School’s Newsletter December 2022

Dear colleague,

Greetings from all at Surrey Arts. By the time you read this your school Christmas events will likely be either in full swing, or finished, and then you will be looking forward to a well-earned break. When you are fully recovered, please take a moment to have a look at our newsletter below, and the range of CPD and other opportunities we are offering during the first half of next term and beyond.

As always if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch

Wishing you the very best for the holiday season and for 2023;

John Stephens

Curriculum Manager Surrey Arts and Lead for Culture Box Surrey

Surrey Music Hub Conference:  Save The Date!

Surrey Primary Music Skill Swap

The orchestra of Unlimited Potential (UP!)

Group online music theory class, free trial

Picks ‘n’ Stix

Singing Picnics 2023 – Watch This Space!

Financial help for instrumental & singing lessons

CPD Training

Opportunities with external partners

Surrey Music Hub Conference:  Save The Date!

We are very excited to be able to announce that Surrey Arts will be hosting the Surrey Music Hub Conference again in 2023.  The event will be taking place on Wednesday 21 June, at the University of Surrey, Guildford.  We can look forward to a daylong event, jam packed with inspirational ideas for teaching at your school, practical workshops and challenging workshop sessions.  The day will include sessions for all school age groups, mainstream and specialist settings.  We will share details on how to book very soon.

Surrey Primary Music Skill Swap

In recent months we have had requests from teachers and from our Primary Music Advisory Group to help facilitate networking and skill sharing between teachers in their localities.  

In order to help this take place we have set up the Surrey Primary Music Skill Swap.  This is a simple, but open-ended survey form which you can complete on line.  You can use it to note any specific music expertise or experience that you might be willing to share, as well as outlining knowledge you would be interested in finding out more about.  You can also indicate if you would like to join another teacher for general reflection / co-observation etc…

The survey is open now and can found here.  Completing the survey should only take a few minutes.  We hope to share the results of the survey with all participating teachers early in the New Year.  We hope this new tool will help to build up strong links between school music leaders and enable you to build and share skills more effectively.  

The orchestra of Unlimited Potential (UP!)

What Is “UP!”? UP! Orchestra is an award winning ensemble designed to be accessible for young people aged 13+ of all backgrounds and abilities including those with special educational needs. We are particularly interested in welcoming young people who have been unable to access music education because of their life circumstances and lack of suitable opportunities on offer locally. Whilst there are no specific entry requirements and no audition process we feel that the ensemble is not currently suitable for PMLD/SLD young people. Please do contact us to discuss this if you are unsure.

What happens at the sessions? – UP! is led by an awesome team of professional musicians whose aim is to ensure each participant has a meaningful musical experience regardless of ability, musical interest, vocal style or instrument. The team is experienced in supporting young people in mainstream settings as well as those who have mental health, disability, behavioural, ESL (English as a second language) needs and young people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Saturdays, 11.00-13.00 at the Bridge Youth Centre, Leatherhead on 21 January, 4 & 18 February and 4 & 18 March, with a gala concert 26 March.  UP! Orchestra warmly welcomes new members to apply online or contact for further information.

Group online music theory class, free trial

Surrey Arts have expanded their ABRSM Grade 5 music theory online group classes, with four classes a week, starting in Spring 2023.  These sessions could be particularly helpful in supporting secondary GCSE students and cost £9.50 per a 45minute online group lesson.

Parents and carers of any student grade 3 or above can apply for a free 45 minute online ABRSM Grade 5 group theory trial lesson on Thursday 9 February 17.00-17.45.

Picks ‘n’ Stix

Offers students of all abilities, from year one to six, the chance to try a wide range of contemporary instruments, include guitar, drums, keyboards, bass guitar and ukulele.  Learning together, as a group of 3 or more, students can try each instrument or focus on their favourite.

