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The Story Of Sparkyard
Sparkyard, our brand-new subscription service, is on its way! While we work on the last few bits before release in early 2022 (read on to learn how you can get early access!), we thought we’d tell you a little bit about how Sparkyard came to be – the ‘why’ behind Sparkyard. We know that Sparkyard is positively going to impact schools, teachers and children all around the UK – let us show you how!
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Sparkyard Is Coming!
Over the next couple of months, we’ll be launching a brand-new subscription service called Sparkyard. We’re very excited to be able to share more information on what we’ve been working on over the past few years!
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Spotlight on: That's What I Call A Class Assembly! series
The That’s What I Call A Class Assembly! series for ages 5–11 has been specially designed for classroom teachers as a teaching aid to support, consolidate and reinforce learning in key topics. These books really do bring the curriculum to life! Through listening to and learning the catchy, fact-based songs, children will find it easy to retain and recall information. Each book comes with a short script for the children to really immerse themselves in the topic and showcase to the school as a class assembly or mini-musical. Furthermore, with four pages of cross-curricular ideas, the learning potential around the topic is really extended.
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Has arts education ever been more important?
Close your eyes for a moment and think about a favourite piece of music – that one song that really does it for you. Perhaps it’s an Adele hit, or a bit of Coldplay, a Justin Bieber track or a snatch of Mozart or Mahler? Whatever your answer, I’m willing to bet that you weren’t struggling to come up with a single piece you could choose. Odds are that you have a ton of music you like listening to, and your favourite will change depending on your mood. What might be a perfect accompaniment for romantic night in is likely not to cut it if you’re heading for a roof-down blast to the beach on a hot summer’s day… So perfectly does music capture the essence of a time, place, experience or feeling that our lives can be catalogued by the music we’ve loved.
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Establishing Routines & Loving My Learning
Here at Out of the Ark we strongly believe singing is not just for the school hall or music lesson (though it’s great in these places too of course)! We are passionate about the power of singing, and embedding songs throughout the curriculum and in every classroom in the school. Some of you may be familiar with our Singing School Project. One of the key findings from this report was that ‘integrating music right across the curriculum can result in improvement in almost all learning areas’.
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Ideas For Using Universal Access During Lockdown
We know what a difficult time this is for everyone and want to do all we can to support schools, teachers and children during this lockdown. Singing, even from home, can help everyone feel connected to their school community. So, in light of the most recent government announcement, Universal Access to our entire songbank* catalogue for a whole year is now available to purchase until the end of February 2021. Universal Access is an online solution to music teaching, allowing you to continue to sing with your children over lockdown. With a licence that allows you to display the songs and resources over your chosen digital platform, and access to over 900 songs and more than 300 activities, you can continue to sing.
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Our #candomusic Recovery Curriculum
Our understanding of the risks associated with singing in relation to COVID-19 is growing all the time. It seems likely that the singing landscape in schools will look very different. While some schools will feel comfortable singing in ‘bubbles’ or outside for example, others may not have the facilities necessary to sing as regularly as they might like. The great news is that your favourite songs (as well as many you have yet to discover) can be used to support your music and whole-school curriculums whether you are singing in your school or not. Our #candomusic Recovery Curriculum will show you how.
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6 Top Primary School ideas For Learning About Insects
What a beautiful world we live in and what amazing creatures we share it with! Although the fauna of a region includes the birds, fish and mammals that live there, for the purposes of this blog, we’re going to start small and enter… Bug World! There is no shortage of interesting specimens to investigate – so grab a magnifying glass and a transparent receptacle if you have them; if not, a keen pair of eyes and a big dollop of curiosity will do! OK, let’s get going…
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Six Top Primary School Ideas About Plants And Flowers
Flora and fauna might sound like the latest double act (think Ant and Dec), but they are in fact two amazing aspects of nature. Flora is the general term for plants and flowers and fauna for animals. Here are some ideas to challenge children to find out more about flora!
