Partnering with local schools is something that I believe we should all be doing. Whilst out situations are all different, partnerships are always a good thing. In this 10 Minute CPD blog I consider the Why & How behind local partnerships.
Partnerships are important and they need to be formed in as many ways as possible. But on a local level I see this as an essential part of our job. A recent publication from Music Teachers Association talked about why partnerships are so important and I was inspired to re-look at what I do.
One of the main reasons I have formed local partnerships in my career is because I believe it gives students more. More opportunities, more networks and more connections with other students. It can allow Year 1 to work with Year 13 and it can lead to some amazing performances. But we should also form local partnerships because that can also benefit staff working in schools. I would not be able to get through the year without working with other teachers in other schools. I am not just thinking of those in my own trust, but colleagues from other schools. Local Partnerships with other teaching staff helps me to develop my own practise and also get the support I so often need.
Hopefully it is clear why we need to form local partnerships. But who should we form them with?
- Local Schools, particularly those that feed in to your school. State & Private partnerships are really effective.
- Local businesses
- Charities that work in the local area.
- Musicians who live and work locally.
- Your music hub
- Councillors, MPs, Politicians and local leaders
- Rotary club or any similar groups
- Parents & Local PTA/Friends of school groups
It is fairly easy to form local partnerships with schools, but it doesn’t hurt to go out of your way to do this. Sometimes emails can get lost, so I like to try and book in meetings in person – or on zoom. With businesses and outside organisations, it is sometimes good to do something similar and book a meeting. I regularly chat with our Town centre manager in Windsor to see what opportunities are coming up and how we can help.
Working with a local charity is a lovely thing to do and I have contacted some of ours to see how we can support them. Every year we play for our local hospice carol service and the students really love being part of that. We have also raised money for local charities at concerts and events. It is a good way to bring children together with a common cause – and it will also bring in an audience.
The how is really all about you as a teacher and what you can offer, but it is well worth pursuing. The students and staff will all benefit. Aim for face to face meetings over email and always consider what you can offer and also how you can benefit.
Partnerships are crucial for us as educators. This blog has hopefully got you thinking about who you can partner with and how you might do that. Give it some thought and work out your next steps. There is an excellent Teaching Notes Podcast with Tim Garrard which looks at partnerships, give that a listen and see what you think.