Subject Areas

In Vicarage we teach other subjects alongside the core subjects of Maths and English. Please click on the links below to see what our children are doing in each subject area.

MathsLiteracyScienceREComputingGeographyHistoryDTArtModern Foreign LanguagesPSHEMusic

At Vicarage, our maths curriculum aims to prepare enthusiastic, life-long learners of Mathematics. We provide our children with rich opportunities to problem solve, reason and make links, using contextual examples. We also aim to create cross curricular links by applying our knowledge of Maths in other subject areas, for example: creating graphs and tables in Science, reading coordinates in Geography and calculating periods of time in Physical Education. We want to ensure that our pupils have a solid conceptual understanding of the fundamental of maths, so that they can use these as building blocks to make mathematical sense of the world around them.

Our teaching and learning of mathematics extends beyond the classroom: we provide interventions and boosters for children who struggle in maths; we also offer maths club for pupils who like to explore all aspects of maths, in a creative way; and we take part in interschool maths bees where our pupils compete against peers from neighbouring schools. This year, we will also be participating in the ‘National Youth Mathematics Awards’ contest.

At Vicarage, we support our pupils with lots of fun and engaging activities to take part in (in and out of school):

  • Our matheletics subscription allows pupils to improve their maths skills and also complete with other children around the world;
  • Times Table Challenge is something the children at Vicarage love. Pupils are tested regularly and are rewarded bronze, silver, gold, platinum or diamond badges.
  • Peer- Teaching is a new concept that we will be embedding. During lunch times, our year 6 children will be running ‘Maths Help’ sessions for our younger pupils of Vicarage. We hope this will further facilitate our reluctant mathematicians, through creating interest and making progress.


Useful Websites:

Mathletics – Your children have logins to access this webpage – Useful videos on teaching calculation strategies to your child. – Past KS1 And KS2 SATS paper

For Mastery help:

Please note some of these webpages need you to sign up. However the resources are free to access.


At Vicarage we teach Literacy in daily lessons across the school, with discrete phonics lessons being taught in the Foundation Stage and Year 1


In the Early Years and Year 1, we teach literacy using Read Write Inc. Phonics. This is a comprehensive literacy programme designed to help children learn to read and write quickly.  

Our school has been appointed as a Read Write Inc. Model School because of our excellent practice of the programme.

Literacy and Language

From Year 2 through to Year 6, Vicarage use a literacy programme called Literacy and Language. This builds on from EYFS and year 1 RML; it ensures continuity and consistency for children’s learning.

Literacy and Language is in line with the new national curriculum. It is designed to develop reading, writing and speaking. It is taught using fun and creative tasks to engage the pupils.  We incorporate drama opportunities to allow children to gain a deeper understanding of the text, to build rich vocabulary and to become articulate speakers.  The input, along with structured writing tasks, allows children to use their new ideas and vocabulary to create final written outcomes. The teaching of spelling and grammar is incorporated throughout the units.

Literacy programme

Year 6

Year 6 is an exciting and challenging time of year! Children sit the end of school SATS exams for reading, grammar and spellings.

Throughout the year, children consolidate their learning and master a range of writing techniques to create several writing pieces for their writing SATs.

For reading, they master inference skills and use the P.E.E model (make a point, use evidence and explain) to comprehend and answer complex questions.

SATS past papers


Children create a portfolio of extended independent writing. Each child has a “Progress in writing book” which contains a range of final, redrafted pieces of writing. This portfolio moves with them throughout school as they transition between each year group, and it ensures that skills are built upon year on year.

To promote the great writing that goes on at Vicarage, we subscribe to a children’s publishing website called Pobble. We upload and share our children’s fantastic writing. They can also view other children’s work to inspire them to become better writers!


Reading at Vicarage Primary School

Reading for pleasure

“Schools that take the business of reading for pleasure seriously, where teachers read, talk with enthusiasm and recommend books, and where provision for reading is planned carefully, are more likely to succeed with their pupils’ reading.” (Ofsted)

Reading for pleasure at Vicarage Primary School aims to establish each child as a lifetime reader based on developing a love of reading.  We ensure our children are given a rich curriculum which encourages reading of books and other kinds of texts. 

