The Village School is a special needs school in Brent which caters to a wide range of learning needs and abilities. In 2016, the school received a £750 Small Grant from the Jack Petchey Foundation through the Leader Award scheme. The students and staff together decided to use the grant to buy new musical instruments for the school to help the students develop a range of skills including, memory, coordination, spatial intelligence and creativity.
The school have now started their own band which meets once a week and is very popular with the students. Since starting the band, they have performed at a variety of events including Brent’s anti-bullying conference, at Byron Court Primary School’s for ‘Disability Week’, and won a spot to play at the London regional Music for Youth Festival. The students love meeting others and playing music together and look forward to performing at future events.
The instruments have enriched the pupils' lives and education. It has been demonstrated that engaging with music is crucial for wider development and well-being. Children with severe learning difficulties and disabilities often find music motivating and helpful in accessing the broader curriculum can also help them develop communication skills, understand feelings and enjoy social interaction.
Lori Heywood, a volunteer at the Village School said “Music is an essential ingredient in the multi-sensory learning environment which is vital to meeting the special needs of our students. It enables them to grow and meet their true potential.”
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