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Norwich school hits high note with national award for music partnership

PUBLISHED: 06:30 08 October 2020 | UPDATED: 08:29 08 October 2020

Youngsters take part in the Norfolk Centre for Young Musicians open day at City of Norwich School.
 Picture: Simon Finlay

Youngsters take part in the Norfolk Centre for Young Musicians open day at City of Norwich School. Picture: Simon Finlay

A Norwich secondary school has received national recognition for a groundbreaking teaching partnership with one of the most prestigious music and arts schools in the country.

CNS principal Jo Philpott receiving Pearson Silver Award recognising tyhe schools partnership with Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Picture: Ormiston Academies TrustCNS principal Jo Philpott receiving Pearson Silver Award recognising tyhe schools partnership with Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Picture: Ormiston Academies Trust

Selected from thousands of nominations, City of Norwich School (CNS) has been awarded Pearson’s prestigious Silver Award for its ongoing relationship with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London.

CNS was recognised for its outstanding achievement as one of just 76 silver award winners across the country in what are known as the UK’s ‘Oscars for Teachers’.

The Norwich school, which has 1,641 pupils and is run by the Ormiston Academies Trust, launched its partnership with Guildhall School in 2013.

MORE: ‘Inspirational’ Norfolk headteacher scoops top teaching award

The duo has since co-founded the popular Norfolk Centre for Young Musicians and has enabled over 1,000 children at the school, and in the region more broadly, to access and be inspired by musicianship, drama and technical theatre.

Norfolk Centre for Young Musicians samba and percussion workshop at CNS with members of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Picture: Ormiston Academies TrustNorfolk Centre for Young Musicians samba and percussion workshop at CNS with members of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Picture: Ormiston Academies Trust

Of that number, 19 have gone on to study music at conservatoires and five to higher education music courses.

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The partnership enables CNS students to work with Guildhall students three times a year, including having the opportunity to watch live music in genres that are often new experiences for students, such as classical guitar, brass and wind quartets through to individual tutorials, small group rehearsals, masterclasses and composition workshops.

Music scholarships provided as part of the partnership also enable future affordable access to music instruction for all students, regardless of background.

CNS principal Jo Philpott receiving Pearson Silver Award recognising tyhe schools partnership with Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Picture: Ormiston Academies TrustCNS principal Jo Philpott receiving Pearson Silver Award recognising tyhe schools partnership with Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Picture: Ormiston Academies Trust

CNS principal Jo Philpott said: “It is an honour to have been awarded this prestigious national award and we are so pleased that the impact of our partnership with Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the opportunities we have been able to provide to thousands of young people has been recognised in this way.

“We have worked very hard to ensure that our partnership reaches as many young people as possible, not just at CNS but across the county.

MORE: Oversubscribed school unveils £8m expansion to welcome more pupils

“Broadening a student’s horizon to include experiences of music from all over the world and to develop a love for arts and culture is central to this partnership and it is one that has generated a huge range of positive benefits for our students, not least in learning a new musical instrument but in the opportunities and skills that have been able to develop.”

Alison Mears, director of Guildhall Young Artists, said: “We are thrilled our partners City of Norwich School have received this richly deserved accolade recognising their sustained commitment in placing creativity and the arts at the centre of education.”

Youngsters take part in the Norfolk Centre for Young Musicians open day at City of Norwich School.
 Picture: Simon FinlayYoungsters take part in the Norfolk Centre for Young Musicians open day at City of Norwich School. Picture: Simon Finlay

CNS is now in the running for one of just 14 gold awards at the awards final which will be broadcast on the BBC.


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