At Vicarage we aim to promote the concepts of reading for ‘fun’, ‘enjoyment’ and ‘pleasure’.

What Vicarage does to promote reading for pleasure:

  • We have age-related fiction and non-fiction within each class via the class book corner.
  • Through guided reading, we explore rich vocabulary and complete shared class reading to engage and give opportunities to discuss books as a class.
  • Daily storytime sessions are held throughout the school
  • Children have access to the school library during school time and after school.
  • Reading takes place both in and outside of the classroom and in and outside of the school. We have reading trolleys out every lunchtime!
  • The school encourages links with parents by ensuring every child has a Reading Journal’ that records all reading habits, signed by parents and monitored by class teachers.
  • Promote the love of reading by subscriptions to the online subscription My Book Blog
  • Authors come and run workshops to excite and engage our children on new books
  • In addition, we celebrate reading through themed days e.g. World Book Day and Reading Festivals!

Vicarage’s Library

Vicarage children are very fortunate to have their very own library, with a librarian-Janet Noble! The library is very well stocked with many different books as well as new releases. Every child has the opportunity to regularly visit the library with their class. We also run after school clubs twice a week, when children can visit with their parents and take out a book.

So next time you are in school, why not stop by the library and enjoy reading a book with your child?

Reading Festival at Vicarage

Vicarage recently held a Reading Festival in which a variety of storytellers, authors and theatre groups visited and worked with the children, including award winning author Chloe Inkpen. The children engaged in a range of reading and writing activities, including an exciting short story competition led by the poet and author, Paul Delaney! The writing, which was produced, was published into our first ever Vicarage Anthology. The children were also asked to complete a “Reading Quest” booklet where they had a series of missions to complete over the course of the project. They also read for fun at random times in the day, even the staff! 

Children enjoying story time with the author, Paul Delaney

Teachers stopping to reading anywhere!

Book launch at Vicarage!

Following on from our successful Reading Festival, Vicarage Primary School celebrated the London launch of author Paul Delaney’s new story “Norris Snoot.” Paul has been working with Vicarage over the year as part of the school’s work to encourage children to read more widely for pleasure. On Wednesday 21st June, Paul shared his illustrations and entertained the children with excerpts from his new book. He led three assemblies over the morning; the children and staff were thrilled to be one of the first in the country to find out about his exciting and funny new publication.

It was also a very special launch as Paul has featured Vicarage Primary school as the setting for his story!

Norris Snoot book launch at Vicarage

Upcoming events….

Poetry festival

Paul Delaney will be returning to Vicarage in February 2018 to lead a Poetry Festival. This festival will include local schools and will culminate in a borough competition and performance for parents next Easter.

My Book Blog

We will be relaunching My Book Blog very soon. This online site gives children the opportunity to read and write blogs about a book. Not only that, but the children can complete fun activities to aid vocabulary knowledge and comprehension.

“Children should be taught how to think, not what to think.”

Margaret Mead (1901–1978: anthropologist)

Our vision

Science inspires children, encouraging them to be inquisitive about the world and allows them to develop a wide range of skills that are useful across all subjects.  At Vicarage, our vision is to provide a science curriculum that enables children to explore and discover the world around them, experience the awe and wonder of nature; as well as find out about different scientists, their work and discoveries, and various careers where science would be useful.

Science curriculum

In Vicarage our high-quality science teaching gives children a good start in their understanding of the big ideas in science, and enables them to learn the skills necessary to be a scientist. The teaching of science begins with our very youngest children in the Early Years where they explore and experience different phenomenon, describing what they have seen. In KS1 and 2 we block science topics and plan from the National Curriculum Programme of Study (2014) for Science and are supported in our planning by the Scholastics and Twinkl Science Schemes of Work. As far as possible the science topic is linked with the term long theme.

