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Building relationships through music at Englefield Green School and Nursery

Choir leader Mark De-Lisser brought his ACM Gospel Choir of young people to help the school to enquire into the question, ‘How can we use music to build strong relationships with all our families?’ A new community choir, the Englefield Green Gospel Choir, was founded.

Who was involved

  • Children and teachers from Englefield Green school and nursery, Surrey
  • Creative practitioners: Choir leader Mark De-Lisser and his ACM Gospel Choir of young people

Enquiry 

How can we use music to build strong relationships with all our families?

Objectives

  • To create strong relationships and feelings of belonging within the school
  • To use music to gives children confidence to express themselves, have high self esteem and be creative
  • To draw families into the school to enjoy and participate in the singing
  • To engage families where language was a barrier or where parents were from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds

Outcomes

Children wrote their own new school song which they then performed live on local radio.  Parents joined in with sessions and a celebratory finale event in a local venue where an audience of 350 family members joined together in song with all the children and all the staff. The school has now formed an adult choir (EGG Choir) which includes staff and parents and members of the local community

The work provided a significant and general lift in the school community’s creativity, confidence and sense of togetherness, and a step change in family engagement.

Following the project one class has been video conferencing with a class in Australia with the whole class singing to a class on the other side of the world. Links were established with nearby Royal Holloway, University of London, whose students filmed and edited the concert as part of their course.

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At the gate in the morning – children are more confident, parents welcoming, interested, happy, togetherness, so positive.

Head teacher

Singing together is very ‘unthreatening’ for our children. Nursery children 3 years old are happy to come and join in and be part of it, working with the older children.

Teacher