Portway Junior School

'Aim high, do your best and never stop learning'

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We are very proud to have recently been awarded the Music Excellence Partner award with the Derby and Derbyshire Music Partnership.


Here's a picture of Vicki Brown from the Music Partnership presenting us with our certificate in July. 



At Portway we are committed to providing musical opportunities and education for all.  All pupils have a classroom music lesson each week with Mrs. Hindmarch where we develop our singing skills, listen to great music and play lots of different instruments.  As a whole class we play 'junk percussion' in Year 3, handbells in Year 4, djembe drums in Year 5 and ukuleles in Year 6.  We also have a weekly singing assembly where we sing together as a school.



We have a School Choir, a School Orchestra and a Musical Theatre Group.  Please let your teachers know if you'd like to join any of these groups - we'd love to see you there!



We are able to offer lessons in school time for the following instruments:


- Brass (with Richard Bradley)

- Guitar (with Joe Keelan)

- Recorder (with Martina Englefield)

- Piano (with Andrew Jones)

- Violin (with Yulia Nortridzh)

- Woodwind (with Catherine Hampton)


On Thursday lunchtimes Joe Keelan runs a group ukulele lesson for Years 3 and 4  - please see Mrs. Hindmarch for more details.




On Friday 20th April, Choir had an amazing day working with the BBC Singers in school.  They performed 'No Place Like' by Kerry Andrew and 'In the Arms of an Oak' by Andy Beck and everyone was able to listen to two beautiful pieces sung by our very talented visitors. Many thanks to the BBC Ten Pieces Coaching Scheme for this opportunity.


On Friday 8th June our Year 4 and 5 classes had fantastic steel pan workshops with Richard Arter. We learnt about playing techniques, calypso rhythms and harmonies. We also had a great time playing them together!  We are very grateful to the Philip Bates Trust for their funding for these workshops.


Here's a picture of Richard with his steel pan set.  Can you spot our steel band-inspired artwork and bunting in the background?




On Thursday 19th July at 2.00pm, parents, friends and relatives will be treated to a 'Musical Afternoon Tea' where they will be able to enjoy lots of lovely tea and cake while listening to performances by our wonderful instrumental learners.



Making shakers in Year 3

Year 3 made shakers when they were learning about percussion instruments. 


Warhol's wonderful 'junk percussion' instruments!


Banksy's brilliant 'junk percussion' instruments!


Kandinsky's knockout 'junk percussion' instruments!


To help us learn about woodwind instruments we made 'balloon bassoons' in Year 4.

Year 4 had lots of fun making 'balloon bassoons' when learning about woodwind instruments.  Our tips are to use a long tube and lots of sticky tape!


In our 'junk percussion' unti, Year 3 performed 'Pokemon' rhythm pieces.

Year 3 performed Pokemon rhythm compositions at the start of their 'junk percussion' unit.


Year 6 listened to 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' by Grieg then composed and performed their own mountain chase pieces.

After listening to 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' by Grieg, Year 6 wrote and performed their own mountain chase compositions.

After listening to 'No Place Like' by Kerry Andrew, our three Year 4 classes developed their own 'home town' compositions.  What sounds can you hear?  Listen carefully and hopefully you'll hear some DCFC sounds!

Here's a link to a recording of the original 'No Place Like':


4B No Place Like full recording.MP3

4MW No Place Like Full Recording.MP3

4E No Place Like Full Recording.MP3

With the warmer weather, Year 3 looked for 'junk percussion' outside.  Here's one of their recordings:

3P junk percussion outside.MP3

Year 5 have been using Garageband to compose spacescapes inspired by Ligeti and Rihm's music.  Here are four of their compositions:

Year 5 Space Sounds.MP3

For the past five weeks Year 6 have been learning to play the ukulele.  Here's Picasso's version of 'Smoke on the Uke'! A big thank you to Joe Keelan for his help with resources.

Picasso - Smoke on the Uke.MP3


Our grateful thanks to...


The EMI Music Sound Foundation for enabling us to purchase a class set of ukuleles.


The BlueSpark Foundation for enabling us to purchase a class set of headphones for our keyboard and IPad work.

The Philip Bates Trust for funding our steel pan workshops with Richard Arter.


School Money