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Home > About > News and Events > News > Field News > Struggling School Makes Music Compulsory, Sees Quick Turnaround

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Struggling School Makes Music Compulsory, Sees Quick Turnaround

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Dec 11, 2017

Seven years ago, Feversham primary academy in West-Yorkshire, England was struggling to meet the basic needs of its students. According to The Guardian, it was “making headlines for all the wrong reasons.” Since then, headteacher Naveed Idrees has made arts learning—in music, drama, and visual art—a compulsory aspect of each student’s experience. Students are now exposed to the arts up to six hours of every week, during the school day. The results of the intervention have been “remarkable.”

The school “is in the top 10% nationally for pupil progress in reading, writing and maths, according to the most recent data. In 2011, the school was 3.2 percentage points behind the national average in English. This year 74% of its pupils achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths, against a national average of 53%.”

This turnaround is particularly striking given that “99% of its 510 children speak English as an additional language, and half arrive at school unable to speak a word of English.”

“We could have gone down the route where we said we need to get results up, we’re going to do more English, more maths, more booster classes, but we didn’t. You might hit the results but your staff morale is gone, the kids hate learning. We want kids to enjoy learning,” said headteacher Idrees.

Read the full article here.

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