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Music teacher qualifies as SLE

Congratulations to Mr Alan Kirkland from Church Langton Primary School who has qualified as a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) for music.

Congratulations to Mr Alan Kirkland from Church Langton Primary School who has qualified as a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) for music.

Alan, who has been a teacher for more than 27 years and teaches music in four different schools across the Midlands, is excited about the new opportunities that being an SLE will bring. He said ‘I think that it is extremely important for children to learn music and I think that everyone is musical, unfortunately we live in a culture where some teachers think that if they don’t play an instrument or are part of a band then they aren’t but I don’t believe that is true. Everyone has music in them it’s just that sometimes they need some encouragement to see it.’

Having learnt piano and guitar from a very young age Alan teaches a variety of music lessons in schools. From writing Christmas productions to jump percussion - music played on bottles and buckets with sticks, tube music, hand chimes and samba drumming

'I think music will only be transformed in schools if the class teachers are empowered to teach music and that is what I would like to be able to do, empower people to do it themselves. The best definition of music in schools is ‘organised sound’ and anyone can organise something.’

The role of an SLE is to support peers, raise standards and improve the quality of leadership through both school-to-school and peer-to-peer learning something that Alan already has ideas about putting into practice. ‘I work across a number of schools and I’d like to be able to work together with them and other schools by organising a day where teachers are invited to come along to experience music as it would be in a primary school and how straight forward it is. I feel like what I do isn’t very complicated but lots of people say how good it is, so I think if I could show teachers how simple it is so they could be excited about music and go back into the classrooms and teach it themselves, that would be fantastic.

‘I’d also like to share best practice online, so that teachers can access ideas or a series of lessons that they can adapt and use in the classroom, making the information constantly available so that it is not something that is just forgotten after a one day training course and can be added to and updated.

‘I think that becoming an SLE will help my teaching within the schools I work in by enabling me to take a step back from what I have been doing and making sure that what I am teaching is right for that particular school and not just something that fits in with the school, helping me to improve on my own teaching as well as the students ability to learn.

‘This opportunity is extremely exciting and I’m looking forward to the new challenge of working with other schools to help them feel more musical.’