Student View: Music Lessons at DHS
The performing arts department at DHS is full of opportunities. In usual times the24-hour musical would have taken place and rehearsals for both the annual musical and Dance Live would be well underway, as well as preparations for the Christmas celebration evening. For obvious reasons these events can not take place this year, but the department is still thriving with exciting drama and music lessons in school. Last half term year 7s took part in a Stomp Competition (see details here) and below we hear the thoughts of students in years 8 and 9 about their exciting and engaging lessons:
Year 8 students Phoebe, Charlotte and Jessie:
‘We love music at Durrington because it is a good team building lesson that also helps build confidence in all students. Music gives you great opportunities such as learning new instruments and finding new interests.
During coronavirus, nothing has really changed in the music department. Our lessons are still as fun as ever because we still get to use all of the same facilities such as keyboards, iMacs and much more (of course within the guidelines).
So far this year, we have started to read and understand sheet music by learning each of the notes on the stave. We also learned a song called The Rattling Bog when we were looking at traditional folk music. We also got the chance to perform the piece to our fellow peers, who say, ‘The curriculum is very varied and fun!’ (Amelia and Jess) and ‘The teachers are really helpful” (Charlie).
Year 9 students Jasper, Chloe and Molly:
We love music at Durrington because it is so engaging. Most of our lessons are spent on the keyboards or iMacs creating or playing a piece of music. It is a good to have a practical lesson.
Covid hasn’t really changed music much; we still get to use all the facilities at DHS like normal (except with extra coronavirus safety measures!) and we can learn and play just like we used to.
So far this year, in our reading music topic, we have learned the Harry Potter theme tune, Someone Like You and Counting Stars on the keyboards. Last year, we spent a term working on the iMacs and making our own backing track on GarageBand which was a really good way to mix technology and music together. A lot of us ended up making some really cool beats on them and we were happy to have the opportunity to do that.
The music facilities at Durrington are great. We have two music classrooms, each with their own set of practice rooms and enough keyboards for everyone to have one in lessons.
As well as this, there is a workspace full of Apple iMacs which we use often in class to either play music on or create music using different pieces of software. Our classmates say, ‘I enjoy working in the practice rooms as we can hear our music better’ (Storm), ‘I like the great equipment we are able to use!’ (Alex), ‘I like music because the teachers at DHS make it so fun!’ (Ren) and ‘I like music because I find the differences between all the styles interesting.” (Abi).
KAPP (Kindness, Aspiration, Perseverance and Pride) off to a fantastic start
KAPP (Kindness, Aspiration, Perseverance and Pride) at DHS means going beyond your best; seeking out and embracing opportunities to aim high, dream big and dig deep. We believe that by encouraging all of our students to focus on these four key attributes we will create an even more connected, special and unique school culture in which everyone feels part of one amazing team.
Our aim with the KAPP reward programme is to ensure that we celebrate students that are living out these attributes’ day in day out, both inside and outside of school. By celebrating those that are we will also inspire those around them to seek to do the same, therefore creating a culture in which kindness, aspiration, perseverance and pride are central.
Throughout the year, through nominations from staff and parents/carers, students will be awarded badges for showing outstanding kindness, aspiration, perseverance and pride. Students will aim to get bronze, silver and gold badges for all attributes, at which point they will be awarded a seahorse pin badge – the ultimate accolade for KAPP. This structure means students always have something to aim for throughout their time at Durrington which ensures KAPP values are enbedded in school life.
This half term has seen the first of our reward badges being awarded for kindness. Tutors were asked to nominate one member of their form group for showing outstanding kindness over the half term to peers. The nominations came in thick and fast and showed what positive, encouraging relationships we have across the school with our tutors and tutees. Nominations included reasons such as ‘always making an effort to include everyone’, ‘showing respect’ and ‘constant positivity.’ It has been fantastic to see so many happy students receive these badges and wear them with pride.
Parents have also risen admirably to the task of letting us know about their child’s achievements outside of school so we can recognise them. These achievements include raising money for charity, representing their county in a sporting capacity and regularly volunteering. At the beginning of next half term, we will be awarding these students the first badges for pride and aspiration. Our students never fail to impress us with their achievements and their commitment to displaying the values and qualities of KAPP. Every nominee received recognition by way of a well-done postcard if they were not awarded a badge on this occasion.
Outside of the reward system, KAPP continues to underpin our assemblies and tutor periods, allowing students opportunities to work towards achieving their badges, with tutors commenting on the mature, excellent quality of discussions. We have also embraced opportunities to get involved with charity events, such as Race for Life and look forward to the perseverance awards which begin after half term.
KAPP is central to life as part of Team Durrington and we can’t wait to see the impact it makes as we continue through the year and beyond!
Year 7s take on the Stomp challenge
Year 7 have had a fanatic introduction to music lessons at DHS by partaking in a Stomp challenge. Year 7 students have lessons as form groups and so not only have they been developing their musical skills but it has been a great bonding experience for them. Each form group created a piece of music using body percussion and some other everyday objects focusing on team work and developing ensemble skills. After several weeks of working really hard on this project each class was recorded and then, during the final week of half term, the classes listened to each other’s efforts and nominated a favourite. Music teachers also nominated one student per class that had gone above and beyond in the challenge.
The students were inspired by a video message from a former cast member of Stomp in the West End before they began to compose their own pieces. Beth Maughan, music teacher said, ‘The groups have been working so hard on this challenge and many of the ideas and suggestions have been brilliant. What is even more rewarding is seeing their team working skills taking shape and the supportive nature within the forms.’
The students had lots to say about this exciting project, Ruby Fullwood said she enjoyed the challenge because ‘we all worked together as a team and it all came together and sounded good’ Hridansh Kawatra was proud because ‘I was able to perform in time’ and Owen Skeel added he was proud because they ‘recorded it in one take.’
All the pieces were fantastic but the winning form, as voted for by their peers was 7MFo. Congratulations to the following students who were picked out as the student that had gone above and beyond: Callum Cummins, Effie Moore, Bethany Evans, Alfie Lupson, Jasmine Lawrence, James Lanning, Alex Wood, Joseph Waterer, Lewis Yates, Benjamin Casse, Ruby Fullwood, Milena Ramashkevich, Evie Retallick, Aaron Mott and Sienna Perry.
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