School’s Newsletter September 2022

Dear colleague,

We are delighted to be sending you our first newsletter of this academic year, and we send it with very best wishes to all Surrey teachers for the coming year in school. Below you will find news and information about opportunities for schools, including an exciting programme of CPD for the autumn term, delivered both by Surrey Arts and by external provider organisations.

As you will be aware, the new National Plan for Music Education was announced by the DFE just before the summer. This will be an important focus for Surrey Music Hub and Surrey Arts during the coming year and will be an important topic for discussion at the Primary Music Network, and also at Music Mark’s OFSTED Update on Music in Schools. Other CPD this term includes a variety of practical workshops, both online and face-to-face, covering various aspects of music making in primary schools, an introduction to the latest version of Charanga’s Musical School, and a session on whole class teaching using GarageBand. Please see below for full details.

We are also pleased to remind schools about our Wardrobe Hire where you can find an amazing range of costumes for your productions, workshops and projects, see below for full details.

Finally, to help us provide the best possible service to schools, please note our request regarding signing up to CPD sessions, and also do let us know if your school would be interested in being a host school for one of our CPD sessions.

Kind regards,

John Stephens

Curriculum Manager Surrey Arts and Lead for Culture Box Surrey

National Plan for Music Resources

Open Ensemble Rehearsals Week

Primary Music Festival 2023 Dates

Music Mark Membership for schools

Wardrobe News

Baroque Sessions from The Benedetti Foundation

CPD Events

New Music Plan Resources

Music Mark have collated resources on the new National Plan for Music Education from many different sources.  This can be found on their website:  

We will be discussing the impacts of the new plan at the Primary Music Network on Wednesday 21 September.  In the meantime, a very good summary of the impact for schools can be found at The Music Teachers Association website:

Surrey Arts Open Ensemble Rehearsals Week 17-23 September 

Surrey Arts provides over 40 different choirs, bands, orchestras and music groups across the county, for all ages and abilities.  Our Open Rehearsals Week gives young people of all abilities the opportunity to come and try an ensemble, for free.  The aim of this week is to encourage young musicians to play a musical instrument of their choice in a setting that’s best for them.  Playing an instrument has many benefits; including helping to boost or aid development, as well as providing the opportunity to have fun and make new friends.

For more information on area specific ensembles across Surrey, please visit:

Primary Music Festival 2023 dates

We were delighted to welcome schools back for the Primary Music Festival season in 2022 and have now confirmed the following dates for the 2023 season. Applications will open shortly! 

Monday 24 AprilMole ValleyDorking Halls
Wednesday 26 AprilWoking & North SurreyDorking Halls
Thursday 11 MaySouth East SurreyDorking Halls
Monday 15 MayEast SurreyDorking Halls
Tuesday 16 MayElmbridgeDorking Halls
Thursday 25 MayWest SurreyPrinces Hall
Wednesday 14 JuneMid-SurreyDorking Halls
Thursday 15 JuneEpsom & EwellDorking Halls
Tuesday 20 JuneSurrey BordersDorking Halls

Keep an eye on your email for details of how to apply for your school to take part. To make sure you’re on our Primary Music Festival mailing list, email or

Music Mark Membership for Schools

Surrey arts is able to offer all schools in Surrey free membership of Music Mark,  the UK’s subject association for music education.   Music Mark membership can offer your school opportunities for training and networking, as well as useful resources.  You can find out more here.  

In order to apply for membership please complete this form.   To be granted membership we ask you to write a short statement which addresses the Music Mark membership criteria, and shows:

• evidence of a willingness to engage in developmental conversations related to improving music provision, including with the Music Hub

• recognition of the value of music education as part of a broad and balanced curriculum

• a strategy for music in place which provides for all children

• evidence of engagement with Surrey Music Hub

Applications should be made with the support of the school’s headteacher.

Wardrobe News

Wardrobe is raring to go and looking forward to welcoming you back for the Autumn term, which is traditionally our busiest period.  Surrey Arts Wardrobe provides theatrical costume hire and educational resource for schools, drama groups and industry professionals; offering a unique collection of thousands of items of costume, vintage clothing and accessories to bring your shows, productions and events to life.  

Browse our wardrobe!  If you haven’t been to our Wardrobe for a while, or are new to our service, we encourage you to book a ‘prep’ appointment to come and explore our vast stock and discuss your aspirations for your next school production or topic workshop.

