Blog

Education Minister speaks out about a complete phone ban in all schools

08th February 2019

Education Minister Nick Gibb spoke out about a complete ban on mobile phones within schools. The British Government is currently in the process of publishing new guidance for schools that will address internet safety, social media and online gaming. At HKS, we already implement a strict no phones policy within the school, an idea previously endorsed by Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman. Pupils are allowed to carry a mobile phone to and from school, but once they are on site, phones must be handed in and locked away until the end of the school day.

Although mobile phones, if used correctly, can be used as a useful and effective learning tool (they are a 'powerful computer in your pocket'), there are oft-quoted risks in their use. We believe that personal mobile phones within a school can take away the valuable time pupils could spend developing their interpersonal skills, talking with their peers and being physically active during break times. Furthermore, the potential distractions to learning and the wider issues of cyberbullying and inappropriate use of social media, endemic in some schools, are real concerns. In short, we want our pupils to enjoy being children for as long as possible, to be themselves and to realise every opportunity in school.

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Did you know HKS has two defibrillators on site?

16th January 2019
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Importance of Music

05th December 2018

A recent article by Antonia Berry on the TES website discussed the importance of music. Antonia states

“Learning to play a musical instrument can improve the development of speech and reading skills; it can improve a pupil’s ability to sustain concentration for lengthy periods of time, and have a profound impact on working memory.”

Great minds throughout the ages have attributed some of their greatest work stem from music. Albert Einstein believed his theory of relativity occurred to him by the intuition he learnt from studying the violin from a early age.

Sadly even with convincing research and positive impact music is under threat in many schools. This is not the case here at HKS. We understand that music is an

“expression of emotion, and when performing as part of a choir or a member of a jazz band or orchestra, we are compelled to connect with others in a profoundly emotional way.” (Antonia Berry)

To see a typical day in Music here at HKS please visit our Facebook page.

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Why music is at the heart of life at Heathfield Knoll School and Day Nursery.

04th December 2018

Current pressures in education mean that music is being squeezed out of the curriculum in far too many schools. As someone who had the opportunity to learn musical instruments at school and was able to take advantage of so many wonderful opportunities provided by the county, the benefits to me were enormous - namely allowing me to follow a career in music.

There are proven benefits of learning a musical instrument:

  • Strengthens bonds with others

  • Strengthens memory and reading skills

  • Playing makes you happy

  • Playing music reduces anxiety and depression

  • Musical training strengthens many of the brain’s functions.

At HKS, we are not allowing music to be squeezed out of our curriculum. In fact, quite the opposite - music is right at the heart of school life. All pupils from Day Nursery right through to year 9 have music lessons every week. A number of pupils then choose to take GCSE music as an option in year 10/11. We have a highly skilled team of peripatetic music staff who teach a variety of instruments at HKS each week - strings, woodwind, brass, guitar, drums, piano and voice. We work together with our music staff to encourage and help the children along their musical journey, offering them numerous opportunities along the way: orchestras, choirs, school productions and much more. We truly value music education and all it brings to our pupils and school community.

Mrs J. Cain, Head of Music

 

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