When we think inner city schools we usually think New York, Chicago, and other major cities. West Yorkshire isn’t normally on our North American radar as an area that we would list in that group. Feversham School is in Bradford Moor and according to the head teacher the school was suffering from low staff morale, unhappy students and poor academic results. The community outside the school gates is one of the city’s poorest and most densely populated neighbourhoods. Most students don’t speak English as a first language and thirty languages are spoken at the school.
A more traditional approach would have been to pile on additional math and English classes supplemented by “booster” classes. Instead of just looking for results the school wanted to rebuild staff morale and get the kids enjoying learning.
They achieved their goal by adding six hours of music per week per student and the turnaround has been amazing. The article goes on to detail the improvement in academic achievement, the school is in the top 10% nationally for pupil progress in reading writing and maths, and boasts a 98% attendance rate.
Better scores all around and a happier more productive atmosphere - music for the win!