A new addition to the Prior’s Court school timetable is creating an effective and engaging beat for our young people.

Weekly drumming workshops were launched in the first term of the 2019/20 academic year to enhance the already strong arts provision* within the school curriculum.

The 30-minute-long workshops, held on-site and led by autism practitioner and musician Tomson Chauke, are for up to eight young people and their accompanying staff members.

Using Conga-style drums, the aim of the sessions is for our young people to learn a rhythm which they can recall and recite, but, equally as importantly, to ensure they have the chance to express themselves musically and creatively.

Helen Franks, Prior’s Court Education Lead (Years 3 to 10), said: “Involving our young people in the arts is a key part of our curriculum and their waking day. The arts provide a powerful means for our young people, many of whom are preverbal, to communicate and express themselves.

“Tomson has previously been heavily involved in other musical-based activities at Prior’s Court, including the production of our song Let Me Shine and the subsequent Let Me Shine Festival, as well as with the Prior’s Court Band, so he was the perfect person to run the sessions.

“We have previously seen positive effects on our young people coming from one-on-one workshops Tomson has held – which helped to form the Prior’s Court Band – so we were keen to extend this to some of our younger students.

“And we are already seeing the effects of the sessions on our young people - one was able to recall and replay the rhythm learned in the previous week’s session and even performed the rhythm while in the classroom and at home, which shows both learning and enjoyment.”


*The most recent Ofsted inspection of educational standards at Prior’s Court praised the arts provision available.