Our science assessment is skills based and focuses on the ‘working scientifically’ skills for each year group. When working scientifically children will develop key skills such as data collecting, pattern seeking, identifying and classifying, measuring using various instruments (becoming more accurate as the children get older) and expand their subject knowledge and vocabulary. Through practical enquiries children will develop skills such predicting, experimenting and evaluating. Speaking and listening skill are developed through science, as children generate and answer questions, use scientific language and progress from describing events to predicting and forming more sophisticated conclusions based upon the data collect. 

Due to the practical nature of science children are given every opportunity to explore their environment both inside and out of the school. We have a school garden which children have the opportunity to work in. This has ranged from collecting mini-beasts during a mini-beast hunt, to testing materials and how they are affected by the weather. Alongside practical enquires classes will take part in educational visits to stimulate further learning, for example to the Newham City Farm, Natural History Museum and East Ham Nature Reserve. They also may be involved in workshops delivered by outside providers.

Please click here to download the current national curriculum statements for your child’s year group.

Science week

Each year we hold an exciting science week where children have the opportunity to conduct exciting experiments and immerse themselves in science activities for the week. During the week children will conduct many practical enquiries working on their working scientifically skills as well as experiencing the awe and wonder of science, nature and the world around them. We have in the past had workshops, workshops, farm animals in school, hatched chicks, ducklings and experienced the metamorphosis of butterflies. The children relish the challenges set and use the skills learned during the year to predict, complete practical enquires and evaluate their enquiry. 

Useful Websites

Below you will find a range of websites that you might find useful.   KS1 science  KS2 science


Religious Education

At Vicarage Primary School, pupils and staff are linked to many parts of the world and come from a wide range of faith groups.  We wish to celebrate this diversity and offer a welcoming and inclusive environment, for all of our pupils and families. We believe that Religious Education (R.E.) provides an opportunity to celebrate and foster awareness of these differences at the school and in the wider world.

Vicarage Primary School uses SACRE’s locally agreed syllabus as the basis for planning religious education and we make links, wherever possible, to the context of our themes. We celebrate the major religious festivals, including: Christmas, Eid, Diwali and Guru Nanak’s Birthday. As part of our school and community values we emphasise tolerance, respect and understanding as a significant aspect of the teaching of major world faiths and beliefs, including those without a faith, in Modern Britain and the world.

Each Year group focuses on a big question with regards to religion and over the years they will have learnt about all of the major religions which will involve an Educational Visit to a Place of Worship.

Religious education lessons are also supported by our daily assembly themes to celebrate religious festivals and celebrations.

Children in Year 1 are creating Diva lamps from clay and decorating them using paint and glitter. They have been leaning about why Diwali is important to Hindus.

As part of our Harvest Celebration at Vicarage Primary School Children brought in food for the Local Food Bank.

Reverend Sue from East Ham Parish Church visited Vicarage Primary School to talk to the children about Harvest in assembly.

Useful Links

Newham’s Locally Agreed R.E Syllabus

National Association of Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education


RE Online

Primary Information on the 5 Major Religions


Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things – Steve Jobs.

Technology has propelled us to new and advanced notions and theories. We have been able to discover parts of the world we never thought possible through the advancement of technology. As a school, we feel it is important for our children to see how technology is used in the 21st century and to develop computing skills which tap into a passion for computer science, information technology and digital literacy. We aim to not only equip our pupils to be technologically able, but encourage them to be responsible digital citizens through practising online safety and using their technological skills to create a positive change in the world.

At Vicarage, we believe computing has an integral role in the learning and teaching across the entire curriculum. Consequently, computing is taught explicitly through isolated units of work across the year in line with the national curriculum. Computing skills are also interwoven in tasks across the subjects taught at Vicarage to support and encourage learning and for instance assembling scripted codes to create a game based on the Vikings leaving Scandinavia (computing skills taught though history topic). We encourage children to be proud of their work and publish their games or coded scripts on specific websites to celebrate this. Come and see some of our work by clicking here. The key computing skills taught at Vicarage are taken straight form the national curriculum. We ensure a greater depth of the curriculum through repetitive practise of fundamental skills in a progressive curriculum. The following link is the national curriculum suggested progression of computing skills from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 4.

