Journey of an emerging Music Leader within Two Rivers - a Secondary SEND School

  • by CatCrum

    Thursday, 9 November, 2017 - 11:29

Two Rivers High School is a special school in Tamworth for students aged between 11 -- 19. There are currently 180 young people in the school, and many of these have multiple learning needs. These include specific communication and language difficulties, challenging behaviours, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, physical difficulties and medical needs. All students have a statement of special educational needs.
This Project has been encouraging 180 students to engage with music through the delivery of inclusive and accessible large group sessions and the provision of, and support to access, progression and performance opportunities in school and the wider community. This work has developed musical, social and emotional skills of participants. Furthermore this approach has become embedded in the school and best practice shared with other organisations across the SEND Network.
This Blog shows an Emerging Music leader's experience in the setting.

Level Up Blog post 1

It’s the start of a new term so I’m looking forward to a fresh start learning more new skills and reflecting of last term’s lessons and blog posts.

Last term, I became very appreciative of the project and was so glad to be a part of it. The school has a really nice friendly feel to it, staff are cooperative and helpful and the students are great. It was eye-opening but rewarding to see the varied abilities in the school. We worked with students that range from having behavioural problems through to autism and severe social difficulties and disabilities. It’s also clear that Two Rivers has a lot of students with behavioural problems and the teachers are very aware of this and deal with this brilliantly. It will be interesting to find out and learn from these teachers as well as my colleague Chris, this term.

After a briefing with Chris, we decided we really need to start recording more information for the students Arts Awards and decide which students would go in for which Award. After talking to some of the students, especially sixth form, I was impressed that some of them have already completed at least one Award so Chris and I will plan carefully to make sure those who are working towards a higher grade award have the correct information and meet the right criteria to complete the award. We are also determined to get all students we see through an award so are being careful to keep a strict register of students.

The first 2 weeks of term were spent working on students that will be completing their Bronze award. While we gave them practical work, we thought it best that they complete their ‘Heroes’ section of the award and get the paperwork over and done with. This worked well and the sixth formers were able to get this done within the first week.

Whilst we’ve felt with a couple of our groups we’ve been really progressing, we’ve been struggling with some serious behaviour issues with our lower set year 10 class. The introduction of a new student has really upset the atmosphere in the class and the students who were normally well behaved, are really disruptive. As a result, other teachers have had to intervene and offer advice and help. This has been a real shock to us and to other teachers in the school so we will probably spend a few weeks finding our feet and trying different ways of dealing with it but that’s all part of the training process.

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