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Music is at the very heart of one East End school

27th June 2017

Gallions primary school has successfully integrated music into the curriculum to help teach pupils life skills, imagination and perseverance, writes Sheila Hancock

Stephen Moss (Why not put music at the heart of education?, 19 June) argues that music education should not be limited to private schools and children of “thrusting middle-class parents”. He holds up Finland as an example. At Gallions primary school in Beckton, music is at the heart of the school. It is in a socially and economically deprived corner of east London, but the school is joyous and alive. Gallions is not a specialist music school but has successfully integrated music into the curriculum, both as a subject in its own right and as a medium through which to teach other subjects. For instance, singing supports the development of language, which is crucial, especially for our youngest pupils and the 67% of Gallions pupils for whom English is not their first language. Using number songs has proven a brilliant way to teach maths in the younger year groups.

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