Musical skills aired in song

8th February 2008 at 00:00

A new resource to help non- specialists teach music is to be launched next month by the people behind Jolly Phonics. Jolly Music uses the Kodaly system which teaches music through singing. It is based on the work of Zoltan Kodaly, a Hungarian composer and educationist born in 1882.

Chris Jolly, managing director of Jolly Learning, said: " Kodaly was a remarkable man. His philosophy and methodology have a devoted following around the world.

"Music is dependent on skill and ability. Our programme is multi-sensory and fun. But it also has a sense of progression: what is taught depends on what was taught before.

"Kodaly's philosophy was that it is wise to develop musical skills through singing rather than an instrument because the voice gives immediate feedback, is free, and the process of singing is engaging.

"We think we can make a huge difference in music teaching."

Jolly Music is a one-year programme for children aged 4 to 7. Through singing songs such as "Pussycat, Pussycat, where have you been?", children learn about pitch, speed and rhythm.

There is a handbook for pound;29.95, with 30 lesson plans, six CDs and a child assessment record. There is also a big book for pound;19.95, with five rhymes and 24 songs.


Primary Science

Puppets with an insatiable sense of curiosity are part of a new scheme to help teach primary science.

The Puppet Project, a three-year research scheme funded by the Nuffield Council, uses a set of 66cm-tall characters to encourage pupils to conduct independent investigationss. The puppets present scientific hypotheses and ask pupils to seek solutions.

The research revealed that, with puppets in the class, children would give fuller explanations, justifying their ideas. Similarly, teachers were more likely to encourage discussion when speaking through a puppet.

So far, 3,040 teachers have been trained, but the aim is to train a further 6,000 teachers soon.



Too few teachers are being trained to teach citizenship, said former education secretary David Blunkett. He called on Ed Balls, the Secretary of State, to give a minister in his Department for Children, Schools and Families specific responsibility for ensuring the success of the new subject.

Mr Blunkett told BBC Radio 4's Today that there are only 250 training places each year, not enough for 3,500 secondary schools.

A government spokesman said that it had funded the Association for Citizenship Teaching which provides professional development for teachers, and advice, training and support for schools.

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