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Top Five Ideas For Children To Celebrate Siblings
Why not make today the day where all of the children in your household celebrate one another, enjoy the things they have in common and appreciate the differences between them. We've created some ideas around the theme of siblings for you to try at home. Note, the children may need some adult support, but encourage them to help each other as much as possible.
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Five Top Ideas For 'Thank A Teacher Day'
It’s usually towards the end of the summer term that all the ‘Best Teacher’ cards and mugs start appearing in the shops. However, as everything is so topsy-turvy right now, why not sneak up on your teachers and surprise them with a great big THANK YOU! this week? You might not be able to present them with a mug, but you will certainly raise a smile (and perhaps a tear or two) if you get your children to take up any suggestions in our blog.
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12 Top Ideas For Fun With Scrabble Letters
It’s amazing how much fun you can have with Scrabble letters at home with the entire family. If you don’t have a version of the actual board game, there are plenty of online versions you could try. You can also find lots of classroom ideas and downloadable resources that could be easily adapted to playing at home. Here are 12 of our top ideas linked to Scrabble that you might enjoy trying out.
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Talk Like William Shakespeare!
When we put our heads together to come up with some fun things to keep everyone entertained, educated and happy at home, we realized that April is a very special month– it happens to be the birth month of William Shakespeare! He was born on the 23rd April in 1564, so we thought it might be fun for children to try to ‘talk like Shakespeare’. Let’s start with a rousing chorus of: ‘Happy birthday to thee, Happy birthday to thee, Happy birthday dear William, Happy birthday to thee!’
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Top 5 tips for learning about FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE - LIGHT BRINGER
In these difficult times, ‘light’ moments are so important. Like hearing the news of Captain Tom’s amazing fundraising for the NHS or watching videos of families dancing together in lockdown. So, what an appropriate time to remember Florence Nightingale in her bicentenary year, a true ‘light bringer’ who revolutionized the way hospitals and the nursing profession were run, and established the first nursing school in the world at St Thomas’ in London. She enlightened society about the importance of cleanliness and nutrition and brought light, literally, to the soldiers in her care by checking up on them, even at night, walking around with her lamp, which is how she came to be known as ‘the lady with the lamp’.
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Six Fun Ideas for you to try on World Health Day
Well, what better time to be talking about world health than right now? In the current circumstances, it is easy to feel that everything is out of our control, so it seems like a good time to be planning what we can do when we are free to move about again and to be thinking about the changes we would like to make, so that in the future our world can be a healthier place. Here are some ideas around the theme of World Health Day for you to try at home.
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The Singing Schools’ Research Project: A Teacher's Experience - Part 2
In 2017, in collaboration with Professor Susan Hallam MBE and the Milton Keynes and Sheffield Music Hubs, Out of the Ark Music 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. They wanted to measure the impact that fully integrating singing into the school curriculum could have on a range of measures. In part two of our blogs, Laura Dolan talks to us about how the children in her class benefited from different songs.
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The Singing Schools' Research Project: A Teacher's Experience - Part 1
In 2017, in collaboration with Professor Susan Hallam MBE and the Milton Keynes and Sheffield Music Hubs, Out of the Ark Music 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. They wanted to measure the impact that fully integrating singing into the school curriculum could have on a range of measures. Laura Dolan, a class teacher who was involved in the project, talks to us about how it impacted her teaching and her school.
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10 Reasons Why Singing Should Be Part of Every Primary Classroom - A Guest Blog By John Dabell
Schools that value and prioritise music have a School Music Education Plan that ensures that they are delivering a Music Curriculum in which pupils have the opportunity to learn to play an instrument, sing regularly, to perform and hear live music, and to work with professional musicians. Singing costs nothing, it’s easy to set in motion and it oxygenates a school like nothing else. If a school ain’t singing, then it ain’t swinging so here are ten good reasons why singing should be ringing in every classroom.
