The government has set core roles for hubs to ensure national consistency and equality of opportunity. One of them is to develop a singing strategy to ensure that every pupil sings regularly and that choirs and other vocal ensembles are available in the area.

In Dorset the singing strategy funding is distributed via clusters of schools where they work together to access innovative providers to take singing in their schools to the next level. The strategy guides the development of this project.

The Singing Strategy 2018 to 2019

  1. Overview and introduction.
  2. Singing strategy pyramid planning guidance.
  3. Funding available to pyramids.
  4. Planning form.
  5. Skills development.
  6. Progression routes for young singers.
  7. Freelance delivery partners.
  8. Case studies.
  9. Evaluation form.

The national plan for music education

We invite school pyramids as Hub partners to take ownership of delivering core role d. We ask that you join together to strengthen the outcomes from the limited resources for the development of singing that is appropriate for your pupils in your area.

The core roles are:

  • role A - ensure that every child aged 5 to 18 has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument (other than voice) through whole-class ensemble teaching programmes for ideally a year (but for a minimum of a term) of weekly tuition on the same instrument
  • role B - provide opportunities to play in ensembles and to perform from an early stage
  • role C -  ensure that clear progression routes are available and affordable to all young people
  • role D - develop a singing strategy to ensure that every pupil sings regularly and that choirs and other vocal ensembles are available in the area

Singing strategy pyramid planning guidance

After reviewing this information, we ask schools to consider the development of singing across their pyramid/partnership for 2018 to 2019.


  1. Attend one of the Singing Strategy Network meetings held by us - find out when they are by contacting us.
  2. Pyramids should agree a lead school to act as main contact for their singing strategy provision and a main person for communication.
  3. Meet with all schools involved and develop and agree on singing strategy priorities, identifying priorities for 2018 to 2019.
  4. Seek providers to support the delivery of the provision either from the partners identified in this document or from other trusted providers known to schools.
  5. Assign allocated funding to singing strategy delivery sessions, workshops and events.
  6. Send planning to us by November for approval and await confirmation ( please use our planning form as a template).
  7. Contact providers and organise delivery.
  8. Payment - schools will be required to pay for the delivery of the work direct to providers and then send an invoice with a copy of the providers invoice to us so we can transfer funding over to the school that made the payment.
  9. Any publicity must use the Dorset Music Service logo and the Arts Council logo. If just text then it is must say, “This event was funded by the Dorset Music Education Hub led by the Dorset Music Service”.
  10. Complete the evaluation form and send it to us.

Your singing strategy must:

  • take place this academic year
  • improve the provision of singing for a cluster of schools focusing on a specific area of development
  • allocate funding to the delivery of singing provision either directly or indirectly
  • leave a legacy for improved singing provision through CPD or through opportunities developed out of the strategy delivery

Your singing strategy must not fund:

  • singing work already taking place in schools
  • broader arts activities that are not deemed musical e.g. crafts or t-shirts


Arts Council Funding has been set aside for the delivery of Core Role D from the National Plan for music education.

“Develop a singing strategy to ensure that every pupil sings regularly and that choirs and other vocal ensembles are available in the area.”

The amounts have been calculated per pupil population but by request this can be broken down into smaller clusters of schools.

Funding by pyramid
Group Student population 2018 Pyramid fund 
Beaminster pyramid 1368  970 
Blandford pyramid 2705  1990 
Bridport pyramid  2000 1400 
Christchurch (Twynham) pyramid 1977  1400 
Christchurch (Highcliffe) pyramid 5235  3700 
Corfe Hills pyramid 1087  750 
Dorchester pyramid 6204  4400 
Ferndown pyramid 2993  2100 
Gillingham pyramid 3083  2200 
Lyme Regis pyramid 1467  100 
Lytchett Minster pyramid 3008  2100 
Portland pyramid 1276  900 
Purbeck pyramid 3107  2200 
Shaftesbury pyramid 2016  1400 
Sherborne pyramid 2859  2000 
Sturminster Newton pyramid 1294  900 
Verwood pyramid 1258 900 
Wimborne pyramid 4979  3500 
Weymouth pyramid 7791  5500 
Special schools pyramid 652  1500 
Learning centres pyramid 48  500 

Planning form for singing strategy 2018 to 2019

Use our planning form as a template and send it to us by November for approval and await confirmation.

Singing skills development

From ‘Music Curriculum Guidance and Support’ published by Dorset Music Service June 2015


National Curriculum/ EYFS requirements: Pupils sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them.

