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Drumroll, please: Silvertown school handed £15,000 music grant

PUBLISHED: 16:00 15 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:46 17 September 2018

East Ham MP Stephen Timms at Oasis Academy Silvertown. Picture: Polly Moore

East Ham MP Stephen Timms at Oasis Academy Silvertown. Picture: Polly Moore

Polly Moore

School assembly in Silvertown was music to pupils’ ears on Friday morning when teachers received thousands of pounds for new instruments, mics and amps.

East Ham MP Stephen Timms at Oasis Academy Silvertown. Picture: Alex ShawEast Ham MP Stephen Timms at Oasis Academy Silvertown. Picture: Alex Shaw

Oasis Academy Silvertown will use the £15,000 grant to purchase items including electric guitars, violins and a loop pedal, as well as specialist staff to lead lessons.

East Ham MP Stephen Timms visited the school’s temporary site in Rymill Street for the announcement, which took place between 8.30am and 9.30am.

“I think a really lively music programme is a very big asset for a school like this one,” the Labour MP told the Recorder.

“Our young people can really get enthusiastic about it and develop skills and talents they never knew they had. Music builds their confidence across the whole curriculum.

“I look forward to seeing how the programme develops.”

The school, which plans to move to its permanent home in North Woolwich Road in 2020, has faced considerable challenges to its music education programme due to planning delays.

Lack of space and equipment proved “something we have been struggling with quite a bit,” deputy headteacher Emily Boxer told pupils at the assembly.

One guitar is shared around the 450-capacity premises, with staff having to ferry instruments between classrooms, she added.

The new funding from Restore the Music UK, who offers grants to deprived schools dealing with slashed budgets, allows children more opportunities to perform and inspire each other, said the charity’s CEO, Polly Moore.

“What we really want to do is to give them the means to kit out the music department,” she said.

“No child wants to learn the violin with the strings breaking.”

Speaking on the benefits of music education, she said: “A fantastic consequence is the retention rate. They [pupils] have got a place to go.

“There is a different draw: they want to be there. The point is that they are there as opposed to wandering around with who knows who doing who knows what.”

Alongside the one-off grant to Oasis Academy, the charity handed £8,000 to Galleons Primary School in Warwall, Beckton, last year.

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