Whole Class Ensemble Tuition (WCET)
Whole Class Ensemble Tuition (WCET) provides children with the opportunity to learn a musical instrument during curriculum time, free of charge at the point of access for a full academic year.
The programme is designed with Y4 as the target age group, although we also offer tailored music programmes for all other year groups and continuation elements beyond the initial year of WCET.
Evidence has shown that not only is learning to play a musical instrument great fun, but can also lead to:
• Improved reading, vocabulary and language development
• Improved aural and visual memory
• More positive attitudes towards school and better attendance
• Increased self-confidence and aspirations
• Enhanced teamwork and collaborative skills
• Improved emotional and physical wellbeing
We believe that through the WCET programme we can encourage and develop the next generation of musicians, many of whom would not have considered taking up an instrument without this opportunity.
WCET lessons embrace multiple aspects of musical learning, which both support instrumental learning and enhance musical development. Aspects of musical learning may include; musically relevant warm-ups, exploring pitch, rhythm and pulse, listening and appraising, singing, notation, and technical and practical aspects appropriate to the chosen instrument.
Regular performance opportunities are an integral part of the programme and provide an opportunity for pupils to showcase their learning. Implicit in all programmes is the vision to build continuation beyond the first year – where all pupils can make an informed choice to decide if they wish to continue learning.
The WCET programme is a collaborative teaching model where Music Service tutors plan and deliver the sessions alongside class teachers. The class teacher’s active involvement has been well documented by Ofsted as a key ingredient in successful programmes and as such we find the coverage of PPA time an unsatisfactory way of delivering the programme.
Programmes run for a whole academic year. Once established it is intended that programmes become an integral part of the musical offer in school and continue to run year on year. Many of our programmes have been running in Wandsworth Schools for more than 10 years.
All WCET Programmes run over 30 weeks of the school year, which includes 29 teaching sessions and 1 music tutor CPD. We provide WCET instruments FREE of charge for as long as teaching is maintained, ensuring that each child has their own instrument.
WCET Festival – See Wandsworth Schools in action!
To ensure that the programmes run smoothly please help us and the music tutors with the following:
Lessons should take place in the school hall or dedicated music room where there is plenty of space. If this is not possible then desks and chairs must be rearranged in the classroom to create suitable space. An important aspect of the programme is establishing high expectations and high levels of musicianship where children can sit/ stand/ play with the correct posture and freedom of movement – it is therefore not appropriate for lessons to take place sat or standing at desks.
Please ensure that an interactive whiteboard to display notation and a CD player/ PA is available to play backing tracks.
Instruments are provided free of charge by the Music Service for the duration of the programme. Each child should be assigned a clearly labelled instrument in preparation for the 1st lesson, that will be theirs to use for the whole year. It is extremely important that schools keep a record of who has each instrument (instruments have serial numbers – please ask your music tutor if unsure)
To ensure that instruments are not damaged and cared for correctly they should not be given out to children until the first session with the music tutors. Generally we would not expect the instruments to go home for the first few weeks, until tutors are sure that children are able to use them safely and correctly.
If an instrument is damaged and not able to be played, please inform us as soon as possible so that a replacement instrument can be arranged. Please encourage all children to take home and practice their instruments and remind the class to bring instruments in each week for their lesson.
Clarinet and saxophone reeds: Schools are responsible for purchasing additional reeds and distributing them to children – your music tutors will inform you of appropriate sizes to buy.
Class teacher involvement
Your involvement has been well documented by Ofsted as a key ingredient in successful programmes. The sharing of skills and collaboration between class teachers and instrumental tutors makes for the most successful programmes and the best outcomes for the children. Please take an active role in every session, including learning the instrument alongside the children and supporting the instrumental tutors. Please be jointly responsible for and support instrumental tutors with class behaviour management, sharing any pre-established systems that are already in place in your school, such as reward systems.
Please throw yourself into it and enjoy it! Making mistakes can be half the fun- and it’s how we learn!
The very best programmes are those where there is open communication and a collaborative approach to delivery. Please make your music tutors aware of any practical issues or concerns or any children with particular needs. Tutor contact details have already been provided to schools – please let us know if you have not received them.
Please try to use some of the warm-up games/ songs and other activities in between sessions. If possible revise some of the instrumental work to reinforce the learning and aid progression (Each week try to take 1 point from the lesson to reinforce during regular class time – E.g. lesson 1 remind them to bring instruments and practice, lesson 4 try to recap a song you learnt, lesson 9 try to rehearse some of the concert pieces!)
Practice between lessons (at home or in school)
The most successful schemes are those where children are encouraged to practise, either at school or at home. We expect all children to be offered the opportunity to practise at home. You play a key role in communicating with parents and actively encouraging the children to take instruments home and practice. In cases where children are unable to practise at home, please try and make alternative arrangements such as a follow up session with class teacher or TA or find a practice space in school at lunch or break time.
Regular performances are central to learning a musical instrument and musical progression. It is expected that there will be a performance (in school, to parents and other children) during the last session of each term. This is a chance for children to showcase what they have learnt to the rest of the school and more importantly to their parents. Generally concerts will take place during your normal session time – please liaise with your music tutors to arrange a suitable date.
WCET in Lockdown – December 2020