School’s Newsletter February 2023

Welcome to our Spring Term 2 Newsletter. Below you will find a wide range of opportunities both for you and for the children and young people you teach, including, for example, details of our Surrey Schools Music Conference 2023, a new secondary/special schools advisory group, dates for Singing Picnics, range of useful and interesting CPD sessions, and some vacancies at Surrey Arts.

As always if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch  We wish you a restful and enjoyable half-term break!

John Stephens

Curriculum Manager Surrey Arts and Lead for Culture Box Surrey


  • Surrey Music Hub Conference
  • Singing Picnics 2023
  • Secondary School Young Leaders
  • Primary Music Curriculum Evaluation Tool
  • Secondary music advisory group
  • CPD Training
  • Royal Opera House Create and Sing
  • Vacancies: Surrey Music Hub Board independent chair

Surrey Music Hub Conference:  Wednesday 21 June 2023, University of Surrey, Guildford

Pink background, with children giving their thumbs up. Text Surrey Music Hub Conference 2023; The power music to change lives; Wednesday 21 June; University of Surrey, Guildford. Surrey Music Hub Logo, Surrey Arts Logo, Arts Council England logo.
Surrey Music Hub Conference 2023 advert

Surrey Music Hub Conference 2023 is focused around the theme of the new National Plan for Music.  We take the new music strategy’s aims to heart, working with all Surrey Schools to use the Power of Music to Change Lives.  There will be strands of content for all specialist and non-specialist teachers from primary, secondary and special school settings, built around active workshops, forums, discussion groups and focused surgeries with content led by leading national providers, alongside our own highly skilled music leaders from Surrey.  There will be a parallel conference for our ‘youth delegates’ who will learn alongside teachers, take part in performances and reflect on what their music education means to them.

The conference will take place in the magnificent setting of the University of Surrey with lunch and refreshments provided throughout the day.

‘We are really excited to relaunch our school’s conference, highlighting the superb music provision we have in Surrey.  It has been a long time since our last large-scale face to face event in 2018 and much has changed in the music education landscape since then.  The conference will be a wonderful chance to regroup, share best practice and further develop our skills. We hope the day will provide inspiration to ensure young people in our area have the best outcomes possible.’ Sarah Lee, Surrey Music Hub Chair and Service Lead for Surrey Arts.

Take advantage of the Early Bird booking offer

Singing Picnics 2023

Singing Picnics are back for 2023 and places are filling up quickly! We have places available at our Singing Picnics in Runnymede (28 June), Mole Valley (29 June), Woking (4 July), Redhill (6 July) and Lingfield (11 July). Places are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, so if you’d like your KS2 children (year groups 3-5) to join us for singing in the sunshine have a look at our website for details of how to apply:  Singing Picnics – Surrey Music Hub

Secondary School Young Leaders – We have places available at five of our Singing Picnics for secondary school Young Song Leaders to help lead younger children in singing games alongside our professional team of vocal tutors. For more information, contact Nancy Gillio-Terry, Vocal Strategy Manager at

Primary Music Curriculum Evaluation Tool

Working alongside our advisory group of music teachers to help you evaluate the music curriculum at your school, please find attached to this newsletter, our Primary Music Curriculum Evaluation Tool.  

This document aims to help you set development targets to improve music provision at your school.   It covers all the aims set out in the National Plan for Music Education 2022 as well as linking to aspirations from the DfE’s Model Music Curriculum and of course the National Curriculum for Music.  

The document descriptors are set at a high level, and will provide challenges for all schools, even those who already have very successful music teaching taking place. 

We hope that this tool will be invaluable in helping you define your own school music development plan (as stipulated in the National Plan for Music Education).