Sessions at Woking Youth Arts Centre, Trinity Road, GU21 2SY on Thursdays, at 4pm for school years 1-3 and 5pm for years 4-6, costing £8.60 per lesson.  Parents and carers can apply for Picks ‘n’ Stix here

Singing Picnics 2023 – Watch This Space!

Keep your eyes on your mailboxes because we will soon be sending “Save the Date” emails announcing the dates for the 2023 Singing Picnics to be held in June and July in beautiful outdoor spaces across the county!

If you haven’t yet joined us for a fun-filled and informal day of singing in the sunshine, please make sure we have your up-to-date contact details and get your application to us early before places are filled.

Financial help for instrumental & singing lessons

The Cheryl King Trust has funds available to finance 50%-75% of the cost of music lessons for Surrey children who would otherwise be unable to start or continue to learn because of financially challenging circumstances.  The trust will cover activities by pupils who do not qualify for free school meals but whose joint annual parental income is less than £33,000 per annum. It will also fund activities going beyond those covered by state funding for students who are eligible for free school meals. You can apply for this support through Surrey Arts.

To find out more, go to the Trust’s website at   

Primary Music Network

Wednesday 18 January 15.45-17.15 via Zoom

Audience all primary teachers, both specialist and non-specialist

Session leader: Alex Bondonno

Session will discuss practical ways to provide a music provision in your school. We invite primary schools to present case studies and facilitate discussion on the current challenges, needs and seek to find solutions. This session will share work from our Primary Advisory Schools, including case studies on: Instrumental Curriculum Design at Danetree School, and Approaches to Primary Composition at Bisley School.  Also at the meeting there will be a focussed look at the new Surrey Primary Music Curriculum Evaluation Tool, which we hope to roll out to schools in January. Full agenda will be confirmed near the time. Send any points you would like discussed or case study ideas to

Sign up via the Spring CPD events form

Introducing the Music of the 2023 Primary Festival Concerts – workshop 2

Monday 23 January 15.45-17.15 via Zoom

Audience: Participating Primary Festival Schools

Session Leader:  Cole Bendall

The Surrey Primary Festival concerts are back! Come along to this online workshop with conductor Cole Bendall as an introduction to Teresa Jennings’ “Positive” and some of the other music to be included in the 2023 Primary Festival concerts.  A useful session for those who are new to this year’s music and also teachers who’ve started to prepare but would like more ideas for their rehearsals. 

Note this is an exact repeat of the session held on 15 November 2022

Sign up via the Spring CPD events form

Early Years Singing 

Wednesday 1 February 15.45-17.15 via Zoom

Audience: EYFS & KS1

Session LeaderTake Art

This session will provide an opportunity to develop your skills and confidence in delivering simple songs and instrumental work with very young children.  We will also look at ways of encouraging musical play, supporting it through adult interactions with children, and ways settings can celebrate children’s musical achievements.

Participants will:

·        Gain skills in learning a few appropriate rhymes and simple songs to develop very young children’s musicality 

·        Develop skills to notice and support very young children’s music-making in all areas of your setting

·        Watch and discuss young children’s spontaneous music making and look at ways adults might play creatively with them 

·        Discuss theoretical information to inform and support our practice, with a brief over-view of musical development of very young children and the benefits of music making in the early years

Sign up via the Spring CPD events form

Creating High Quality Music in Mixed Ability Settings

Saturday 4 February 14.00-17.00 at The Bridge Youth Centre, Clare Crescent, Leatherhead, KT22 7RB

Audience: Music practitioners working in schools and other settings wanting to develop inclusive music practice, KS2 – KS4

Session LeaderJoe Broughton

During this interactive training, participants will learn techniques and musical activities in order to support children and young people to participate and create music they feel proud of regardless of their current musical ability. Attendees will also develop a deeper understanding of the importance of creativity and improvisation as tools for inclusion and equality in mixed abilities settings. 

