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    Music is NOT off the Joyce Frankland Curriculum

    Posted On: 03/07/17



    You may have seen or heard in the local press recently that the delivery of music across the academy is changing next year. To clarify matters, we are releasing the following statement to the press: 

    “Music is NOT off the Joyce Frankland Curriculum” says Headteacher

    Much has been made in recent months about the predicament that schools and academies face in ever restricting financial circumstances. Many of you have written to our local MP to help the campaign to raise the overall funding for schools and this is much appreciated by all the area Headteachers. What is important to note is that whilst the campaign has been successful in raising awareness and, perhaps, pressure, not a single extra penny has been added to schools’ budgets for next year to address the 8% drop in funding that Heads claim is affecting their schools.

    Many of you have asked to know what this means in real terms so last week Joyce Frankland Academy, Newport gave an example. When one of their two music teachers chose to take a wonderful opportunity to work abroad they made the difficult decision not to replace him. It was then widely reported that the Academy had removed music from the curriculum but the school are adamant this is not the case. In a recent email to parents, JFAN stated:

    “From September, music in Years 7 and 8 will be taught in a series of drop down days throughout the year. During the course of these days students will cover the current music curriculum. The intention is that we will set these sessions based on musical experience and aptitude to ensure that the curriculum meets their needs and provides the appropriate amount of challenge for all students.

    Our intention is that we will deliver these sessions in an innovative way and we have already lined up some guest musicians to deliver some of the sessions. We will also be able to do some off site teaching in specialist facilities like music studios, theatres and concert halls.”

    This represents a move away from the traditional music lessons many of us remember from school where students of all aptitudes and abilities are in one group. The Academy is confident that by taking this approach they will better challenge their students in music and that the work covered will be better differentiated to meet all student needs. They have also reassured parents and students that extra curricular music , peripatetic lessons and GCSE music lessons will continue.

    When asked about the decision Principal, Gordon Farquhar said:

    “Being a small school and knowing every student is something that we are immensely proud of at JFAN. Therefore we have had to look at this difficult choice in a way that ensures students can still access such a key part of school life.  It is regrettable that when a teacher takes a new opportunity we have to consider the most cost effective way of replacing them. In this instance I am confident that what we have put in place will allow our young people to flourish and hopefully experience music in new and exciting ways.”

    It is clear that music will be different at the Academy next year, it remains to be seen how effective this ‘innovative’ approach will be. What is true is that JFAN is confident about the music provision and has already extended an invite to local journalists and the BBC to visit one of the sessions.