Five Literacy Lessons About Frogs!
Monday 22nd April 2019
Inspired by our most recent musical, Croak!, we’ve come up with five fantastic literacy lessons, and they’re all about frogs! Make use of these fun literacy activities in your classroom as you prepare for summer and your upcoming school musical. So, what are you waiting for? Hop to it!
The Singing School Project: Music Education Research Study
Wednesday 3rd April 2019
In 2017, in collaboration with Professor Susan Hallam MBE and the Milton Keynes and Sheffield Music Hubs, Out of the Ark Music conducted a major research project into the most effective ways of integrating music (and singing in particular) into the school curriculum. We worked with 24 primary schools, offering them simple training for all their staff alongside free, unlimited use of our entire catalogue of songs and all associated resources. As part of the project, we asked all schools to sing regularly together as a whole school community. Many chose to start their days with singing, and some ended the school day with a singing celebration. However they implemented their whole-school singing, all reported a positive impact on both children and staff. Our aim was to measure the impact that fully integrating singing into the school curriculum could have on a range of measures, including well-being, social inclusion, pupil and teacher confidence, as well as academic attainment across general subjects and the music curriculum. Some of the results surprised even us!
6 Songs And Activities About Bugs
Tuesday 19th March 2019
We’re simply buggin’ out over the official start of spring on Wednesday 20th March 2019. Just like an insect with six legs, we’ve selected six songs about bugs to get you buzzing for spring. This selection of songs is particularly great for Early Years, with catchy and easy-to-learn tracks specifically designed for younger voices. We’ve also created a few classroom resources for you to utilise as you and your students venture into the world of creepy crawlies!
5 Ways To Fundraise In Primary Schools
Thursday 7th March 2019
Put the FUN in fundraising this Red Nose Day with our top tips to fundraising in primary schools. There are so many ways you can raise money for Comic Relief and have a laugh at the same time. Along with your FREE school song and classroom activities which you can download here, host a whole variety of money-raising events using our ideas included as inspiration.
Top 5 Easter Songs
Monday 4th March 2019
It’s that time of year again when one moment you’re filling your tummy with some lovely pancakes on Tuesday; making a promise to give up something for Lent on Wednesday; and, before you know it, it’s Good Friday and Easter Sunday! This daily countdown can only mean one thing – Easter is coming, and you need to get your school assembly or church concert good to go! For this week’s blog, we’re keeping it short and sweet - just like a packet of mini eggs – and we’re sharing our 5 favourite Easter songs from our 5 favourite Easter songbooks. Read carefully as there are also some fun craft and dance activities to compliment these crackin’ tunes!
Out of the Ark Music Asks: An Interview With Mary Green & Julie Stanley, Writers Of Class Assembly: Maths
Thursday 28th February 2019
In the lead up to World Maths Day on Thursday 7th March 2019, we thought we would dive into the minds of Mary Green and Julie Stanley, writers of the wonderful That’s What I Call A Class Assembly Series including brand-new Class Assembly: Maths which is the ideal resource to help support maths learning for ages 5-7. Packed with a fun script and 4 easy-to-learn songs that reinforce core maths topics, including counting in twos, fives, tens & hundreds, estimation and measurement, number bonds to 10, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Perfect for a class assembly or fun classroom learning.
How To Make Pancakes – And A Party!
Monday 25th February 2019
Are you ready for some flipping good fun? Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday to use its official title, is fast approaching. It’s the only day of the year when pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner is acceptable. Not sure which topping to have? Not a problem - you’re allowed to try them all! Like all great traditions, there is a more serious side to this festive feast day, which means there are lots of ways to celebrate and explore why we love pancakes in the classroom.
