Music Working Group

The subject working group for Music convened for the initial meeting on Monday 3rd February. The purpose of the day was to:

• Explore what is happening nationally in schools with regard to music education from 3-18 and beyond into post-school destinations.
• Highlight key challenges faced by practitioners both specialist and non-specialist and consider solutions.
• Discuss approaches to planning for and recording skills development and progression.
• Explore what great learning in music looks like and how can we support and share this at a national level.
• Discuss the benefits of, and sustainable approaches to, working with partners in the creative industries.

Representation was drawn from Nursery, Primary, Secondary, SEN, Further Education, and Higher Education ensuring both a breadth of discussion and the opportunity to highlight key issues across sectors.
Discussions and action planning were based on the ‘3 horizons’ planning conversations from the ‘Opening Up Transformative Innovation’ toolkit. This approach allowed us to undertake some future thinking. Discussions throughout the day included, the development of effective and sustained CPD, supporting creative approaches to music education, embedded music technology based on sound pedagogy and working in partnership with a range of stakeholders.
The subject working group provided an opportunity to discuss the development of creative approaches to music education across sectors. This working group mirrors the groups being brought together from the other Expressive Arts subject areas, Art & Design, Drama and Dance who will feed in to the Expressive Arts conversation days.
A number of issues which were highlighted at the first Expressive Arts conversation day on November 25th 2013, formed the basis for conversations, these included issues surrounding:
1. Developing practitioner confidence and capacity in teaching expressive arts
2. Creating and sustaining partnerships with arts organisations and individuals
3. Developing an effective model that balances creative space with skills development

The statements the group used to stimulate discussion through the ‘three horizons sessions,’ are shown below:

• The most effective music education is driven by the learners
• Effective CPD supports teachers, building confidence and capacity
• Music Technology should play a central role in music education
• Establishing and maintaining effective partnerships is key to successful music education
• Effective listening skills positively impact across the whole curriculum and leads to lifelong appreciation of music.
• Creative approaches to teaching and learning should be encouraged

These statements were presented from a neutral standpoint and used as conversational pieces in relation to current practice either undertaken by practitioners or observed, and future thinking about where these statements may lead.

We would invite practitioners across sectors to share their thoughts and views.

The link below provides a summary of action points discussed throughout the day.

Planning for transformation

Launch of the Tullis Russell Environmental Education Centre

Teachers from all over Fife gathered together on 6 February for an Open Evening marking the official educational launch of the Tullis Russell Environmental Education (TREE) Centre.

The TREE Centre along with its partner, Fife based eco-charity The Ecology Centre, are rolling out an exciting new educational programme aimed at school children aged 10–14 years. Teachers were able to see the new centre for the first time, check out the facilities in the state-of-the art eco-building and hear about how they can arrange visits for their classes.

Using highly engaging interactive displays and class activity, a visit to The TREE Centre takes pupils through four main pillars of sustainability education: ENERGY, RESOURCES, CLIMATE and BIODIVERSITY.  At the event, Clare Reid, Education Manager of The Ecology Centre said: “This is a unique and exciting resource for Scottish schools. All displays and activities have been designed to bring the curriculum alive through games and active learning. A visit to the TREE. Centre will be a really inspiring experience for pupils!”

Derek Guthrie, TREE Centre Manager, commented: “The Centre really provides a fantastic learning environment and we are absolutely delighted at the response we have had from teachers today. We very much look forward to working with schools all over Scotland to build the TREE Centre educational programme into a valued part of their curriculum and eco-schools work.”

For those who wish to know more about the education programme offered by the TREE Centre in partnership with the Ecology Centre, please contact Clare Reed at the Ecology Centre on:  A teacher’s handbook, explaining exactly what the programme offers, is available on request.

For general enquiries contact Keep up to date on what’s happening at TREE on Facebook and twitter – – .