Here is a brief breakdown of what is taught at each Key Stage

Key Stage 1: Children will be learning what algorithms are, which will not always involve computers. When explained as “a set of instructions” teachers may illustrate the idea using recipes, or by breaking down the steps of children’s morning routines. But they will also be creating and debugging simple programs of their own, developing logical reasoning skills and taking their first steps in using devices to “create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content”.

Key Stage 2: Children will be creating and debugging more complicated programs with specific goals and getting to grips with concepts including variables and “sequence, selection, and repetition in programs”. They will still be developing their logical reasoning skills and learning to use websites and other internet services. And there will be more practice at using devices for collecting, analysing and presenting back data and information.

We are a well-resourced school with a computer trolley containing 15 computers in each classroom. Accompanying this, we have interactive whiteboards and iPads with dedicated apps to aid in the teaching and learning of all subjects. All computers are linked to the Internet, subject to our ‘Online safety policy’. All parents and pupils sign an agreement outlining their understanding of the Internet in school. As stated on the policy, we are also supported by the borough team for our curriculum and firewall, ensuring that children are protected from inappropriate content via filtering and monitoring.

Please also visit our E-safety page and the Online Safety policy for more information.





Useful links below to explore with your child

Scratch (Online)

CBBC Stay Safe


Minecraft Code Hour

Simon Singh Black Chamber

Alan Turing: Founder of Modern Computing

Debugging: Intro



We at Vicarage love geography. A non-core subject that lets our children become explorers, enquirers, environmentalists and global citizens.  

Geography is an incredibly powerful subject to help us understand the world we live in and feed our thirst for enquiry.  We achieve this deep understanding by exploring physical environments, human interactions and how humans interact with the physical environments. Vicarage is fortunate to be situated in a diverse community and we utilise this opportunity by exploring and engaging with our world at school to learn to appreciate, connect and protect the world we live in.

Vicarage understands it is important for our children to understand how our world works and how the issues the world faces can affect us. The children are encouraged to think outside the box. Lessons are moulded around bigger questions such as how does the weather work? Why do earthquakes occur? How has climate change affected us? How can we become global citizens?

At Vicarage, links are made across the curriculum linking the children’s learning of geography with other subjects. Empathy is an important skill and we build this by encouraging children to empathise with people from other countries and how they would feel if they lived in a different place or time (linking to History and Religious Education).

Linking to British Values, children are encouraged to reflect on multi-cultural British society and show that they value and respect others’ viewpoints. At Vicarage we value the diverse ethnic background of all pupils and families and teach pupils the importance of tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world. Pupils are able use their learning about contrasting localities to reflect on their own and others individual liberty.

Look back at this page to see what the children are doing throughout the year.


During History lessons at Vicarage, the children are encouraged to delve into the past and seek out the clues that artefacts and other sources can give us. They become Historians and Archaeologists themselves! The curriculum is carefully designed with the History Coordinator and class teachers to engage the children with History using a hands-on approach.

The pupils are given opportunities to experience History in a variety of ways, from interactive workshops, storytelling and writing, to drama, debating and art. They are given opportunities to learn in a fun and meaningful way. We also provide them with artefacts and replicas so that History is brought to life and is real for them.

Living in London, we also have a wealth of museums that we often take the children to, where they can see real artefacts and take part in workshops that are run.

Not only are the children encouraged to learn about the past and the specific period of time they are studying. But they are also encouraged to make links to other topics for example religion, culture and beliefs. Making links helps the children gain an understanding of where they come from and who they are. It gives our children the skills to understand a sense of time and place

Bringing History into the core subjects is also a large focus at Vicarage. The children are encouraged to use their Historical skills and Literacy skills together to create outcomes, such as, a Roman diary entry for Yr. 4 and a persuasive letter for Yr. 6.

We use a range of teaching methods, which should match the abilities, and interests of pupils.