How to use the Primary Curriculum Evaluation Tool

  • The Tool is a word document which you can edit.  We would suggest highlighting descriptors which match your school’s provision and find the best fit level for your school in each development area. 
  • We would strongly advise reflecting on your school’s provision with a reflective partner.  This could be a member of SLT or a governor from your own school, a music leader from another school, or a member Surrey Arts School’s team.  Please get in contact if you would like help in finding an external reflective partner

–      When you have completed your own evaluation we would suggest sharing results with us at Surrey Arts so that we can compare outcomes for schools and help put in place support to help schools in their development goals.

We hope you find this document useful.  Please get in contact if you would like to discuss any aspect of the evaluation tool or provide feedback on the document. 

Secondary music advisory group

Surrey Arts, on behalf of Surrey Music Hub, is seeking to establish a small group of secondary / special school music teachers who will be able to help steer the support that the Music Hub offers to schools and post-16 settings.  This might, for example, include prioritising what kind of support is offered, requesting training sessions, piloting new projects and facilitating peer support relationships between schools. How this group meets can partly be defined by the group members, but we expect it would involve a minimum termly online meeting, as well as follow up interactions and communications online. 

We are looking for enthusiastic and effective practitioners from differing school contexts. If possible, we hope that group members will be able to speak on behalf of colleagues across Surrey schools and so experience of leading a department, and of working in different contexts will be helpful, though not essential. We are keen to include teachers with expertise in working with children with additional needs and disabilities, and we will welcome expressions of interest from special school colleagues and alternative settings.

If you would be interested in joining this group, please send a short expression of interest (max 200 words), by Tuesday 28th February saying why you would like to be involved to: . We hope that this will be a good professional development opportunity for participants, and we recommend that you liaise with your SLT if you are considering applying.


New Approaches for Recorder in the Classroom

Wednesday 22 February 16.00-17.30 at Danetree Primary School, Danetree Road, West Ewell. KT19 9SE

Audience all primary teachers, both specialist and non-specialist

Session leader: Sian Greenhalf

The recorder: easily accessible and cost effective – a great way to start pupils on their instrumental learning journey! However, how on earth do you make a class of 30 recorders sound like a symphony of angels rather than a device of torture? This training will cover basic techniques for establishing the best sound, fun and engaging activities for practicing breath control and troubleshooting when sound production isn’t going right. 

Sign up via the Spring (2) CPD events form

Progressing with the Primary Festivals Music

Monday 27 February 16.00-17.30 via Zoom

Audience: Participating Primary Festival Schools

Session leader:  Cole Bendall

Now that you’ve started learning the music for the Primary Music Festivals with your children, how do you take their singing to the next level? What tips and tricks will help your children to learn all the music off by heart, learn parts and sing with confidence? This session will provide some answers and ideas for your rehearsals and also look at how you can build on your choir’s learning to create your own in-school concerts.

The session will include time to focus on particular aspects of the Primary Festivals music which teachers have requested help with. If you would like us to focus on a section of this year’s Festival music, please tell us when you register (no later than 20 Feb).

Sign up via the Spring (2) CPD events form

Early Years Singing 

Thursday 2 March 15.45-17.15 via Zoom

Audience: EYFS & KS1

Session leader: Take 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 (2) CPD events form

Creating a primary school music development plan with the Surrey Curriculum Evaluation Tool

Tuesday 7 March 16.00-17.30 via Zoom

Audience all primary teachers, both specialist and non-specialist

Session leader: Alex Bondonno

The National Plan for Music Education indicates that all schools should have a music development plan in place by Sept 2023.  This session will guide you through approaches to putting a plan in place using the Surrey Music Curriculum Evaluation Tool as a guide.  This will be a discursive session where you can reflect on your development goals working in groups with other teachers.  

Sign up via the Spring (2) CPD events form

Royal Opera House Create and Sing Workshops

Create and Sing from the Royal Opera House is coming to Surrey with a NEW and FREE* offer for schools to take part in! (*for state-funded schools)

Made specifically for primary school teachers, as part of the Royal Opera House National Schools Program (, it combines: 

  • Practical CPD training – designed to build your creative confidence to facilitate learning through the arts. 
  • High quality, National Curriculum-linked learning resources – offering detailed and flexible schemes of work. 
  • Termly live and interactive digital events – which connect your classes directly to the artists of the Royal Opera Company. 

