communication from Sarah

• Instruments available to try

• Parents can come in to lessons (support/interaction/involvement)

• Suzuki – starts kids young

• Dedicated music space

• Opportunity to have music lessons within the school day

• Wide range of instrument styles

• Dedicated music teachers

• Very good teachers teaching individual instrument sessions

• Diversity of private music lessons available

• Lots of opportunities to try different instruments

• Singing

• Enthusiasm and commitment

• Great to have lessons in school time – gives flexibility to try a wide range of


  • Get to learn with their mates








Appendix B


What would you like us to consider for future development


These have been collated under themes and organised alphabetically. Those in blue are

the items highlighted by each table as being their ‘top three’


• Soundproofing for the music studios


• Not sufficient communication around music lessons – I don’t know what’s going on

– sample lesson for parents

• Advance notice of performance dates – at start of term

• Instrumental music enrichment form that went out last week didn’t include many

of the lessons on offer

• Can we promote individual/group lesson more? Are numbers going up or down eg

observing others play?


• Why is the sole focus on singing in EYFS not instruments too?

• Why has my daughter not picked up an instrument in nursery or reception?

• Parents would like to see the variety of instruments kids play – even percussion

when they sing

• More percussion please

• More information on what year 1 are doing weekly with music in class. I have no

idea apart from the drumming that we pay for. Thanks

• When is whole class music/untuned instrument lessons happening? (Not just


• How does differentiation work – nurturing musicality/appreciation of

music/musicianship of all in a class

• Differentiation in whole class provision

• Bring in the joy/soul (especially in class-based instrument performances)

• Allow the class to choose the instrument they learn each year

• Continuing class lessons for more than 1 year (progression/continuity)

• More coordination of whole class lessons – can they learn same songs, so is a

collective ensemble is possible

• Some of the universal music provision is uninspiring and mediocre

• More opportunities for different ages to sing/play together – all seems to be year

group based

• Understanding that music ability needs to be developed from early on and there

shouldn’t be a policy not supporting children


• Prioritizing music in the school

• Lack of clarity of role re music and development of music provision – would be

good to see the dedicated music teacher taking the lead on this


• Better feedback on progress/ability

• Agreement between parents/teachers/children re optimum timing of lessons –

process driven by school

• Allow all individual music lessons to take place during lesson time

• What about music provision that has dropped away eg theory/rock band

• What happened about instrument lessons during class time?

• Another general meeting/dialogue on music provision

• Opportunity to try instruments – a morning where you can try instruments not

offered in school

• How are children with music potential assessed and is there a pathway


• Almost full funding for pupils who receive free school meals to have private music


• Is 50% off sufficient for families on low income? Could we raise more funds for


• Could position re music bursaries be made clearer?


• Legacy of Margaret: very positive but also lots of resentment and ‘toxic’ stuff

around it. We need to move forward.

• Helen – if you don’t recognize what we had in the past, what’s the guarantee you

will provide as good in the future?

• If you will not acknowledge the excellence of the past, how can we believe you

can deliver excellence in the future?

• Some acknowledgement of issues over last 3 years and recognition of Margaret’s


• Helen – you have to take on board what people are saying about the bad handover

(or lack of it) with Margaret

• Why did Ivydale lose Margaret?


• Unclear to parents why the orchestra can’t be reinstated?

• Orchestra

• School orchestra

• Restart brass band


• See kids playing instruments in public

• Concerts

• Whole school performances

• More big performances

• Informal performances after school at cake sale for example

• Drop the backing tracks for performance (where possible)

• We would like to see more acting performance as a parent outside school

• Children of different ages seeing each other play music and having chance to play


• Love concept of organised events eg international evening but seems not enough

preparation or planning happens early enough. Seems chaotic and often

audibility problems.

• Although international evening etc great, it seems chaotic and as if there is a lack

of preparation

• Whole school performances

• Performance by those with aptitude is really important to encourage younger

children or children whose parents may not encourage development of their

musical talent

• Encourage informal live musical performance

• More whole school performance

• Increase number of performances

• Feels as though there is much less emphasis on performance recently

• More performance


• School visits to professional music

• School visits to professional music concerts

• More school trips to different musical events and performances

• Encourage parents to play instruments to show/inspire kids what is possible

• Love the idea of parents who can play to do a performance for the kids

• Could former Ivydale pupils come back and perform to inspire younger kids?


• Quality of provision – many parents believe it has dropped


• Provision is now POOR and at best mediocre. The excellence has GONE

• Strive towards excellence that was achieved in previous years – set that as


• Concern re quality not just quantity and what are the quality indicators? Quality

now noticeably lower

• Concern about access and opportunity when children express interest

• How to go from mediocre to excellence


• Concern re music scholarships at year 6 – ie number of children in receipt of

music scholarships in decline year on year

• Support for scholarship questions


• Joyous singing in class every day

• More fun and funky songs to sing

• Less singing to tapes/recorded music

• Much bigger hype for school choirs

• Singing every day

• Love the idea of singing leaders

• Is 15 mins school choir sufficient?