  • Teacher presentations, role play, drama and storytelling
  • Group and collaborative working
  • Question and answer sessions, discussions and debates
  • Investigating artefacts and sources of evidence.
  • Opportunities to learn through first-hand experience. This includes: visits to museums and sites of historical interest, handling artefacts, theatre re-enactments, oral accounts from visitors to school.
  • Use of ICT (interactive whiteboard, internet, CDs, DVDs, database)
  • Producing models, drawing, sketches, diagrams, maps, timelines
  • Producing a range of written work including descriptive and narrative writing

Topics we cover

Yr. 1

  • The Gunpowder Plot
  • Man on the Moon
  • The Olympics (Local History)

Yr. 2

  • Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole
  • The Great Fire of London
  • Seaside from the past.

Yr. 3

  • Ancient Egypt
  • Stone Age and Iron Age

Yr. 4

  • The Romans
  • Anglo – Saxons

Yr. 5

  • Ancient Greeks
  • Local History (WW2)

Yr. 6

  • The Vikings
  • Ancient Islamic Civilisation

Black History storytelling workshop

Year 2 Florence Nightingale Workshop

Year 4 Roman Day





Year 5 Ancient Greeks Workshop



Year 6 Viking Workshop

Design and Technology prepares children from KS1 and KS2 to take part into our changing world: they become inventors, designers and makers. Evaluating and amending their projects, enable them to solve problems and become critical consumers.

At Vicarage Primary School, DT is intertwined throughout all curriculum areas as well as being taught as a stand-alone subject all year round. Children will be given the opportunity to study the work of both local and international designers but also engage in various projects: preparing healthy meals, building reinforced structures , testing mechanical system or working with different type of fabrics. To realise their designs, children work with a range of tools and equipment to control different materials such as paper, wood, plastics and fabrics.

Every year, we organise a World of Work Week, a creative project in which children design and present an item. It provides them with an opportunity to design something for a real purpose. Alongside the development of their practical activities, children are encouraged to practise their wider mathematical skills by counting, measuring and calculating costs.

DT Policy


Year 2

Year 3

Year 5

Year 6

The Mayor’s Newham Carnival 2017

Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 children took part in The Mayor’s Newham Carnival in July 2017. Here are some lovely photos taken on the day. The event was very vibrant with colourful costumes, dance and music. Our theme was inspired by Venice to create props such as hats and fans.







Year 1

Here are examples of children’s work in Year 1, learning to use pencils, pens and charcoal to create different mark making.

Year 5

Year 5 project on Greeks has inspired the children to look at images of Greek vases and come up with their own design version. They will be producing their A3 Greek vase as their final outcome.





A small group of children from Year 1, 3 and 4 focused on recreating their own version of “Tree of Life” by the artist Gustav Klimt.  To do this the children enjoyed using different mediums to create their own version.

UEL Exhibition

At Vicarage, we have been proud to take part in and celebrate the work of children throughout the academic year. Here is a range of work produced from each groups from exploring 3D structure, relief work to watercolours.  












The National Curriculum states that learning a foreign languages is now compulsory at KS2 and it should “lay the foundations” for foreign language learning at KS3. In order to meet these requirements, Vicarage Primary School has a specialist language teacher, Miss Jensen.  

At Vicarage, Spanish is taught as a modern foreign language throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Our aim is to ensure that children develop a good basic understanding and a love of Spanish and of learning languages. Therefore, in order for the children to build up their skills and to make good progress across the two Key stages, pupils at Vicarage learn Spanish from Year 1. They greatly benefit from starting to learn a new foreign language at an early age.

Spanish lessons in year 1 and 2 are based on developing communication skills and are taught through fun and engaging songs, videos, games, and interactive activities.

It is our aim that KS2 pupils will be taught to:

  • Listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
  • Engage in conversations, ask and answer questions, express opinions and respond to those of others, and seek clarification and help
  • Read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
  • Broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
  • Write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, expressing their ideas clearly
  • Describe people, places, things and actions in speech and in writing

Learning a foreign language provides an opening to other cultures, deepens their curiosity and develops their understanding of the world. All children regardless of their background and ability are encouraged to reach their full potential in Spanish. All children at Vicarage enjoy Spanish because we create a safe, relaxed and respectful environment that encourages active participation and team spirit.  Our stimulating curriculum aims to provide the children with a real love and appreciation of languages. The children become life-long lovers of language learning, as they can enjoy playing with language, whilst also maintaining high educational expectations.




