Our new build at Wilkinson Primary School was designed with performance in mind!
The large hall is fantastic for whole school productions and assemblies but it can be partitioned to allow practices in the dance studio, which has a stage, large mirrors for practice, together with storage for an array of musical instruments.
The whole venue is pulled together with a sound and lighting rig which is controlled from a sound room, located upstairs. From here lighting sequences can be programmed, microphones can be controlled and music played. We also have the facility to record podcasts and broadcast these internally on our own Wilkinson Radio.
At Wilkinson Primary we follow a scheme of work produced by Wolverhampton Music School, the aim of the scheme is to allow children to develop their understanding of musical features through a range of different styles, eras and genres of music. The scheme also allows children to become familiar with different musical cultures around the world throughout its progressive format.
In addition to the scheme we also have Wolverhampton Music School peripatetic staff, who come into school to teach guitar and drums. Children are encouraged to take responsibility for their instruments, practice regularly, join in with group performances and take examinations on both of these instruments.
As Wilkinson Primary is an inclusive school, all children from Year 1 will be given the opportunity both to learn the recorder and tuned percussion, such as glockenspiels, which help pupils develop their understanding of musical notation and melody. All children throughout the school have home-access to Charanga Music World, which offers a virtual music experience where they will get to learn about a range of musical instruments by playing games, watching videos and completing quizzes. A Charanga lunchtime club is offered for those children without internet access at home.
School choir is open to all pupils at Wilkinson and is run as a lunchtime club. There are many opportunities to sing throughout the year and we have been involved in Young Voices concerts at the Genting Arena, inter school Carol Concerts at our local churches, the local retirement home and Hope in the Park to mention but a recent few.
Wilkinson also holds an annual Dance Festival, a celebration of dance which encourages children to develop their links with the local community and other schools in the area. Our gifted and talented also showcase their talents annually at national dance competitions and festivals.
Streetdance is offered as a club and we also have a gifted group of exceptional dancers, who practice at a separate time. Dance is used as a medium to allow children to be a part of a wider multi-cultural world and it is often used within the curriculum to explore elements such as Black History week, Diwali and Chinese New Year. Visiting groups are often invited into school at these times to share traditional dance and cultures with pupils.
For individuals who would like to showcase their talents – assemblies are a great way of sharing! We have budding musicians who use time before school and lunchtime to practise and then play in front of the whole school in and out of assembly, promising dancers also love to use this time as a platform to share their performance flair.
It is important for our pupils to understand that they all have the capacity to take part in music and the way in which we do this is to immerse them in a range of different experiences. Our past trips have been to the Symphony Hall and Town Hall in Birmingham, involvement in the Music for Youth programme that showcases young groups of children performing in different ways as well taking part in sessions ran by the Wolverhampton Music Service.