Sing your way through the day!

Amanda Bennett tells us about the huge impact routine songs have had on the life of her school

From tidying up with a tune to finishing classes with a rousing chorus, singing is a great way to support positive behaviour and inject good cheer across the school day. We’ve sought some expert advice from Amanda Bennett from Seaton Sluice First School, who has packed her school’s routine with songs that enhance concentration and lift the whole school’s spirits. 

Amanda recalls how the initial idea for routine songs came from her school’s supportive headteacher, Gill Love, who invited her to explore how singing could structure the school day. She began by composing a simple song for lining up: ‘I noticed that it’s this sort of moment when you might lose the children and have to reinforce good behaviour. I discovered that simply by singing together you had every child on board in a positive, enjoyable way.’ Having created her first routine song from a few lines of verse and a simple melody, Amanda advises keeping routine songs accessible for children and teachers alike.

Not only do these songs help embed good behaviour messages in a playful way; they allow children to take ownership of their behaviour: ‘the tidy-up song works brilliantly because the children know exactly how long they have to tidy the classroom.’ Amanda also found the children actually started creating and leading new songs themselves! Indeed, she recommends providing opportunities for pupils to put forward ideas, lyrics and song actions: ‘if every child can contribute, every child wants to be part of their performance.’

Furthermore, Amanda finds such songs boost children’s well-being, concentration and attendance: the children want to be in school. There are further benefits for teachers too: ‘by creating such a positive environment you eliminate all that repetition; it rests your voice so you don’t get a sore throat!’ Amanda is keen to emphasise how straightforward composing routine songs can be and how the fun factor is key: songs might comprise just a few lines, chanted in a call-and-response format, but ‘if you’re enjoying it, they’ll pick that up.’ So why not add a routine song or two into your school day, to smooth a tricky transition, boost your class’ concentration and create some true school spirit?

See Amanda in action and learn all about using routine songs in your classroom by watching our great video at Seaton Sluice First School.

Comments about Sing your way through the day!

Ms Zeserson Report this comment

Posted 13th Sep 2015 12:49

Terrific - very inspiring. Thank you.

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