A Guide To Celebrating Women's Month In The Classroom
Wednesday 20th February 2019
King Henry III, Christopher Columbus and William Shakespeare are the names of just a few men who have helped shape the world today. In more recent years, the world has come to acknowledge that beside these great men stood a variety of wonderful women who contributed just as much to shaping life as we know it. Every March marks a month of celebration for womankind. It is globally recognised as Women’s History Month, with 8th March considered International Women’s Day. Using our recommendations below, why not highlight a few famous women in some of your key curriculum lessons - including science, literacy, art, music and, of course, history - throughout March.
Out of the Ark Music Asks: An Interview With Ann Beresford, Writer of The Tale Of 3 Trees
Tuesday 12th February 2019
As part of our campaign to give our customers a greater insight into what happens at Out of the Ark Music, we thought you’d like to hear a little more about the creation of our first Easter musical for 7-11 year olds, The Tale Of 3 Trees by Ann Beresford. The Tale Of 3 Trees is a mini-musical with a big heart, perfect as a primary school musical. Full of hope and encouragement, this beautiful traditional folktale is retold with a simple script and four stunning school songs that are full of the expectation, disappointment and ultimate joy at the end of the story. With great Easter songs and the climax focusing on the death and resurrection of Jesus, this mini-musical is perfect for Easter, but also suitable for year-round performances.
5 Valentine's Day Songs For The Classroom
Monday 4th February 2019
Valentine's Day is celebrated annually on the 14th February. To help “put a little love in your” school, we’ve put together a list of amazing school songs along with some fantastic classroom ideas and discussion points to mark the age-old tradition of St Valentine. We know it can be a tricky one to teach (with giggles often getting in the way) but with so much room to touch on themes of friendship, compassion, caring and much more, it’s a must for any classroom teacher.
6 Lessons About The Chinese New Year
Monday 28th January 2019
2019 started a couple of weeks ago, but for some cultures, their New Year celebrations are yet to start! We love learning about different cultures and traditions and we think you probably do too. So, with the Chinese New Year fast approaching on Tuesday 5th February 2019, we thought we would offer you some helpful hints to fill your week with some fun Chinese themed lesson plans! The Chinese New Year is a festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. It is also known as the Spring Festival and is one of several Lunar New Years in Asia. Here are 6 lesson ideas about the Chinese New Year, just for you. And, as always, don’t forget to end the week with some school assembly songs too!
A Guide To Setting Up A Choir
Thursday 24th January 2019
Starting a choir from scratch might seem like a daunting task, but it isn’t as difficult as you might fear. Like any other project, a little planning can go a long way. Whether you’re setting up a school choir to meet curriculum criteria or simply starting a choir because you and a few others love to sing, we’ve compiled a list of 10 tips to help you get on your way.
A Guide To Kick-Starting Music In Your Primary School
Wednesday 16th January 2019
This blog post will provide you with simple, achievable ideas to introduce more music in your primary school curriculum. Schools are being asked to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, but how can this be achieved? You have a limited budget, perhaps no specialist music teacher and, in some cases, no real inclination from staff to make music and the arts a priority – this could be due to their lack of confidence, limited interest from senior management, or the fact that there are simply too many other priorities!
10 New Year Traditions From Around The World
Wednesday 2nd January 2019
New year celebrations are awash with great traditions, whether you're singing Auld Lang Syne on the stroke of midnight, making new year resolutions or simply gazing at the fireworks out of your bedroom window. We’ve decided to take a quick look at some of the weirder and wackier new year celebratory customs from around the globe. From the superstitious to the more off the wall. Exploring these traditions in the classroom could be a great way of getting your children to embrace other cultures and beliefs from around the world.
The 12 Tips Of Christmas
Wednesday 12th December 2018
At Out of the Ark Music, we empathise with you and the chaos Christmas has brought into your world yet again. So, to make things a little easier in the lead up to one of your biggest Christmas musicals yet, we’ve composed a list of top tips for putting on your Christmas play.
