Transforming Communities

Woolley Wood School, Sheffield

Case Study: Woolley Wood School, Sheffield

Funder: Mayfield Valley Arts Trust

Over the past 5 years, LMN musicians have performed participatory concerts and delivered one-day workshops in Woolley Wood School, a primary school for children with complex learning disabilities. The school was excited about extending its relationship with LMN through a week-long music residency in November 2011 funded by Mayfield Valley Arts Trust. A group of LMN musicians worked together to deliver a series of structured workshops with pupils throughout the week, culminating in an informal performance. Deputy Head Teacher, Lynda Watson, made the following comments about the outcomes for pupils observed over the week.

Improved focus and engagement

  • The children were more attentive and quieter during the daily music assemblies than they would have been in a regular assembly. The music and activities kept their attention for 30 minutes, which is longer than normal.
  • One boy with visual impairment and no physical independent movement, responded enthusiastically by moving his head when the clarinet was played up close to him. He was delighted to work out how to control the volume of the music with his eyes, looking up when he wanted the musician to play loudly and down for quiet music.

Development of language skills

  • Learning new songs through repetition had stretched the children, helping them to develop their vocabulary.

Increased social interaction between children

  • Some children, who normally play and learn in parallel, initiatedspontaneousinteraction between themselves through dancing during the workshops and music assemblies.

School cohesion

  • The residency provided a very enjoyable and engaging whole-school activity, which was fully inclusive and promoted a positive atmosphere throughout the week.
  • The workshops provided opportunities for staff to engage with individual children, enjoying a shared response to the music.