Brass Foundations: Harting C of E Primary School | Brass Bands England

You can become a member of BBE either as an organisation or as an individual

Brass Foundations: Harting C of E Primary School


Brass Foundations is Brass Bands England's education programme, led by a team of five Youth Brass Development Specialists.

Harting C of E Primary School in West Sussex has been engaged with the BBE team since January 2022. Prior to this project starting at the school, there was no recent history of brass having been taught in the school. Class music lessons are led by a specialist teacher and peripatetic lessons are provided by private tutors however due to COVID-19 precautions, whole school singing is yet to be restarted. Whole-Class Ensemble Teaching (WCET) has previously taken place on Violin. Headteacher Nick Tidey (Headteacher) leads the project with support from Harriet (Parish Vicar and trumpet player), with resources and workshop days provided by Brass Foundations team member Deirdre Waller-Box. Class teachers and TA's are learning brass alongside their students.

Nick studied saxophone and taught and led ensembles for the Camden Music Service before undertaking his teacher training.  He took part in WCET Brass Band as a class teacher, learning to play the Euphonium alongside his class.

Impact from Project

Workshop Day 1 : Launch day

This took place in January, introducing staff, parents and students to brass playing.  Dee led a series of workshops throughout the day which culminated in a performance to the whole school community including parents in which the band performed three pieces. This performance was well-publicized on the school's social media and in the local Parish news.

Dee also provided CPD to all school staff with a focus as requested by Nick on teaching standard notation in a fun, accessible way from EYFS to Year 6.   All staff had the opportunity to try brass instruments including learning to play together and to try improvising.   

Workshop Day 2: Jubilee

Dee led a series of workshops teaching new pieces and doing a composition session.  As the school had a Jubliee celebration coming up, the class learnt about fanfares and split into groups to compose these within given parameters. They then chose some to perform at their Jubilee celebration. 

So far:

  • The profile of music has been raised within the school community.
  • Children have experienced performing on a national stage at the European Brass Band Championships. As well as the performing experience, this also gave them a chance to travel outside their local area, some for the first time, and to hear other bands play including the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Brass Band.
  • Three students so far have registered to continue learning trumpet next year in Secondary School. 

Dee will continue to support the school in their brass journey, including a workshop day in July focusing on improvisation and composition, culminating with a Proms In The Playground performance for their school community.

Achievements from Project

In the two terms that the band have been learning, they have performed four times for their school community including at the school Jubliee Celebrations and also on the Outdoor Stage at the European Brass Band Championships in Birmingham.  They have two more performances planned this year, one at the school Summer Party and one as part of BBE's national initiative Proms in the Playground.

Next steps:

  • To hold an instrument amnesty in the local community so more children are able to learn brass next year.
  • To involve local schools in future Brass Foundation workshop days with the aim of aiding transition.
  • To make connections with local bands and Music Hub.
  • To work towards having an extra-curricular brass ensemble and brass peripatetic lessons.