A Guide To Singing Your Way To A Fabulous Phonics Lesson
Monday 3rd December 2018
Although the phonics lesson is firmly rooted in our busy school timetable, you may not have considered the role that music can play in ensuring your class can spot a split vowel digraph from a mile away! Research shows active engagement in music has the potential to enrich learning in phonics and impacts positively on children’s reading skills as a whole. Therefore, we teamed up with Nikki Lewis, writer of The Inn-spectors and Christmas With The Aliens to map out the ways in which you can sing your way through a fabulous phonics lesson.
1 Poem and 11 Facts About Silent Night
Thursday 15th November 2018
“Silent night! Holy night! All is calm, all is bright” These are lyrics that everyone knows. They were the lyrics to one of your favourite Christmas school songs as a child. Maybe sang them in church growing up. Now, you’re probably planning to sing the same words again in the Christmas school assembly or school concert. Everyone knows the song – but does everyone know the facts about Silent Night?
A Guide To Putting On A Christmas Concert
Thursday 8th November 2018
Out of the Ark Music Christmas school assembly songs and songbooks have been delighting schools for many years. They are a fabulous opportunity to create your own Christmas concert to suit your needs, or indeed choose just a few of your favourites for a great school assembly or Christmas classroom sing-along. The scope for performance opportunities is wide, so we have created 3 playlist suggestions from our most popular Christmas songbooks packed with wonderful primary school songs and songs for younger years to give you an idea of how you may like to form your Christmas concert this year. The playlists are by no means exhaustive but give you a great place to start. So, grab a Santa hat, stand up straight, take a deep breath and get ready to put on the greatest concert of the year!
Top Classroom And Assembly Ideas For Remembrance Day
Friday 26th October 2018
This Remembrance Day, to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, pay your respects with a remembrance school assembly or service, or special classroom activity. Helping kids understand the significance and importance of Remembrance Day can be difficult. That’s why we have composed a list of ideas on how you can teach children about the reason why the nation holds two minutes of silence on the 11th hour of the 11th month every year.
Out of the Ark Music Asks: An Interview With Sue Langwade, Co-Writer of Bah Humbug!
Wednesday 24th October 2018
We often get asked about our team of writers, so we thought we’d give you a little insight into the creation of one of our new Christmas Musicals, Bah Humbug! In a fun adapted version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, we start the show on Christmas Eve, and what a night it proves to be for the miserable, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who finds himself visited by some rather unexpected characters!
Fun Facts About Bonfire Night
Monday 22nd October 2018
As Bonfire Night approaches, we thought you may like some fun facts about Guy Fawkes to share amongst your students as a classroom activity. We all know Guy Fawkes as one of the conspirators in the (failed!) attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament on 5th November 1605, but did you know he used a fake name when he was arrested?
Out of the Ark Music Asks: An Interview With Nikki Lewis, Author Of The Inn-spectors
Wednesday 17th October 2018
We often get asked about our team of writers, so we thought we’d give you a little insight into the creation of one of our new-for-2018 nativities, The Inn-spectors for 4-8 year olds. With a simple script and some fabulous songs, this nativity follows a team of inn-spectors, sent into Bethlehem to check that all the accommodation is up to scratch, but they are not pleased.
Harvest Worship - Top Tips On Planning Your Harvest Festival Assembly
Friday 14th September 2018
Whether your school is planning a large harvest festival celebration in partnership with a local church, or simply a harvest assembly with a religious theme, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Top 5 Harvest Crafts For Your Primary School - A Guide To A Crafty Harvest
Friday 7th September 2018
It’s harvest time again and here at Out of the Ark Music, we’re finding even more reasons to celebrate the season. Our wonderful catalogue of autumn and harvest songs have inspired us to seek out fun and crafty activities for kids – perfect for the classroom! Have a go at singing along to some Out of the Ark Music songs whilst creating some DIY harvest crafts. Better still, why not host a harvest assembly and display these wonderful autumn crafts for all to see?