Costumes can be reserved for up to six weeks before your hire date and we operate an appointment only system for pick-ups and drop offs.  If you are a regular hire customer, you could benefit from our membership programme, which includes 15% off our listed prices and a free ‘borrow’ week for fittings but membership is no longer compulsory for invoiced hire.

As accessories make a look more believable, we have reduced the prices on many of our accessories to help you complete outfits at an affordable price.  You can find an up-to-date price guide and contact details on our website

Baroque Sessions from The Benedetti Foundation

The Benedetti Foundation is delighted to present a new edition of the Baroque Virtual Sessions. Taking place between 26 September and 2 October, we will be joined by internationally acclaimed Baroque Specialists including: Rachel Podger (violin), David Watkin (cello), Leo Duarte (oboe), Liz Kenny (lute), Steven Devine (harpsichord), Ursula Paludan Monberg (horn). 

From 26-30 September, we will be releasing a series of short films exploring a range of baroque concepts. We hope these will be particularly of interest to students studying baroque as part of their exam-based music courses, and teachers can access this resource free of charge.  They will be added to our existing Discover Baroque video resources.

On the weekend of 1-2 October, each baroque specialist will lead a live 1-hour session exploring the baroque era through the eyes of their instrument / family of instruments. These sessions are open to all ages, all instruments, all levels and they will be recorded and made available to all registered participants for 3 months.

Full information and the registration form can be found here. There is a registration fee of £15 to cover costs, and full bursaries available to anyone (just tick the box on the form). The closing date to register to join in the live weekend is 30 September. 

Schools who wish to register to receive the resources and access to the recorded sessions can do so free of charge by entering a lead teacher’s information.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact

Booking CPD sessions

It is important for us to have a good idea of who is attending our CPD sessions, so that we know they are viable, and can prepare according to the group size we are expecting.  

We would ask for your assistance and only sign up via the Autumn CPD events form for those sessions you intend to attend, and please let us know as early as possible if you will not be joining a session for any reason. 

Primary Music Network 

Wednesday 21 September 15.45-17.15 via Zoom

A session for all primary music teachers and music leaders in Surrey schools to discuss practical ways to provide a music provision in their 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 include a vocal warm up from Cole Bendall and presentation from ABRSM on their 200 pieces digital resources.  We will be using the session to have a detailed discussion around the New Music Plan and its implications for your schools.  

Full Agenda will be confirmed nearer the time.  Send points you would like discussed to

Sign up via the Autumn CPD events form

New Music Coordinators Workshop

Wednesday 28 September 15.45-17.15 via Zoom

New to being a music coordinator? Want practical ideas on how to take on this role at your school? Perhaps you have been in the role for a while, but would like more support and ideas? Whether you are a musician or not, taking on the challenge of leading music at a school can be a daunting task, but highly rewarding! Led by Alex Bondonno (Surrey Arts) and Kate Sweeney (St John’s Primary), this workshop will give you practical ideas on how to be an effective music leader for your school, looking at curriculum, instrumental uptake, choirs and ensembles and just getting music happening in your school.

Sign up via the Autumn CPD events form

Inclusive drum circles and body percussion workshop

Saturday 1 October 11.00-12.00 at The Bridge Youth Centre, Leatherhead, KT22 7RB

Led by Ollie Tunmer from Beat Goes On, this free, bite size workshop will equip participants with new skills and activities to imbed within their practice. The workshop is aimed at music teachers who have already had some experience of incorporating percussion and movement within their sessions with young people and are interested in developing their inclusive practice.

Sign up via the Autumn CPD events form

Start Your Choir!

Wednesday 5 October 15.45-17.15 via Zoom

Start your choir: how to teach a song, find diverse material and lead primary school children in singing. If you’re new to leading singing in your school or just want some fresh ideas to help energise your primary school choir, this is the session for you! Learn some new techniques, explore new songs, and come away with some practical materials that you can put to use right away with your children using tried and true teaching methods. Led by Ula Weber (Sing for Pleasure, National Teachers’ Choir, Ex Cathedra), this is a great confidence booster for the new year!

