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Music teachers hit the right note

Sheffield High School for Girls has been shortlisted in the national Music Teacher Awards for Excellence, the Oscars of the arts education sector.

The school’s music department is up for Outstanding School Music Department and faces tough competition from four other finalists, including fellow Girls Day School Trust-run Belvedere Academy in Liverpool, to showcase its excellence in innovative music tuition, opportunity, progression and how music transforms wider school life.

The department of 5 academic staff plus 20 peripatetic teachers will find out whether it is successful in its category in March 2019 at a glittering ceremony at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane Hotel, Mayfair.

Clare Wallace, head of music at Sheffield High School for Girls’ music department said: “Music is highly valued at Sheffield Girls’.

“Our ‘music for everyone’ vision fosters creativity and performance in a supportive environment and the students have been involved in every stage of driving the department’s strategy. This vision has resulted in rocketing numbers of students wanting to take GCSE Music.

“We are proud of our Music department in every way. We have outstanding results, we are one of the most popular curriculum subjects, we see the progression of students from Reception to Year 13, we have a great sense of social responsibility, and we have lots of fun!”

New head Nina Gunson added: “We cannot underestimate the pastoral contribution of the Music Department to the school’s core aims, vision and values. The subject impacts the students in so many ways such as promoting teamwork, building new friendships, showcasing ability and new skills, improving confidence and taking responsibility. I wish the department the best of luck in March.”

Last year the department ran 35 ensembles weekly, gave 26 performances, ran musical trips, residentials and musical assemblies. A total of 243 pupils currently receive instrumental tuition.

Sheffield Girls’ provides high quality music courses as well as a full range of curricular and extra-curricular opportunities for practical music-making at all abilities including instrumental and voice tuition and also including student-run clubs.

Extra-curricular music making at Sheffield Girls' includes lunchtime activities such as Concert Band, 7UP (choir for Y7) Sixth Form Choir, Theory and Aural Clinic, Songwriters' Club, 'Rock School', Piano Club, various Ensemble clubs,  Swing Band, String Academy, Senior Strings, Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Choir.

The music department, which has also raised £10,000 for charity through events in 2017-18, also works closely with the Sheffield Music Hub and runs an extensive Outreach Programme.

The Music Teacher Awards were created to celebrate excellence in music and performing arts education. More than 280 industry guests including teachers, hub leaders, musicians and VIPs – representing the best and brightest in performing arts education, are expected to attend the finals.

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