Skill development - children can:

  • sing familiar chants and rhymes in unison. E.g. nursery rhymes, action songs, greetings/farewell songs, songs with repeated sections, cumulative songs, story songs and game songs
  • use spoken and sung voices

Key stage 1

National Curriculum/ EYFS requirements: Pupils should be taught to use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes.

Skill development - children can:

  • sing songs with greater accuracy from low C to A as a guide
  • sing with attention to dynamics
  • extend their range of notes from C to C’ as a guide
  • sing songs with an accompaniment
  • sing simple partner songs (layering)
  • sing simple rounds
  • sing with attention to phrasing and breather appropriately
  • use their voice to explore improvisation with guidance for example: set notes
  • follow a leader when singing

Key stage 2

National Curriculum/ EYFS requirements: Pupils should be taught to play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression.

Skill development - children can:

  • sing songs with greater accuracy from low A to C’ as a guide
  • sing songs with greater accuracy from low A to D’ as a guide
  • sing songs in simple 2-part harmony
  • sing songs with greater accuracy from low A to E’ as a guide
  • sing songs unaccompanied and in tune
  • use voice to compose melodies and explore effects for example: beat boxing
  • song songs with attention to phrasing, breathing and clear diction
  • perform songs with attention to musical directions for example:
    • tempo
    • dynamics
    • phrasing
    • articulation

Key stage 3

National Curriculum/ EYFS requirements: Pupils should be taught to develop their vocal fluency, accuracy and expressiveness, and understand musical structures, styles, genres and traditions, identifying the expressive use of musical dimensions.

Skill development - children can:

  • sing songs with accuracy
  • sing songs with two-part harmony
  • sing songs, accompanied, unaccompanied and correct in tempo and pitch
  • perform songs, with attention to phrasing, breathing and clear diction
  • perform with understanding of musical directions e.g. dynamics, articulation, expression, tone
  • sing own part in a group, with an understanding of pattern and layers
  • use voice to compose melodic phrases and lyrics to build songs



  • sing in class and assembly
  • have access to a choir
  • perform regularly in a range of settings



Progression for young singers

Dorset choirs include:

National Youth Choir of Great Britain (NYCGB)

NYCGB comprises 8 constituent choirs for young people from primary school age to those leaving University. Collectively, we aim to be the most inspirational and innovative organisation for young singers in the UK, discovering and nurturing exceptional musical talent, providing unrivalled performance opportunities and world-class musical and leadership training to the widest possible range of young people in society, creating the next generation of music-lovers and choral enthusiasts who will in turn guarantee the continuing excellence and variety of the UK's vibrant and diverse choral tradition.

Music festivals and competitions

There are a number of music festivals across Dorset where students could showcase their talent and a number of national competitions/opportunities:

Check Twitter @servicedorset and the Hub Newsletter for other opportunities.

Freelance delivery partners

We support the work of many partners delivering music provision across and beyond Dorset. Schools in Dorset also engage with a wide range of providers who we hope they will recommend to one another. Below are the details of providers that have agreed to offer their service to help clusters of schools deliver their vision for a singing strategy. Please provide contact details of other providers that Dorset Music Service can share with schools.

Freelance delivery partners
 Contact information  Singing strategy back catalogue
Liz Radford
Phone: 01202 840205
2017 to 2018: Purbeck, Dorchester, Ferndown, Wimborne
2016 to 2017: Wimborne, Verwood, Ferndown
2015 to 2016: Wimborne
B Sharp
Managing Director: Fran Williams
Mobile: 07968 177 663
2017 to 2018: Lyme Regis
2015 to 2016: Lyme Regis

Cathy Murray
Phone: 01202 882098

2017 to 2018: Gillingham
2016 to 2017: Gillingham, Wimborne
2015 to 2016: Wimborne, Special Schools
Root Academi
Phone: 07739 424947
2017 to 2018: Shaftesbury
2016 to 2017: Corfe Hills, Shaftesbury
2015 to 2016: Purbeck, Shaftesbury
Dorchester Performance Arts
Franz Atkinson
Phone: 01305 260383 / 07929 453960 
2017 to 2018: Sherborne Cluster
2015 to 2016: Beaminster Pyramid
Ukulele Project
Office Hours: 0208 1337940
Mobile: 07785 575468
2016 to 2017: Special Schools
2014 to 2015: Shaftesbury
Darren Bartlett
Vocal Workshop
Phone: 07719 874424
Dynamix Children's Choir Facebook page
Music will include Musical Theatre, Disney Songs and Classic Pop. Suitable age range approx 6-12years.
 The Voices Foundation
Phone: 0207 520 1430
 The Voices Foundation is an award-winning national charity whose mission is to improve musical, educational and personal outcomes for children and young people aged 0-18 through singing.

