School 1

School 1

An 11-18 mixed, sponsor-led academy, with 1,500 students on roll, serving a town of approximately 35,000 in Northumberland. Just over 10% of students are eligible for free school meals. The percentage of pupils with a Special Education Needs statement or on School Action Plus is just under 5%. The proportion of students who do not have English as their first language is very low at less than 1%.

The participants

The three cycles of the project involved 4 science teachers, a community musician and 100 young people from Year 8. Their programme involved the delivery of 29 sessions.

The project

The project explored the relationship between music and science education from a number of perspectives: initially by considering the impact on science-subject learning of listening to music, which extended to include the impact of composition on subject engagement. Emotive music and images were used to accompany the introduction to different topics, including creating a graphic score for a chemical reaction and asking the students to select their own music for their presentation.
In the second cycle, the notion of 'performance' was explored, with students creating and presenting short performances around agreed areas of the KS3 science curriculum. Four classes devised performances on one topic to help the other classes revise, and performed them for the rest of their half-year group in the school’s lecture theatre. The young people were encouraged to be as creative as possible in their performances, drawing on music, drama, and visual arts, as well as ensuring scientific accuracy. By having a half-year group involved in a process of devising, rehearsing and performing in the lecture theatre in front of a large audience, it was hoped that a level of excitement, and possibly competition between classes, would be generated, leading to the emotional engagement of participants.
In the third cycle, a smaller group of students used their previous experiences to devise and rehearse a creative science activity session for Year 6 pupils.