Top Ways To Celebrate Harvest In Your Primary School
Monday 3rd September 2018
The Harvest Festival is traditionally celebrated on the Sunday nearest the Harvest Moon, which this year is Sunday 23rd September 2018. But harvest isn’t just one day, it’s a season, and the message of thankfulness that harvest brings is relevant year-round. So, extend your school’s harvest festivities with these fabulous harvest celebration ideas for primary schools!
A Guide to Putting on a Primary School Leavers' Concert - From Sing Sensational
Wednesday 11th July 2018
At Out of the Ark Music we have some brilliant songs for your primary school concert! Follow numbers 1 to 10 below for the ultimate concert programme, or pick and choose to your hearts content. All the songs come from our fabulously popular songbook Sing™ Sensational, a spectacular collection of 19 flamboyant songs and warm-ups just right for an extravagant, energetic and exciting show-stopper of a performance!
Top Tips For Putting On A School Musical
Thursday 5th July 2018
Did you pick the short straw? Are you organising the next end of term musical? If so, you are going to need these top tips to ensure it’s a successful school play! You’ve probably been trawling websites and catalogues lying around the staff room but it all seems a little daunting – what songs to sing, is the script suitable, have we got some strong actors and singers this year? You’ve got a busy time ahead so, to help you with your plans, here are a few tips.
6 Ways To Celebrate Primary School Leavers
Monday 14th May 2018
Remember when they first arrived – the leg-clutching, the anxious faces and the tearful goodbyes? The first day at school can be a difficult one, for children, parents and teachers alike, but it doesn’t usually take too long for everyone to settle into the routine of daily life. Science classes, assemblies, collage-making and music lessons, nativity musicals and sports days; the school year has a rhythm all of its own.
Sunflower Growing Challenge and Interesting Sunflower Facts
Tuesday 24th April 2018
Is there anyone who hasn’t seen a print of Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’? The great painter produced two series of paintings inspired by these looming floral giants, and reproductions of his work have adorned the walls of primary schools, doctors’ surgeries, public buildings and homes for generations. Glowing golden and orange they capture the imaginations of children and adults alike, and anyone who has driven through those ‘holiday’ parts of France where ‘tournesols’ grow in happy serried rows can’t fail to have had their own heads turned in appreciation.
World Voice Day: 16th April 2018
Monday 9th April 2018
We use our voices all the time, telling stories, giving instructions and chatting with friends, and while some of us are more talkative than others, there's no doubting just how important our voices are. But have you ever wondered what happens when you sing?
Top Songs And Facts For Pancake Day
Wednesday 7th February 2018
It’s Pancake Day on 13th February and soon the nation will be cracking more than 52 million eggs to mix the batter for our favourite, flat, fun-filled, flip-flop food. Pancakes are found in almost every culture across the world, but here in the UK they were traditionally eaten to use up all the eggs and fat that wouldn’t last the 40 days of the Lenten fast.
Top 9 Songs You Need For Your Christmas Celebration
Friday 10th November 2017
Here we come a-Wassailing, a-Mumming and a-Carolling! We all love the best Christmas festive traditions – they offer us a chance to get together with families or friends and enjoy a time of celebration. Three of the older Christmas traditions have changed through the centuries but at the heart of each of them is a theme of the community coming together to celebrate and sing.
Top Tips For Putting On A Nativity
Thursday 2nd November 2017
It's that time of year again! There'll be a flurry of activity up and down the country as schools prepare for this year's nativity. From choosing a cast, learning the songs, rehearsing the lines, sending the invitations out, to searching the back of the cupboard for the baby Jesus doll, it's a busy time ahead. So, to help you with your preparations, here are a few top tips:
Top 5 Harvest Songs For Schools
Tuesday 19th September 2017
The moon continually waxes and wanes throughout the year, but full moons have traditionally been given some beautifully poetic names – Moon after Yule and the Wolf Moon happen in the first quarter of the year while Spring brings the Egg, Milk and Flower Moons, for example.
