Music Education Spotlight: Downe Manor Primary School

Downe Manor – where values like excellence, respect, creativity and community leap off the planning page and into pupils’ everyday experience. Especially in the music room. Explore how the West London primary school using high-quality music education to make believers out of pupils, staff and parents alike.

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End of term was a busy one at Downe Manor.

22 students were recognised for perfect Spring term attendance – with Sycamore pupils leading the way!

Easter bonnets were on parade – the children looking phenomenal in their amazing creations.

14+ lucky raffle winners were announced – raising £305 for the school. Thanks Mrs Ahmed for all of her hard work collecting donations!

And just before the break, the school wished all their pupils a Happy Easter, Happy Vaisakhi, Happy Holi and Eid Mubarak.

An older student clicking his fingers, is featured prominently in the foreground, wearing a school uniform with a white polo shirt. In the blurred background, classmates can be seen in the school hall, suggesting a lively singing assembly or performance. Overlaying the image is the bold logo of Sing Education and the text "School Spotlight Downe Manor Primary School," alongside the school logo, indicating a focus on this particular educational setting. The design conveys a sense of vibrancy and celebration of the school's partnership with Sing Education.
Click here to download the full Downe Manor spotlight

“Our staff work hard to provide a curriculum which inspires children’s curiosity; develops their skills and fosters an understanding of others and the world about them.”

— Ms. Sharon Kearns, Headteacher

 

Excellence. Creativity. Community. 

Respect for Diverse Traditions.

These hallmarks reflect the education on offer at Downe Manor.

As their primary school music partner, Sing Education is so very proud to demonstrate those same values in our music programming.

A primary school building painted blue is pictured on a sunny day. In the foreground a welcome sign shows this is "Downe Manor Primary School, for boys and girls aged 3 to 11 years" It also shows the headteacher's name is Sharon Kearns. The school looks welcoming and friendly with artwork and flags dotted around.
The image shows a close up of a box of assorted percussion instruments with a focus on some guiros with a red and green painted design. Overlaying graphics celebrate the school's partnership with Sing Education, highlighting a milestone of 1,036 music lessons since 2022, under the banner "School Spotlight Downe Manor." The image celebrates the diversity of instruments in this school, that support the music education program.

Values Matter. These Are Ours

Serving more than 28,000 children each week, Sing Education is a first class provider of primary school music education. 

We’re committed to making music education accessible and exciting.  Since 2014, we’ve been honing our bespoke curricular materials, recruiting top-notch teachers and crafting tailored music programs for schools of all sizes. 

Our industry expertise and collaborative approach ensure a seamless experience, from curriculum design to SEND inclusion to PPA cover. 

Our mission is to help students discover their love for music and to build skills that last a lifetime.

We also want them to confidently grow in their technical capacity, improve their wellbeing and secure a strong musical foundation.

 

Spotlight on Excellence – Downe Manor Primary School

Each term across the school year, Sing Education shares a highlight from one of the more than 80 schools with which we partner. 

We speak in-depth with the school’s headteacher and curricular music specialist, as well as the Sing Education leadership team to provide insights into how we work together to build a great school music programme.

Rural or urban. Independent or trust-based. 

Single form or Multi-form entry. 

Sing Education school partners share one clear, common bond…to inspire a lifelong love for music, fostering creativity and confidence in every child.

This term we’re highlighting Downe Manor in Ealing, West London.

We’ll hear first from Ms. Sharon Kearns, Downe Manor’s headteacher, followed by Esther Ruddle, their Sing Education music specialist. Lastly, we’ll hear from Bert Routledge, Sing Education’s Director of 1:1 and Small Group Provision.

Downe Manor - We Love Music and Performing

Ms. Kearns, tell us a little about Downe Manor.

Downe Manor Primary School is a 2 form entry school in Northolt, West London. We have an amazing range of children and families from all different countries and backgrounds who love music and performing. 

Our parents and families are really supportive of the school and all our musical events are well attended. Our staff really value the specialist music teaching that Sing Education provide.

 

How would you describe your mandate as an educator?

I’ve always aimed to ensure that all the children get the best deal from primary school and be ready for secondary and the world beyond. A broad and balanced curriculum is on offer for every child- it is their entitlement.

 

What are your biggest priorities in your role as headteacher?