Help at home

In order to support and extend your child’s language learning, it would be of huge benefit if you could discuss their learning and the topics covered and encourage them to show-off their new language skills. There are many fantastic, interactive websites that have been designed especially for children, which not only meet the curriculum expectations, but are also really great fun! Please encourage your child to practise skills learnt and to extend themselves.

Useful Spanish websites

Spanish Club

We had such a great term in Spanish club!

We started by thinking about our place in the world and made visual representations to show how we fit into the universe in Spanish. We thought about where in the world Spanish is spoken and thought of some Spanish questions to ask someone about life in South America. Then a special visitor from Ecuador came. We asked him our questions and discussed the differences and similarities between life in Ecuador, life in the UK and other countries we knew.

We looked at lots of Spanish books, some fiction and some non-fiction and had a go at reading them. Some were easier that others! We also played lots of games: board games, team games and online games. We had lots of fun learning how to use lots of different websites to practise our Spanish skills. We also listened to Spanish music, including a rap to practise our greetings language.

The children in our club are from year 3 to year 5 and they are all extremely supportive and appreciative of everyone’s varying understanding and skills in Spanish. As a result, everyone was very proud to show off their knowledge in conversations, both with their peers and with children from other year groups.

Year 3 – greetings

Year 4 – asking questions

Year 5 and a year 4 – te gusta

Towards the end of term, we started researching what Spanish people do when they have parties (fiestas). We used the laptops to find out about traditional food, costumes, music, dances and games and then we planned our own end-of-term fiesta. Everyone made or brought traditional Spanish dishes. We had; paella, jamon, aceitunas, queso, patatas bravas, tortillas and salsa and even churros con chocolate.

The food was so good that lots of teachers came by to try it! After our feast and music, we went outside to have a go at smashing the piñata that was full of sweets! IT WAS GREAT FUN!





More able work

In Spanish, the children get really stuck in and some really strive to extend themselves.

Habib from 3C decided to show that he was able to have a simple conversation using Spanish questions and that he could answer in a variety of ways. 

Habib 3C

Gael in 4B showed that she is able to use the verb ‘tener’ (to have) in questions and sentences and then she extended herself to apply her knowledge in different ways.

Gael 4B

Daniella from 4IB was able to show that she can both ask and answer a range of questions in Spanish now.

Daniella 4IB

Dasani in 5C wrote about different sporting activities that she likes and dislikes and extended herself when writing about the various emotions people feel, using the appropriate gender agreements.

Dasani 5C likes and dislikes

Dasani 5C likes and dislikes 2 emotions 1

Dasani 5C emotions 2

Personal, Social, Health and education

At Vicarage Primary School, Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship provide further opportunities to develop a broad and cross curricular curriculum in school. These cross-curricular dimensions, like spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is embedded throughout the school and draws attention to the need for pupils to develop an understanding about themselves and society around them and to become thoughtful and active members of the society. Our teaching develops the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe and informed decisions. We meet the statutory government guidance for our taught age groups concerning drug education and sex and relationships education (SRE).

Through PSHE, our ultimate goal is to foster the notions of responsibility and empowerment to promote a sense of achievement, enhance self-confidence and help pupils make informed and healthy life choices.  PSHE education at Vicarage is guided by the core values of:

  • Honesty
  • Kindness
  • Trust
  • Responsibility
  • Friendship
  • Self-control
  • Empathy
  • Respect
  • Tolerance

Furthermore, alongside class-based teaching, we also have whole school projects and events that support our values and goals. For example, we embed anti-bullying days throughout the year (one every half-term) focusing on different themes, run student school council, where pupils can practice their reasoning and debate skills and voice their opinions, host healthy eating week, walk to school week and water aid.