They're Bullooming Brilliant and Udderly Fantastic! It's Cow Appreciation Day
Monday 10th July 2017
You can’t venture far into the countryside without spotting them – mainly black and white, oddly often all pointing in the same direction (why do they do that?!) and constantly munching away at the grass. They are a familiar sight for sure, but how much do you really know about these beautiful, bountiful bovines?
Summer Song Picks: Sadie Cook
Monday 26th June 2017
It’s mid-June. The sun is shining, the sky is clear and there’s surely a song in everybody’s heart! As she climbs behind the wheel of her sky-blue Beetle for the drive into Out of the Ark Towers we ask Sadie Cook, Director of Publishing, what she’ll be listening to and why. It turns out she has very specific taste!
How Will You Be Celebrating International Music Day?
Monday 12th June 2017
The French have had their fair share of good ideas, haven’t they? Antibiotics, the oboe, little black dresses, the camera phone, cheese and wine… the list is endless! But in 1982 they had a brainwave, Fête de la Musique, or, as we know it, International Music Day. The idea was simple: a series of concerts and events, free to the public, to be held on 21 June (midsummer) each year.
Wanna Make Great Music? On Your Bike!
Monday 3rd April 2017
Serried ranks of violins, a phalanx of shiny brass, a row of straight woodwinds and a clamour of bangy, crashy instruments at the back. The spectacle of the classic symphony orchestra in all its glory! Or maybe you prefer rocking out with a couple of cool-looking guitars, a bass, amplifiers and keyboard, all driven by the all-in-one drum kit at the back.
Are You Having A Bubble?!
Monday 20th March 2017
Do you enjoy a chuckle or a snirtle, do you like nothing more than a good yock? Are you ever happier than when you’re creased up, rolling in the aisles, clutching your sides, guffawing like a drain? Or perhaps you’re more at home formally cachinnating?!
Monday 13th March 2017
Boiled, scrambled, poached, pickled, fried, or best of all (at least in my opinion) covered in hollandaise sauce, we certainly enjoy our eggs. In the UK alone we eat 34 million of them each day, and our love of these oval, shelled wonders has helped make the humble chicken one of the most populous land animals on planet Earth.
Who got rhythm? Ronan, the Californian sea lion! That's who!
Monday 13th February 2017
Do you sweep across the floor with all the grace of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, or are you more in step with the natural rhythm of Ann Widdecombe? Many people claim to have two left feet when it comes to dancing, and never mind a Hand Juggle Slingshot (yep, that really is a dance move), some of us approach anything more complicated than a drunken ‘Dancing Queen’ with more than a little trepidation!
Sing: Join A Choir
Sunday 29th January 2017
Question: what do boys, the National Health Service and a housing estate near Watford have in common? Answer: they have all been the subject of the fabulously successful BBC series The Choir where Gareth Malone puts together a choir of unlikely singers and transforms them into a successful singing ensemble, in the process often changing the lives of the participants forever.
My World: I Love Music
Monday 16th January 2017
Christmas seems like a distant memory. All the beautiful lights have been put away for another year, the sun is low in the sky and it’s dull, grey and cold outside. If your energy levels are lagging, let us help you light up your classroom, cast away the winter blues and bring some zing and fun to your January.
Christmas Quiz – The Answers!
Monday 9th January 2017
And so for the answers to our Christmas number 1s quiz. How did you do? The correct answers are highlighted in red, while blue indicates some great Christmas hits that either only made it to the number 2 slot or were never Christmas hits in the UK at all!
Win a bottle of bubbly & a fabulous resource for your school!
Monday 19th December 2016
Christmas is nearly here and it’s competition time at Out of the Ark! The titles of lots of UK Number One Christmas singles are hidden in the text of this week’s post (some are more difficult to spot than others, and some are downright sneaky!). Find as many as you can and you could win yourself a bottle of bubbly! You can also choose any Words on Screen™ single title for your school.
Q: What's green, covered in tinsel and goes croak?