Central to each child’s learning is the growth of each child to be independent, confident and thoughtful.  

Our staff work hard to provide a curriculum which inspires children’s curiosity; develops their skills and fosters an understanding of others and the world about them.

We want to inspire our children to be the best person they can be; to celebrate their achievements and contribute positively to the school community.

 

What is your vision for music at Downe Manor?

We are dedicated to providing an enriching and comprehensive music education that instils a lifelong passion for music in our students. 

Our music curriculum is carefully crafted to foster creativity, nurture talent, and develop a deep understanding of music across various cultures and genres. 

We aim to empower every student to express themselves through music, building their confidence, teamwork, and self-expression.

 

How does music education impact your pupils?

Our intent is to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and cultural awareness necessary to appreciate and engage with music in a meaningful way. 

We aspire to cultivate well-rounded musicians who can sing, play, compose, and perform with proficiency and enthusiasm. 

Through our music curriculum, we seek to instil in our students a sense of curiosity, an appreciation for diverse musical traditions, and the ability to connect emotionally with music. 

 

How does Sing Education distinguish itself from other options?

Our curriculum is thoughtfully structured with half-termly units, each building upon the foundation of prior learning while introducing new concepts and challenges. 

This scaffolded approach ensures a logical progression of skills and knowledge, enabling students to consolidate, expand, and refine their musical abilities. 

The Kodaly method, integral to our curriculum, ensures that musical concepts are presented systematically and aligned with students’ prior experiences. 

Our specialist music teachers facilitate lessons that are child-centred, inclusive, and foster a love for singing. 

 

How do you engage parents, governors and the community when it comes to music at Downe Manor?

We offer extracurricular activities, such as after-school music clubs and singing assemblies, to further immerse students in the joy of music.

Additionally, many students opt for small group and one-to-one private tuition to receive personalised instruction. 

Regular performances and recordings at the end of each half term provide students with opportunities to showcase their musical growth and articulate their learning journey. 

An older student clicking his fingers, is featured prominently in the foreground, wearing a school uniform with a white polo shirt. In the blurred background, classmates can be seen in the school hall, suggesting a lively singing assembly or performance. Overlaying the image is the bold logo of Sing Education and the text "School Spotlight Downe Manor Primary School," alongside the school logo, indicating a focus on this particular educational setting. The design conveys a sense of vibrancy and celebration of the school's partnership with Sing Education.
Click here to download the full Downe Manor spotlight
A view along a piano with the focus on the hands playing simple chords. In the background a blurred school hall suggests that a teacher is playing the piano in assembly. The overlaying graphics highlight the school's name, Downe Manor, and celebrate the number of singing assemblies conducted by Sing Education since 2022, indicating a total of 148 assemblies. The image conveys a sense of community and the joy of collective music-making in an educational setting.
A close up of a child's fingers clicking. In the blurred background, other children can be seen singing. The image celebrates Sing Education's impact at Downe Manor School since 2022, highlighting the 74 choir sessions that have taken place at the school, as indicated by the vibrant graphics overlaying the photo.

Downe Manor Primary - Every Day is a Red Rose Day

Ms. Ruddle, please describe a typical day at your school.

Generally, I get into school at 8.15 and get myself set up for the day- that means going over the scheme of work, making sure my slides are working, and so on.

I make my way down to the Nursery and then the rest of my lessons are back in the music room. 

I teach Nursery, do a short singing assembly in the hall, then get a short break before teaching Year 4 and Year 6.

After lunch, I have 2 year 5 classes and I help the last class with dismissal and home time.

 

Tell us about your placement relationship with your school/headteacher?

Downe Manor has I think the friendliest staff I have ever met. 

Sharon Kearns is not the kind of head to just stay in her office and not talk to curricular staff- she is out and about, always ready to help with any problems. 

With being a part time teacher there is sometimes an issue with being ‘Othered’ at schools, and that is definitely not the case at Downe Manor.

 

What impact do you feel you have with pupils?

This always shocks people when I tell them this, but music is not everyone’s favourite subject. You’re never going to win everyone over.

HOWEVER. It is always so rewarding to see children improve. 

If you get to teach the same children for a year, or even a few years, you get to see them gain in knowledge and answer questions that they wouldn’t have been able to previously, or develop technique in their playing. 