Join Royal Opera House Artists for accessible and practical Teacher Training in two-parts:  

Part 1, online: Thursday 27 April 16.00–17.30 Book your FREE place

Part 2, in person: Tuesday 23 May 13.00–16.00 Book your FREE place

Held in partnership with Surrey Music Hub, venue TBC

No previous experience of music or drama is needed for teachers to take part.

Once you have completed the Create and Sing CPD training, you are invited to use the resources with your class in the way that best suits you.

Easy to deliver across a half term

Once your training is complete you will receive termly invites to our optional interactive digital workshops, led by Royal Opera House artists, which bookend our flexible 5 lesson scheme of work. To take part in the summer term: 

Online Live rehearsal: Thursday 25 May, 10.45–11.30 see opera singers rehearse The Magic Flute, ask questions and be introduced to their creative process (no pre-teaching needed)

Online Culmination: Tuesday 5 July, 10.00–11.00 join ROH artists and other schools around the country, for a fun celebration to share what you have learnt and create something new together

Explore our schemes of work on our website.  NB. Interactive digital workshops are available every term, so you can implement your training when it is best for you.

An Inclusive Approach to Navigating Vocal Change

Thursday 4 May 15.45-17.15 via Zoom

Audience: Primary and Secondary

Session leader: Suzanne Chadwick

Growth spurts during puberty bring about a period of extraordinary physical growth for both girls and boys. This growth extends to the larynx, causing a dramatic effect in boys’ voices; girls’ voices also undergo a period of more subtle, but often noticeable, change. Teenagers find that their singing range completely alters and their voice becomes unpredictable, leading to frustration, self-consciousness and ultimately a lack of confidence and reluctance to sing. 

This workshop will provide participants with a clear explanation of the effects of pubertal growth on both boys’ and girls’ voices and the vocal difficulties that are frequently faced by teenagers and those undergoing hormonal change. It will also outline a number of practical strategies and approaches in order to equip teachers and choir directors with ideas for creating an inclusive approach that aims to encourage young people to continue to engage with singing.

Suzanne Chadwick, MA (Music), MA (Voice Pedagogy), is a graduate of the University of St Andrews and the University of Wales Trinity St David. Based in Dublin, Suzanne is a passionate educator of young singers and combines her many years of performing and teaching experience with an active engagement in voice science and research. She is currently completing a PhD on the subject of the adolescent male voice, and also includes vocal registers, breathing methodology and vocal health in her research interests. Suzanne currently lectures in Voice Pedagogy at the University of Limerick and has presented research papers at conferences in the UK and Ireland.

Sign up via the Spring (2) CPD events form


Surrey Music Hub Board is recruiting for an independent chair

Surrey Music Hub (the Music Education Hub for Surrey) is seeking to appoint an Independent Chair. This is a voluntary position with an allowance of up to £3,000 per year for expenses.

We are looking for someone who is passionate about ensuring that all children and young people can access high quality music education opportunities that meet their needs. This role offers an opportunity for the right individual to make a difference to the lives of the children and young people of Surrey through music.

The postholder will chair the Hub’s Advisory Board, working alongside the Music Hub lead organisation, Surrey Arts, and partners to ensure and maintain the effective delivery of the new National Plan for Music Education (NPME) both in and out of school settings.

For more information and to view the role profile visit – Surrey County Council – Job details (

We have 2 part time vacancies within the team at Surrey Arts.  The job adverts close at 23:59 on Sunday 12 February 2023, with interviews taking place on 21 or 23 February 2023.

Youth Music Activities Co-ordinator 3 days a week administrative and co-ordination role supporting the advanced ensembles and wider out of school activities. 

Youth Music Advanced Ensembles Manager  2 days a week role managing the advanced ensembles and their staff. 

For further information please contact Steph Godwin,