Closing the Gap: “Music should have far greater emphasis in the EYFS”

Closing the Gap

“A new research report launched on Monday 25 March 2019 at the House of Lords by Soundabout, reveals that targeted music sessions for children in the early years and their families in areas of high deprivation can improve their capacity to manage their feelings and behaviour, boost their self-confidence, and heighten their ability to listen and pay attention, enabling them to ‘close the gap’ in terms of meeting their age-related expectations.”

CLOSING THE GAP

At Boogie Mites, our mission is to share our knowledge of the power of music with parents, practitioners and carers in support of Early Development. Closing the Gap is at the forefront of this pursuit. And the recent publication of Soundabout’s Report, confirms our own findings from 10 years of delivering targeted parent education courses via Local Authority contracts in Hampshire and Surrey. As the Report states “music can make a real difference to these children’s lives.”

THE RESEARCH PROGRAMME

From 2015 – 2018, a music charity based in Oxfordshire, Soundabout, lead a ten-week music programme (funded by Youth Music) “for over 200 children in early years.”

CEO of Soundabout, Clare Cook, stated: “these findings are highly significant for everyone concerned with […] care of young children who are developmentally delayed.”

SOUNDABOUT

Soundabout intends to “unlock the potential of people with complex needs through music and sound, and empower[..] parents, teachers and carers to do the same.”

In fact, it was music to our ears when we read Professor Adam Ockelford’s statement: “This project […] show[s] that music should have far greater emphasis in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Music really is brain food that can nurture children’s development and wellbeing in a way that nothing else can.”

START THEM YOUNG

Sam Griffiths, CEO, Youth Music: “We know that the earlier young children get to make music the better for their personal, social and musical development. This […] report takes us a step further in understanding what this impact is, particularly for the young children and their families who face barriers to taking part.”

For the full article, please visit New research reveals music-making in the early years “closes the gap” in children’s development’ on the Soundabout website, where you’ll also find a link to an online PDF of the full report: Sounds of Intent in the Early Years.

HOW CAN WE IMPLEMENT MUSIC?

EYPP funding, which aims to support the children needing to close the gap, can be well spent on music intervention and parent involvement given this research. Many EY settings have used their EYPP funding in order to support early development through Boogie Mites.

WHAT DO PRACTITIONERS THINK?

“Boogie Mites delivered inset training for all practitioners from the Paint Pots Nurseries in June 2016. Due to the inclusive and group-focused nature of the programme, we considered that it would be the most cost effective way of utilising our EYPP money as our staff would have opportunities to develop skills for all current and future children…To assess the impact of the implementation of regular Boogie Mites activities on children’s development, providing evidence of the outcomes of the EYPP investment…The management software provides an attainment graph which allows us to estimate the average rate of development for different periods…

Since introduction of Boogie Mites, the results show a marked increase in the rate of development for both boys and girls at the nursery compared to the previous year. Girls and boys across the settings have shown an average development rate increase of almost five months in comparison to the same period the previous year…”

Cat Baker, Quality and Curriculum Manager Paint Pots Nursery Group.

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For enquiries, contact Sue Newman, Boogie Mites Director on 023 92 817274 or email her: sue@boogiemites.co.uk