Sign up via the Autumn CPD events form

Music with a focus on rhythm in EYFS and KS1:  Stephen Grocott

Tuesday 11 October 16.00-17.30 in Person, Location TBC 

This practical workshop is full of material and ideas to enhance learning, performance and creativity. It will focus on the rhythmic elements in music and their connection with movement, language and mathematics and participants will learn: 

•        New highly enjoyable and memorable songs and rhymes that can make the basis of music teaching and contribute to sociable mat times 

•        Ways of using this material with a focus on finding and making rhythm patterns with and without percussion instruments 

•        How rhythm work connects with mathematical thinking and language acquisition as well as addressing each part of the revised EYFS statutory framework 

•        How to move from improvising with rhythm to the beginnings of composition with or without instruments and including tuned percussion 

Sign up via the Autumn CPD events form

Teaching Rhythm in the KS2 Classroom

Tuesday 18 October 15.45-17.15 via Zoom

Rhythm is a fundamental skill that is the foundation for all musical performance.   Alex Bondonno leads a practical workshop giving ideas on how to teach and embed rhythmic skills for all your pupils allowing them to grow into aspiring young musicians.

Sign up via the Autumn CPD events form

SMH Inclusion Networking Event

Tuesday 1 November 14.00-16.00 via Zoom

An opportunity to hear about music opportunities for vulnerable children and young people as well as make connections, find solutions and discuss the topics that are currently important to attendees.

Sign up via the Autumn CPD events form

The Role of Play in Children’s Musical Learning and Singing

Thursday 3 November 15.45-17.15 via Zoom

Singing doesn’t always have to take place in the choir! Establishing a culture of singing-play in your classroom is easier than you might think and can have significant benefits on your classroom community and each individual child’s wellbeing, vocal and musical development, and personal and social skills. This session led by Ex Cathedra’s Rebecca Ledgard will leave you with lots of activities to enjoy doing with your children. Rebecca has worked as Ex Cathedra’s Director of Education and Participation since 2000 and has led Singing Playgrounds and other significant projects across the UK and internationally. She was bestowed with honorary membership for the services to music education by Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Sign up via the Autumn CPD events form

Voices Foundation: Choral Excellence

Thursday 10 November 16.00-17.30 at Chertsey High School, Addlestone KT15 2EP

A session to help develop the choral leadership skills of teachers/MEH staff to lead high quality, whole school singing and choir sessions. This session is appropriate for new choir leaders or more experienced leaders who would like to further develop their leading skills. It makes a good follow-on session from our October “Start Your Choir!” workshop.

Sign up via the Autumn CPD events form

Introduction to Charanga Musical School 

Monday 14 November 16.00-17.30 at Salesian School, Chertsey, KT16 9LU

A face to face training session for Surrey schools who are new to, or want to discover more, about the Original Charanga Scheme.  Led by Timothy Bond.

To attend this in person CPD session, register here

Introducing the Music of the 2023 Primary Festival Concerts – workshop 1

Tuesday 15 November 15.45-17.00 via Zoom

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. This is a good way to have a first listen to the songs your children will be singing and to get some ideas for ways to teach the music in your school. A follow-on workshop with more teaching tips will be offered in January.

Sign up via the Autumn CPD events form

GarageBand class teaching for KS2

Tuesday 22 November 16.00 -17.00 at Surrey Arts, 14 The Pines, Guildford, GU3 3BH

A workshop exploring teaching years 5 & 6 how to compose using GarageBand. This session, with our Digital Music Lead, James Crompton, will provide lesson ideas for teaching full classes to create their own musical projects; teach students how to make voice collages & sonic art, video game themes, raps & vocals, rock & pop and dance music. GarageBand is easy to use, and notes are available with lesson ideas, learning objectives and studio tips. The workshop would suit both class teachers and music specialists looking to get their pupils exploring and creating their own music digitally.

Sign up via the Autumn CPD events form

Charanga and the Model Music Curriculum 

Monday 5 December 16:00-17:00 via Zoom

Please note change of date due to National Bank Holiday

Surrey Arts and Charanga warmly invite you to this high-level overview looking at the structure of the Charanga units, the range of learning activities and supporting documentation.  Led by Timothy Bond.

To attend this online CPD session, register here

External CPD spotlight

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

KS1 & KS2 focused interactive workshop from the Royal Opera House

Tuesday 4 October, 14.00-15.00, via Teams

This LIVE workshop invites schools to join ROH music and drama practitioners as they rehearse and lead participants through a culmination performance; followed by a special opportunity to meet an opera singer.

Register your class and/or school by Friday 30 September, to take part in this pilot study for ‘What is Opera?’ as the ROH explore how to best support school communities in providing access to the Royal Opera House.  If you have any questions, please contact

Music Mark Event:  OFSTED Update on Music in Schools

Wednesday 5 October, 16.00-17.15 (online) 

Ofsted’s HMI National Lead for music, Christopher Stevens will discuss effective assessment in music and includes 15 minutes for questions.

Signup for this Music Mark Event