The children at Vicarage love music. As you walk around the school you will always hear music playing, children singing and instruments playing. Music lessons are taught in years 1-6 fortnightly by Mrs. Surridge, the music coordinator. During this session children have the opportunity to explore the building blocks of music such as rhythm, pitch and pulse, to sing songs and listen to music from a different time and place. The song choices used in curriculum music are varied in genre. They include selections from different countries, different times in history and a variety of languages. As the children enter the juniors they learn to play an instrument. Year 3 children learn to play the recorder, in year 4 they play the ukulele and as the children enter year 5 they can choose an ECAM instrument to study for two years (see below). The children have plenty of opportunities to perform on their instruments either in a group or alone. By the time most children leave Vicarage they are beginning to read traditional music notation fluently and can enjoy singing a number of songs either with lyrics or from memory. The comprehensive listening and appraising scheme means children can make valued judgments about music they hear from other times and places.

Music in other subjects

Music is also used for teaching in other subjects. It is well known fact that information is easier to remember in song. Songs are taught in Spanish to help children to learn the language, and in topics to remember historical facts about e.g. the Vikings.


ECAM is short for ‘Every Child a Musician’. It is a tuition scheme generously funded for children attending Newham schools by the Mayor of Newham. The scheme enables any child who wants to, to choose an instrument as they enter year 5, and have lessons for two years. This year at Vicarage children can choose from keyboard, guitar, flute and violin. The children have small group lessons after school hours, taught by tutors sent from ECaM. The lessons are 30 minutes long and run in 3 sessions between 3.25 and 4.55pm. The lessons are progressive and children evidence this by taking exams on their chosen instrument on a regular basis. Many of our children entered for these exams last year and all passed, with some gaining Distinctions and Merits. We are very proud of their achievements. Below is an extract from the Ecam web page stating the benefits from learning an instrument;

Every Child a Musician: how it works

Playing a musical instrument can improve your child’s learning experience. Research shows that learning a new instrument can:

  • help to improve your child’s literacy, creativity and intellectual development
  • develop your child’s self-confidence
  • develop your child’s concentration to help him or her learn other subjects
  • develop your child’s motivation
  • help your child to take pride in his or her musical achievement
  • enjoy music.

We provide a free 30-minute session each week and give your child a musical instrument as a gift.


Historically there are three choirs at Vicarage; year 5 and 6, years 3 and 4, and year 2. Year 2 choir will start in January. The choirs sing in and out of school on a regular basis. The song choices are varied in genre, just as they are for curriculum lessons. The children sing on a variety of occasions including at school concerts, community events and at the local old peoples home. Once or twice a year the older children will sing with other choirs at the local secondary school or a London concert venue such as the O2 Arena, as part of a massed choir event. The next event of this kind will be at the O2 in January 2018 and choir members in years 4, 5 and 6 will be invited to attend. Children can go on to join community choirs as they move on from Vicarage. Many of our choir members have gone on to join ‘Extraordinary Voices’ run by the Newham Music Hub. Children who join the choir are expected to attend every practice, have excellent behaviour and show commitment and loyalty by learning words and supporting performances. Membership is by invitation only.

Why is music important?

The benefits of music

Quote from British Psychological Society (BPS) investigation into how making music can improve behaviour and problem solving skills in young children.

Making music can improve both pro-social behaviour (voluntary behaviour intended to benefit another) and the problem solving skills of young children according to a new study. Building on existing research which found that making music significantly improves pro-social behaviour in young children) the current study investigated not only the potential effects of music making (singing or playing an instrument) on pro-sociability but also its effects on problem-solving and whether there was a difference between boys and girls. Rie Davies said: “This study provides support for prior research by Kirschner and Tomasello (2010) and also highlights the need for schools and parents to understand the important role music making has in children’s lives in terms of social bonding and helping behaviours.

Music and happiness

From a study by Vince Raison, commercial music writer

Humanity has been expressing itself through music for more than 40,000 years. It’s no wonder we are hardwired to be moved by music. Babies respond to happy, or sad, songs from a very early age and the intensity of connection only grows stronger as we develop.

Music activates several different parts of the brain – there are complex messages to take in. Melody, pitch, rhythm, language, emotion, even memory and visualisation, all being received, or generated, in unison.

Created by Mrs Surridge, October 2017