In some ways I even enjoy teaching children who say they ‘Hate’ music because really they just think they’re bad at it- this is especially the case with older kids. 

It just makes me think ‘I can crack them- by the end of this year they’re going to have the confidence to try music and hopefully then they’ll enjoy it’.

 

What’s the most rewarding element of your job?

It’s hard not to feel like you’re making a difference when the kids tell you themselves. 

I love when kids make the effort of telling me they love their lessons or they bring me their drawings (normally me with long flowing hair and a little triangle dress).

The weirdest one I ever got was a child in Year 2 who gave me a single rose, because she was giving out roses to all her favourite teachers. On a random Thursday! I felt like I was on The Bachelor!

I know we don’t teach music for praise or self validation, but it’s the clearest way to see you’ve impacted a child’s life in a meaningful and positive way. 

In some ways, we will never fully know the impact we have on the kids we teach, but I hope I’ve at least helped them to believe that music is for them.

Downe Manor - Primary School Music That Changes Lives

Mr. Routledge, what is your vision for music at Downe Manor?

At Sing Education, our vision for music at Downe Manor is deeply rooted in enriching students’ lives through music.

Following a recommendation and an Ofsted inspection highlighting music as an improvement area, we collaborated closely with Sharon, the supportive headteacher. Downe Manor features a fantastic music room, which has significantly benefited our staff and programs. We’ve introduced enrichment activities, including assemblies and a choir of over 30 students, which the pupils love.

With Sharon’s support, we’ve transformed the music curriculum, establishing a robust program that not only prepares students for future inspections but deeply embeds musical passion into their educational journey. This transformation exemplifies our commitment to fostering environments where music can thrive.

 

How do Sing Education’s curriculum, classroom lessons and co-curricular activities impact pupils at Downe Manor?

The Sing Education curriculum impacts all students and we work hard to ensure music is an equal access subject that can challenge and stretch students at all level, while providing additional support for those children that need it, including those with SEND. One major impact that music has had at Downe Manor is improving student wellbeing and providing a creative outlet for all students through the choir, singing assemblies and performance opportunities

 

How do you build a bespoke music programme for a school like Downe Manor? And what does the future hold?

The challenge lies in addressing individual needs while maintaining a standardised quality of education. That’s why we work closely with the headteacher to design a bespoke music programme that enhances the existing school community and provides opportunities to students that they otherwise wouldn’t get.

Our success working with Sharon at Downe Manor, has demonstrated our ability to provide music education that transforms students lives and, as such, the future hold some really exciting opportunities as we expand into new regions of the UK including Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire while also growing in our existing areas of Kent, Slough and London and North Yorkshire.

An older student clicking his fingers, is featured prominently in the foreground, wearing a school uniform with a white polo shirt. In the blurred background, classmates can be seen in the school hall, suggesting a lively singing assembly or performance. Overlaying the image is the bold logo of Sing Education and the text "School Spotlight Downe Manor Primary School," alongside the school logo, indicating a focus on this particular educational setting. The design conveys a sense of vibrancy and celebration of the school's partnership with Sing Education.
Click here to download the full Downe Manor spotlight

 

To learn more about Sing Education, including how our music provision, online instrumental lessons and at home learning resources contribute to a well-rounded music curriculum, please visit www.singeducation.co.uk/schools 

 


About Us

Founded in 2014 and serving more than 28,000 children each week, Sing Education is a first class provider of primary school music education. Focusing on high-quality, singing-led tuition, we deliver a complete solution for schools which includes teacher recruitment, training and management, bespoke curricular resources and educational consultancy services. 

Through music lessons, singing assemblies, choirs, after school clubs and instrumental tuition, Sing Education works with students from Nursery right through to Year 6. Our core philosophy is that “Every Child Has A Voice,” and, as educators active in the classroom, our directors and teachers know firsthand how much young learners benefit from exciting, rewarding music education. 

Sing Education currently partners with schools throughout Greater London and Kent, as well as Yorkshire and the Humber. We’re also launching new service areas next academic year in Greater Manchester and Birmingham. 

Not yet on the list? Please enquire about our expansion plans for additional areas we will serve during the 2024-25 school year.

singeducation.co.uk/schools

#SingEducation #PrimarySchool #MusicEducation #EveryChildHasAVoice

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