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Music Is Key To Feversham’s Outstanding Success

posted Nov 30, 2017, 1:52 AM by Nicholas Basson   [ updated Nov 30, 2017, 6:37 AM ]
A Bradford primary school locked in special measures just four years ago is now in the top ten per cent of pupils’ progress nationally in English, writing and mathematics. Key to their success is the strong emphasis on teaching music, up to six hours every week, the appointment of an outstanding headteacher and the inspirational imput of a local musician.

The dramatic turnaround in standards at Feversham Primary Academy has just been under the spotlight in  a 25 minute feature on 5 live Daily with Adrian Chiles and was top of the bill on BBC 1 The One Show.

Naveed Idrees was appointed headteacher at Feversham in 2013 and is totally committed to give every child the appetite to love and enjoy learning. A local musician, Jimmy Rotherham, was charged with introducing music to all ages across the school.

“When I started teaching the children it was something new and exciting and there was real enthusiasm. It was based on games and fun. Too often it is repetitious with children having to sing the same song 16 times. Now,” says Jimmy, “everyone who walks into school comments that it has a great atmosphere and that is down to the music.”

Jay McGuiness, lead vocalist of The Wanted and winner of Strictly in 2015, visited the school for The One Show feature to see the huge impact that music has had at Feversham. He met with children, teachers and parents and even visited the liv
ing room of 9 year old Abiha and watched her practicing on the drums. Abiha is the first Muslim girl to be accepted in Bradford’s Foundation for 
Musically Gifted Children. Abiha told Jay that her drumming had helped her with her concentration in school and made her improve in her work.

Headteacher Naveed Idrees explained his ambition from the beginning. He said, “What is the purpose of learning? Education should be fun. My view is exams are a by product of good quality teaching and learning which builds on the skill sets of the children, motivates and engages them.

“Rather than do more English and Maths the focus was on learning to learn skills, as well as engaging children and focusing on those skills that will allow them to become better learners.”