Monday 12th December 2016
Crackers: an essential part of our Christmas celebrations – a novelty toy, a paper hat and, of course, a joke! Often more ‘oh no’ than ‘ho-ho-ho’, apparently one of the reasons that these terrible puns and riddles are so popular is precisely because they are so bad.
You absolutely need music in your life. Here's why...
Monday 5th December 2016
You may have seen this image floating around Facebook. It popped up on my feed recently and it got me thinking: how much does music really add to our lives? Maybe we wouldn’t miss it if it were gone…
Guest post – Mary & Julie's recipe for a great Nativity
Monday 14th November 2016
The School Nativity Play – such a memorable tradition! We have worked together for years as both teachers and writers and sometimes it feels as though Christmas extends from spring until autumn as we beaver away at creating a new nativity musical. Superstar is our latest addition to the Out of the Ark catalogue and we devised this plot to help children to understand that everyone has a chance to shine.
5 Essential Singing Warm-ups For Children
Monday 7th November 2016
Picture this. You’ve been dreaming of that perfect vacation for a while now – wistfully looking through catalogues, choosing a destination, planning excursions or checking the Waterstones ‘We recommend’ lists for some great holiday reads. The day has finally arrived: school’s been wrapped up, the suitcase is packed and the plane has boarded.
Can Listening To Music Make You More Intelligent?
Monday 24th October 2016
We all know that Mozart was a genius. He had written his first compositions by the age of five and by eight he had composed his first symphony, though his first opera had to wait until he was a stately eleven years old! He also kept a pet starling and taught it to sing the theme from his 17th piano concerto (although he was disappointed that it always got one note wrong!). But can it be possible that just listening to music written by the bird-educating boy wonder can make you more intelligent?
Do you ever wish you were a hedgehog?
Monday 17th October 2016
The start of autumn sees a flurry of activity in schools – a return to work for teachers and new year groups and classes for children. New faces and places, lessons to plan, outings and activities to organise… all this can come as a bit of a shock after the (hopefully) slower tempo of the summer holidays.
The Links Between Maths And Music
Monday 10th October 2016
The worlds of music and maths are miles apart, aren't they? After all maths is all to do with equations, 1s and 0s and logic; music on the other hand is all about feelings and emotional expression, a comforting, safe place where there are no rights and wrongs. Of course most of us know that, in reality, music and maths have much in common, but the connection goes way beyond shouting out ‘1,2,3,4’ before air-guitaring your way through Born In The USA, or whistling Can’t Buy Me Love while working out that you can’t afford the monthly payments for a car loan over 5 years at 25% APR!
This Is Me!
Monday 3rd October 2016
Over the last couple of weeks there’s been a fair amount of ooh-ing and ah-ing in the office over our fabulously colourful new product, THIS IS ME! It’s a product that is sure to become an indispensable assembly resource and an established favourite with schools and parents alike.
Do you have what it takes to be a conker conqueror?
Monday 26th September 2016
October sees the ripening of the nut of one of Britain’s best-loved trees, the horse chestnut – those shiny, mahogany-brown beauties nestled in their spiky, green protective cases; and there are few things more exciting than to prise a perfect conker from its jacket. After all, it could turn out to be a winner!
After Eights - there's always one more in the box
Monday 12th September 2016
A box full of empty wrappers. You’ve enjoyed the pepperminty chocolatey-ness and the time has come to chuck the packaging into the recycling. Still, more in hope than expectation, you take one last riffle through the papers and… YES! You find one more forgotten wafer-thin mint – and that little unexpected extra tastes so good!
Didaskaleinophobia – are you a sufferer?
Friday 2nd September 2016
Didaskaleinophobia is a fear of going to school and is thought to affect between 2% and 5% of school-age children. While it’s a pretty uncommon condition, there’s no doubt that those three little words – back to school – carry so many different meanings and varying emotions! The chance to see friends again, the excitement of new classes and activities, sharing tales of long summer holidays, new faces to welcome, lesson planning and marking, having to set an early alarm… we all have mixed feelings about that first day back.