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Top 15 Reasons Why Singing Is Important For Child Development - A Guest Blog By John Dabell
Singing is a foundational musical skill and one of the most natural ways for children to engage in making music and central to the development of musicianship. It can make children’s brains light up like a Christmas tree and it’s something they should be doing every day of the week because it’s good for their development on so many levels. Research has shown that music-making improves a myriad of cognitive and non-cognitive skills and the variety of skills needed for singing help develop the whole child. John Dabell discusses 15 ways singing can help with child development.
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Sing Your Heart Out - Why Singing Is Good For Pupil Well-Being: A Guest Blog By John Dabell
The contribution of music and other expressive arts activities in promoting the well-being and health of the school community is enormous. Singing is one of the most accessible forms of music-making and there is something rather special about how it can feed our minds, bodies and souls. It really does makes us feel well.
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Top Classroom And Assembly Ideas For Remembrance Day
This Remembrance Day, 11th November, many schools across the country will be paying their 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. To make it easier, 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.
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A Guide To Kickstarting Music In Your Primary School
With the new school year in sight, it's the perfect time to introduce the power of music and singing to your school. This blog post will provide you with simple, acheivable ideas to introduce the benefits of bringing more music to your primary school curriculum.
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What We Can Learn From Space Exploration & Apply To Everyday Learning
Space is a brilliant topic, not simply because young children get to learn about “cool stuff”, but because it teaches children so much more about life and the world around and beyond them. So, when you’re next exploring “infinity and beyond” in your classroom, try and relate what your children learn about space to something that could influence their personal lives. To help, here are three concepts that we have interpreted from space exploration and applied to them to everyday living and learning.
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Top 5 Songs About The Environment
World Environment Day is celebrated on 5 June every year and, as the UK Parliament declares a climate change emergency, you may be wondering what more you can do to make a difference. It’s true that small actions by individuals can have a big impact. To make a start in your classroom, we’ve chosen five of our top songs about the environment and compiled a list of five lesson ideas for you to save (the planet) through song.
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Ten Teaching Ideas About The Victorians
Did you know that 24th May 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria's birth? Did you also know that her first name was not Victoria? And did you know that Queen Victoria was barely five feet tall? We've selected some of our favourite teaching tips about the Victorians and listed them for you to explore. We've even highlighted how you can develop these ideas further if you want to.
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How To Wake Up Your Brain & Feel Ready To Learn!
We have all experienced mornings that just don’t start as well as others and in a class of about 15-30 children, all experiencing different mornings, there are bound to be some who are having a much slower start to their day than others. With this in mind, I’ve compiled some top tips to help you make the most of your morning routine so that you and the whole class start the day on the same note - a musical one preferably. So grab your glasses, if you need them, have a read, take some notes and start taking some steps towards better mornings with my very own How To Wake Up Guide.
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Share-A-Story Month: What A Story Means To You
Here at Out of the Ark Music, we love telling a story (no surprises there!) Looking through our collection of fantastic musicals, brilliant Song and Story books, playful nativities, not to mention many of our amazing songs, it's safe to say that we're very partial to some story time. In celebration of National Share-A-Story Month this May, we asked some of our staff to share what stories mean to them and which ones have stuck with them all these years.
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Five Literacy Lessons About Frogs!
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!
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The Singing School Project: Music Education Research Study
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!
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6 Songs And Activities About Bugs
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!
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Out of the Ark Music Asks: An Interview With Mary Green & Julie Stanley, Writers Of Class Assembly: Maths
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.
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A Guide To Celebrating Women's Month In The Classroom
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.
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6 Lessons About The Chinese New Year
We're halfway through January 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, 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!
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10 New Year Traditions From Around The World
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.
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A Guide To Singing Your Way To A Fabulous Phonics Lesson
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.
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Top 10 Children's Songs For Literacy
Happy World Book Day! This global event is now in its 21st year and is designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading.
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The Links Between Maths And Music
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!
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