“Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
At Derby Cathedral School we are committed to, and extremely proud of, our specialisms in Mathematics and Music. There are extensive amounts of research that underpin the beneficial links between these subjects. At our schools inception the research by Dr Susan Hallam underpinned the rational for the choice of specialism.
“Music psychologists have established that some forms of musical activity improve intellectual performance, spatial-temporal reasoning and other skills advantageous for learning. In this research, the potential of active music-making for improving pupils' achievement in spatial- temporal reasoning was investigated. As spatial-temporal skills are considered to be high-level mathematical abilities, this study also aimed to explore if learning music might have an effect on pupils' achievement in mathematics, and whether spatial-temporal reasoning plays a role in this process.
The findings of the project supported the hypothesis that music instruction has an impact on the development of spatial-temporal skills. A statistically significantly greater progression was observed in most of the intervention groups, as compared in all periods of measurement to the control groups. The attainment in general mathematics did not always differ between the intervention and control groups but the analyses provided evidence of a consistent and statistically significant enhancement in learning mathematics between the youngest participants of the programme. This knowledge could inform pedagogical practice, while further research in this area could offer more insight into the association between music and mathematics.”
Music is a unique form of communication that can change the way student feel, think and act. Music forms part of an individual’s identity and positive interaction with music can develop student’s competence as learners and increase their self-esteem. There are also many scientific studies on the positive physical and mental impacts of taking part in music making and therefore studying the subject. Music is in the unique position to bring together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of our culture, past and present, music helps pupils to understand themselves, relate to others and develop their cultural understanding, forging important links between home, school and the wider world.
At Derby Cathedral School all students are given the opportunity to learn and play a musical instrument both in lessons and through our collaboration with Derby and Music Partnership. Our work with the partnership involves specialist instrumental teachers visiting the school site to provide either small group or 1:1 tuition. This is in addition to curriculum music lessons and is subsidised financially for students to ensure that music is for all.
The school is committed to developing a vocal tradition both within the curriculum and as part of our school collective worships. This stems from our strong links with the music department and the Director of Music at Derby Cathedral. The music department is held in extremely high regard both locally and nationally for their commitment to a tradition of music tutelage and vocal work. There are regular collaborations and events that take place both within school or at Derby Cathedral.
As well as individual and small group tuition every KS3 pupil receives two hours of curriculum music lessons every week. This then extents to a range of pathways and options at KS4. The school ensures that there are plenty of opportunities for extracurricular opportunities including student bands, groups, choir and also supports staff and parent groups.
“Mathematics is of central importance to modern society. It provides the vital underpinning of the knowledge of economy. It is essential in the physical sciences, technology, business, financial services and many areas of ICT. Mathematics forms the basis of most scientific and industrial research and development.”
At Derby Cathedral School we believe that a strong foundation in mathematics is an essential life skill that enables our students to flourish in the wider world. From calculating percentages to understanding the different types of interest on a bank statement, mathematics is fundamental in all aspects of adult life. We believe all students should feel comfortably challenged by mathematics and we are proud of the different qualifications that our students can access. From the entry level certificate in mathematics to GCSE mathematics and further GCSE mathematics, we believe that every student should be challenged to achieve their absolute potential. Both GCSE and further GCSE Mathematics form a strong foundation for further study and we look forward to welcoming our first A Level students to Mathematics in 2023.
Throughout Key Stage 3 and 4 students’ learning is underpinned with real life applications, helping all student to understand that mathematics is not something to fear, but to enjoy - something that helps us in all we do both now and in our futures.
An intrinsic part of our careers education is helping students to understand how maths plays an integral role in different occupations, whether it be through careers workshops or work experience, it is important that students understand how mathematics is fundamental in the working world.
We are proud of our students’ involvement in mathematics outside of the classroom with students from Derby Cathedral School competing in the United Kingdom Mathematical Trust Challenge, enjoying the challenge of competing against students from across the country. We are passionate about forging links across our STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) to see how these complimentary subjects can work together to provide our students with exciting and practical appliances of maths. Students from Derby Cathedral School have put their knowledge to great use, competing and winning a regional robotics competition in 2019.
Like music, mathematics is at the heart of human expression and allows us to further understand the beauty of the world around us.