Singing strategy projects for 2017 to 2018

Please see the variety of ways the funding has supported singing in schools across the county:

Pyramid Priorities Singing activity Delivered by

To give students the opportunity to perform confidently in a range of solo and ensemble contexts.

A choral festival featuring individual schools and whole pyramid performances.

Nick Harris 

Andy Smith


To develop part singing across the cluster relevant to age and ability. Singing challenging musical theatre repertoire.

All schools to learn new songs with singing professional in preparation for performing with others. A day of rehearsals and an evening performance at Weymouth Pavilion. Martine Burt

To develop singing across schools with a regular large-scale performance. To focus on Years 4 -8 and transition.

A 30 minute weekly singing session with Year four and eight students at each school, leading up to the concerts in The Priory Church Use of two singing specialists to share the schools

To promote singing in Reception, Year 1 and 2.

To perform together and build a singing hub across Christchurch.

Singing workshops in every school to prepare for a showcase of schools singing individually and together. Sharing of resources and musical collaboration and teacher CPD.

Use of two singing specialists to share the schools
Corfe Hills To introduce students to the style of gospel singing. To perform with a live band and record on CD. Vocal workshops at Lockyer's Middle School during the summer term for Year fours from the main feeder schools, including pupils from Lockyer's (around 50 in total) with a final concert to parents Root Academy

To engage more boys in singing through the genre of rock music, encouraging better performance skills.

To increase access for KS1 students and teachers to singing specialists to improve singing across Dorchester First schools.

Middle schools will engage in rock band workshops with a focus on boy's participation, performance and music making. Cumulating with a Battle of the Bands.

Music specialists will regularly visit First schools to lead singing sessions in KS1 and Yr 4 students to develop annual concert repertoire.

Investment in the development of choirs including a new pop choir.

Steve Wilson

Jane Joy

Hanna Trevorrow

Liz Radford


To promote whole school singing and composing working with professional musicians to leave a musical legacy.

Schools will compose a school song with a visiting music specialist.

Cathy Murray


To mount a combined pyramid choir performance.

To provide support to enable all schools to run a weekly choir.

Weekly rehearsals run by a combination of teachers and external providers. A workshop rehearsal in each school and a final performance at Lytchett Minster School. Brittany Soriano
Shaftesbury To enable children to improvise and compose songs through inspirational input from professional musicians. The children will work with a singer song writer to compose and perform their own song. Regularly weekly sessions will lead to a final performance. Children will learn to play basic chords, melodies and rhythms. Beth Goudie

To encourage primary age boys to sing and all children to develop an ability to sing in harmony.

To provide students with a stylistic knowledge and awareness of musical theatre.

Musical theatre regular workshop sessions for all involved to learn the songs and associated dance moves! Joint primary schools concert of Oliver songs performed with a small secondary school band made up of The Gryphon 6thForm student. Alistair Dean

Nat Wilsher


To learn about song composition and work alongside a professional composer to create a school song.

A day of collaborative working by all children in each school to create a school song which reflects the school's values and unique character. Liz Radford
Special Schools To develop confidence when singing and performing as a combined choir with a samba band. Singing opportunities will involve students working together as a combined choir learning new songs and chants themes around the 2018 World Cup. Ralph Cree

Glyn Bush


To sing in two/three-part harmony.

To create a sense of pride and enjoyment through a pyramid performance, raising the profile of singing.

Coaching of KS2 choirs at each participating school cumulating with a pyramid performance to parents and the community. Kathie Prince

To learn to listen when singing and promote confidence in singing harmonies.

Schools will participate in workshops on listening skills and part singing. Students and teachers will learn new songs that will be recorded on to CD for use in schools beyond the project. Liz Radford
Sturminster Newton

To develop confidence and skills of teachers to lead singing.

To create pride and enjoyment in performance.

To foster the love of singing and music-making.

The schools involved will work with singing professionals to compose a song for the pyramid on the theme: A Song for the World!

Helen Coombs

Jan Keen

Evaluation Form - Singing Strategy 2018 to 2019

Complete the evaluation form and send it to us

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