SMS update following Lockdown 2 announcements

Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils
Following the announcement from the goverment that we are entering a second (sort of) lockdown on November 5th and this has had an impact on SMS teaching.

Firstly, we are delighted that we are still able to deliver daytime instrumental lessons in schools across the borough. I think this is important for the mental health of students and the culture of school life.

However, we have been told that after school one to one lessons at Lyndon School will have to stop at this moment in time. We will be delivering them online until it is deemed safe to return.

Saturday Music Centre is also unable to restart due to the lockdown but we will be streaming some of the sessions online. SMC parents have been emailed information about this.

Trinity exams: We have now received some information about exams and this can be read here.

I am sure, like SMS staff, you are disappointed with this change after we had worked so hard to get everything back up and running but unfortunately it has been taken ‘out of our hands’.

We will let you know when the situation changes. Take care everyone and stay safe!

Music is Back!

After weeks of work and discussions, we are delighted to announce that our plan for the office to return, daytime lessons in schools and 1 to 1 lessons to recommence were signed off by the Solihull Council Covid Recovery Team on Friday.
This means that we will be returning to teaching pupils week starting 5th October where it is safe to do so.
This will require patience and understanding as we learn to adapt to the current situation.

Daytime lessons:
SMS staff will start delivering PPA, WCET and 1 to 1 and small group lessons. SMS staff will be subject to both our own SMS RA and the RA of the school they are teaching in.

1 to 1 Lessons
SMS will have a phased return to 1 to 1 lessons at Lyndon School starting on October 5th. This is subject to SMS RA and in discussion with Lyndon school.
Please be aware that our RA may have to adapt as we start teaching.
Process for 1 to 1 lessons:
1) Parents will need to drop pupils off. Parents will not be allowed on the school premises
2) For the first lesson pupils, will be greeted by a member of the SMS team and taken to their large classroom for their lesson.
3) Pupils will access their lesson via a one way system. When entering the building pupils will be guided through the double doors and follow a one way system to their room. When finishing the lesson pupils will exit the building using the SMS corridor.
4) Please follow the guidance that is displayed and use the NHS QR code on the front doors.
5) Pupils can use the school toilets but please remember to wash your hands before and after use.

Office staff return:
We are phasing our office staff return so they can deal with any queries that arise due our return to work. There are clear expectations when you wish to visit the office that can be found here as part of the office RA. Please be aware that the office will not be fully operational as we cannot have all the office team in at once due to social distancing guidelines. Therefore we ask for your patience and understanding around this.

Phase 2 and 3.
We will be working on plans to restart SMC (Saturday Music Centre – Phase 2) and SMS weekly ensembles (Phase 3). But as I am sure you will appreciate with Solihull under local restrictions and this area of our work requiring mixing bubbles from different schools this will take time and involve careful planning before we can present it to Solihull Councils Covid Recovery Team. However we are mindful that the pupils deserve and need a musical ensemble offer and we work very hard to achieve this.

We very much look forward to seeing you all over the coming weeks

Solihull’s Brass Bands

Over the last couple weeks SMS three brass bands: Junior Brass Band, SYBB and Snr Brass have created virtual performances for you to enjoy.

We hope you enjoy these wonderful performances. We done to all the staff and pupils that worked so hard to make these performances possible.

SMS update 14th September 2020

New guidance September 14th 2020

SMS is looking forward to returning to work and we are working hard to be ready for our return in October. Our first phase risk assessment is currently with the Covid recovery team at the council for sign off. This will allow SMS staff to return to daytime teaching in schools. We will then formulate a plan and risk assessment for our centre lessons, ensembles and Saturday Music Centre. However as you know Solihull has gone into local lockDown which will have an impact on our return.

Please find below all the up-to date guidance which we have tried to put in one place!

There is some useful information here:  Music Unlocked guidance. 

As you may be aware, there are many different pieces of guidance from the English government which may apply to your work (and all of these listed below have been updated recently so if you’ve not taken a look in the last couple of weeks please don’t assume the guidance is the same as before!):

School guidance

Guidance for Special Schools

Out of School Hours Guidance

DCMS guidance for performing arts

HE Guidance

FE Guidance

Early Years Guidance

General COVID-19 guidance updated in line with the new measures being put in place.

For most of our Schools, parents and pupils the key documents to read are the schools guidance – for activity within the school day – and the out of school hours (OOSS) guidance which is for after school and weekend activities such as ensembles, music centres etc.

Welcome back – September 2020

Dear Parents, pupils and schools.
Welcome back to this new (strange!) academic year and we hope you have had a good summer.
SMS are working with schools and other partners to ensure we resume instrumental lessons, and ensembles as soon as possible. We have set up a Covid-19 response page which will support our return, and to share with you our policies that will be in place on our return to instrumental teaching. You can click here to access.

We have shared our draft risk assessment with schools to show what measures we are aiming to put in place to enable SMS staff to teach pupils safely.
SMS teaching weeks are here. As you can see we have started our teaching weeks as late as possible to allow schools, pupils and parents to settle into the new routine and give time to make sure they are ready for our return.

SMS ensembles and Saturday Music Centre will resume as soon possible after due process has been followed and signed off by Solihull MBC.

For those of you that missed it please find our summer term newsletter here and a link to our online resources that continue to be updated.
As the start of term develops we will update you when SMS activities start to resume.

For up to date information please follow SMS on twitter

SMS staff are really looking forward to getting started and to seeing you all again.

Best wishes SMS