Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Description

“Music can change the world because it can change people.” Bono
If Westfield Primary won a grant from Aviva we can change our children’s play and learning environment and help make our school an even happier place to be. Through music, our pupils can feel inspired, be creative and soar.
Music-making increases confidence, co-ordination, emotional intelligence, literacy (through learning song lyrics) and maths (musical timing) and helps reduce anxiety. Also, research has shown that learning music can also improve concentration, memory and focus in the classroom by improving their neural functions (1).
Recently, the director of the Royal College of Music publicly bemoaned the ‘steady decline’ of music provision in state schools due to budget cuts (2). We bemoan it too! Children, of all ages, and educational abilities need music. The earlier children are taught to play an instrument, the easier it is for them, and our music classroom will facilitate that. In fact, 90% of pupils who participated in a musical research study showed a remarkable gain in intelligence after only twenty days (3).
And, of course, our schools’ wonderful staff will benefit, as they’ll have an amazing new classroom full of the kind of music resources that aren’t attainable with current budget constraints. It’ll allow their creativity to blossom as well as that of the children they teach. Music can be used to teach ‘non-creative’ subjects like maths and science, which is especially useful for children who are less academically able or have learning difficulties like our pupils with SEN (ADD, autism and dyslexia and dyscalculia).
But most importantly, children love music. We all do! Music lifts the spirits. If we won this grant, not only can we provide an amazing educational music space, we can also transform playtimes… Children of all ages and economic backgrounds can come together in our music space: making music, using their imaginations, working as part of a group, and just simply having fun.
So, the incredible benefits of music are far too important to allow music to disappear from our classrooms (4). Winning the Aviva grant will have widespread impact. Our outdoor music classroom will provide education and entertainment for hundreds of Westfield pupils for years to come, but we also have great links with our neighbouring primaries – 900 extra children could access our music space. Our local secondary school’s 2000 pupils could also use this outdoor orchestra. Also, Westfield has a pre-school and a before/after school provider. So, hundreds of children can truly benefit from this outdoor music space. We’re good at sharing!
We’re also good at budgeting! With our grant, we know how to maximise the potential of our outdoor music classroom for all the pupils of Berkhamsted, from our pre-schoolers, to our town’s secondary pupils, aged eighteen. Indeed, the concrete is ready and waiting! We will install an impressive percussion play soprano ensemble with cadenza, babel drum, pentatonic free-chimes and congas. We’ll also install a percussion wall, a drum tree, a wooden chimes table, a boom-whacker frame and percussion roundabout. There’ll even be a storage bench containing class music packs. And we’ll top it off with Astroturf.
As Plato said, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything”. We can’t put it better!
So, Westfield’s outdoor music classroom and playground will benefit so many children, no matter their age, background or ability, for years to come and provide invaluable resources for our teachers. That’s why people should vote for our project. Vote for music. Vote for happiness. Thank you.

1. http://bbc.co.uk/news/health-28703013
2. http://tes.com/news/royal-college-director-attacks-steady-decline-music-state-schools
3. http://rcmusic.com/sites/default/files/files/RCM_musiceducationbenefits.pdf
4. http://pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/the-benefits-of-music-education/

Westfield Primary School and Nursery

Moment of Pride

Westfield’s a celebratory school, championing the uniqueness of every child, with well-being and happiness everywhere! Our teachers are kind and tireless, our PTA unflagging in our mission to enrich our school. An outdoor music classroom will inspire our pupils every day – that’s music to our ears

Location: Westfield School, Berkhamsted, UK