Portway Junior School

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

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We are proud to have 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 2019. 



At Portway we are committed to providing musical opportunities and education for all.  All pupils have a classroom music lesson 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 learn keyboard skills and have a weekly singing assembly where we sing together as a school.





We have two school choirs and a main, combined choir.  Partway Choir is run by Mrs. Hindmarch on Monday lunchtimes.  Here pupils sing part songs, sometimes unaccompanied.  Popway Choir is run by Miss Beecroft on Mondays after school and pupils here sing a wide range of pop-style songs.


Ukulele Club

Ukulele Club meets on Mondays after school and is run by Mrs. Hindmarch.  Here we learn chords, chord progressions, riffs and songs and enjoy the opportunity of playing together.


Keyboard Club

Keyboard Club meets on Thursdays after school and run by Mrs. Hindmarch.  It is for pupils who have piano lessons and who wish to develop their playing and ensemble skills.


Please let Mrs. Hindmarch 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:


- Woodwind (with Catherine Hampton) on Monday mornings

- Brass (with Richard Bradley) on Wednesday mornings

- Guitar (with Joe Keelan) on Thursday mornings

- Drums (with Daniel Jordan - please visit his website below to enrol) on Wednesday mornings

- Recorder (with Martina Englefield) on Friday lunchtimes

- Piano (with Andrew Jones) on Thursday afternoons

- Piano (with Kathryn Hindmarch) on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings

- Violin (with Vicky Keane) on Friday afternoons

Please either visit the School Office for more information about lessons or send an email to:
On Monday mornings, Rock Steady run group band sessions in the Annexe.  These are very popular!  If you'd like to find out more, please contact Rock Steady directly on 0330 113 0330 or

Popway and Partway Choirs will be performing at Woodlands School's Spring Concert at 6.30 pm on Tuesday 31st March.


We will have our annual Summer Concert in July - details to follow.

Pupils Perform for the BBC!


On Monday 4th March, 2019, 11 pupils performed in front of a large audience at BBC Studios in London at the launch of the fourth set of the BBC's Ten Pieces.  Musicians and dancers gave a creative response inspired by Benjamin Britten's 'Storm Interlude', showing the audience how the BBC's Ten Pieces is able to develop an appreciation for classical music and how it can inspire children to create their own interpretations.  We are very proud to have been selected to perform at this event!

Lest We Forget


In 2018 choir members took part in a large-scale concert at the Genting Arena in Birmingham to commemorate the 100 year centenary of the end of World War One.  They sang with 1000 other children from schools across Britain.

BBC Singers Visit


IN 2018 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.


Our Year 4 and 5 classes recently 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?



Mountain Escape!
Night on a Bare Mountain.
We made car tyre Taiko drums.
Compositions inspired by The Typewriter (Anderson)
Garageband Rimmer-inspired 'Earth' soundtracks.
Home-made 'found sounds'.
Stone Age cave art with pupils playing the music.
Group work using Pokemon rhythms.
Ready for a year 6 keyboard lesson.
Year 4 work on machine sounds graphic scores.
We made sistrums to accompany our Roman songs.
Fun playing our own Interrelated Dimensions game!
After studying jazz music for a few weeks, Year 6 pupils had a go at improvising on keyboards.  Here is one example:

Picasso improvisations duet.MP3

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

Year 6 have been learning to play the ukulele.  Here's Picasso's version of 'Smoke on the Uke'!

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