Sign up via the Spring CPD events form

How to teach music for non-musicians

Monday 6 February 16-00-17.30 Venue TBC (Mole Valley)

Audience: Non specialist primary teachers

Session Leader: Alex Bondonno

How do you teach music if you think you aren’t musical, or don’t have any training?  This session, is aimed at primary non-specialist music teachers and will provide you with practical ideas on how to teach music in the classroom.  We will cover basic concepts of music teaching, classroom management and curriculum development.  It will be an open space where you can ask any question no matter how simple. 

Sign up via the Spring CPD events form

Composition Tools in Charanga 

Tuesday 7 February 16.00-17.30 at Riverview CofE Primary School, Epsom KT19 0JP 

Audience: Primary teachers, specialist and non-specialist with Charanga licence

Session leader: Timothy Bond

A Charanga Musical School CPD training – Composing for Surrey schools.  

To attend this in person CPD session, register here

Part Singing and Harmonies for Your Choir

Thursday 9 February 17.00-18.30 at Cranleigh School, Horseshoe Lane, Cranleigh, GU6 8QQ

Audience: Primary teachers

Session Leader:  Cole Bendall

A workshop for teachers who want to develop their choir’s skills in singing in 2 or more parts. This practical workshop, rescheduled from November, will explore ways in which to introduce part singing, rehearsal techniques, and real-world examples from music submitted by teachers. Learn methods you can put to use straight away in preparing music for the Primary Music Festival concerts!

Sign up via the Spring CPD events form

Save the Date

Upcoming CPD training

New Approaches for Recorder in the Classroom, Wed 22nd Feb (TBC), 16.00-17.30

Progressing with the Primary Festivals Music, Mon 27 Feb, 16.00-17.30

Creating a primary school music development plan with the Surrey Curriculum Evaluation Tool, Tue 7 Mar, 16.00-17.30

Introduction to using Makaton in Music Settings, Wed 15 Mar, 15.30-17.00

Opportunities provided by external partners 

Below we highlight some free music workshops by other providers, that may be of interest 

Manic Street Teachers

A new set of resources for Primary and Secondary school music.   Features Musician of the Month resources and some fabulous curriculum focused song ideas and all linked with the Model Music Curriculum.  We think it is well worth checking out for some new approaches.
As a special limited time offer for Surrey Teachers there is an extended selection of FREE resources available from the Manic Street Teachers website:  Manic Street Teachers

·            4x September Musician of the Month packs

·            6x Songs (The Science Jukebox, The Maths Jukebox and The Literacy Jukebox)

·            The Music Jukebox 

·            1x Timeline History poster

·            1x Lyric Reading Comprehension pack

·            1 x Marvellous Music Video writing prompt

ABRSM: Teacher Hub 
ABRSM has launched and provides a place where you can join a community of like-minded teachers, share resources, knowledge and expertise, and find relevant and engaging CPD, including several devised for non-music-specialist Primary teachers.  There’s also a wealth of free material, including free videos to watch, articles to read and resources to download. We’ll be adding to this regularly to create a thriving space that embraces new content and fresh ideas guided by you – the teachers!


Club Origami – Early Years touring show

Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 March 2023

Rip, fold and scrumple! Shall we see what we can make with a single square of paper? As you scrunch the paper, see how your imagination begins to dance… Dive into the magical world of Club Origami, an immersive and interactive dance show inviting family audiences to create, imagine and explore whole new ways of thinking, playing and moving.  Dance, fashion and live music meet the magic of origami to sweep us up on a spirited and inspiring adventure in a land made purely of paper and play. 

Club Origami is presented by Little Big Dance – a pioneering national initiative creating new dance work for under-fives and their families, led by South East Dance in partnership with DanceEast, Take Art and Yorkshire Dance. “Full of imagination, creativity springing from an empty page” The Guardian  Little Big Dance – Club Origami Trailer – YouTube

Fee: £125 for two performances during the day at your setting. At least one of these must be for nursery aged children. Audience size approx. 40 children. It is up to you if you pass on the costs by charging for tickets.

Please email with expressions of interest to host a show or for more information.