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Strong Focus on music in Manchester

The Focus-Trust Music Festival brought together pupils from 15 academies to perform at the city's Sheridan Suite

Posted by Julian Owen | June 07, 2018 | School life

Children and staff from 15 academies within the Focus-Trust - a multi-academy trust based in the North West of England - have participated in a music festival designed to showcase the talents of their pupils and encourage further interest in the arts.

Led by the Head of Music at Thornhill Junior and Infant School, Peter Simons, the festival brought together children at the Sheridan Suite in Manchester.

Over 380 pupils performed songs, including 'I’m Still Standing' by Elton John, 'Hound Dog' by Elvis Presley and 'The Tide is High' by Blondie, with Thornhill’s Rock School acting as backing band.

The Rock School band also performed 'A Voice We All Share', written by Peter Simons, centring on the Trust's core values: fair, care, share and dare.

Music and creative subjects are high on the agenda for Thornhill, which incorporates both singing and instrument lessons into its curriculum, providing each pupil with at least one hour of music teaching each week.

Peter Simmons said: “As a music teacher it’s great to see children performing with such confidence, and many of the students at Thornhill who have excelled musically continue their musical interest way into secondary school. Some have even progressed to further education to continue their study of music.”

The Focus-Trust CEO, Helen Rowland, said: “Lost in the debate around SATs and performance tables is the importance of a child’s social, emotional and mental health development.

Here at Focus-Trust we believe that music and the arts can help children to develop a wide range of skills that will be useful to them in later life, notably collaboration, creativity, self-expression and control, which is why we encourage a broad and balanced curriculum in all of our academies.”


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