Free school story: Dixons Music Primary


Dixons Music Primary is using music to raise standards of achievement in Bradford

Like the other Dixons academies and free schools, Dixons Music Primary’s mission is to enable pupils to “climb the mountain to university, succeed when they get there, thrive in a top job and have a great life.  A step up that mountain every day; a little bit of progress every day”.

In order to achieve its mission, the school uses music to raise standards of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in particular. They use singing to develop oracy; performance to develop confidence and character; reading music to accelerate literacy and numeracy development; ensemble to promote interaction and co-operation and instrumental work to develop co-ordination and fine motor skills. Their latest EYFS results show that children have excelled in listening skills, as well as self-confidence skills, where they have exceeded National Figures for the EYFS profile in 2014 and EYFS and KS1 data for 2015.

Pupils learn technical, musical and performance skills from Reception on. Every week, each pupil receives instrumental, vocal and ensemble tuition in a mixture of 1:1 lessons, small and large group tuition’. In their first four years all pupils have the opportunity to play a variety of instruments including Djembe (African drum), bells and keyboard. As children progress into Key Stage 2, they are given opportunities to specialise in instruments they have shown an aptitude for. All pupils have Performing Arts lessons each week where they work together to showcase their skills in performances each year.

Another interesting aspect of the school is its ‘family service’ at lunchtime, where pupils eat a healthy meal provided by the school chef in small groups with staff, and are expected to help set out the. By deliberately opening up its admissions to parents from across the city, the school is offering this unique provision to children from all of the different communities in Bradford.