Pioneering new Sandwell school linking up with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

A first-of-its-kind new project will see a new Sandwell school and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra work together to develop a “unique learning experience”.

Pictured from the CBSO are left, Charlotte Skinner and Bryony Morrison with Sir Mark Grundy
Pictured from the CBSO are left, Charlotte Skinner and Bryony Morrison with Sir Mark Grundy

The unique Shireland CBSO Academy in Smethwick will be the newest addition to Sandwell schools, offering a different spin on teaching by collaborating with the CBSO.

While operating as a standard school, the new partnership promises to bring a special twist to learning, offering young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to achieve at an elite and national level.

Principal designate David Green said: “The new school will have a full national curriculum. We have a very strong partnership with City of Birmingham Orchestra that will create a unique learning environment.

The school will focus on developing the skills that music has to teach

“We will be focusing on developing the skills that music has to teach. Skills like time-keeping, discipline and team-work.”

The academy is set to become the first school in Britain to be established in collaboration with an orchestra and will spell a radical change in how they teach music.

Mr Green added: “The collaboration means we will have master classes with professional musicians. Each child will be offered the chance to take vocal lessons or learn musical instruments.”

The school will offer places to Sandwell borough, and the rest of the West Midlands area.

Shireland CBSO Academy is set to open in September 2023

Mr Green said: “I want to express that we will serve any student from the West Midlands.

“Most secondary schools serve an immediate mile or two, this school is for all of Sandwell, and for all of the West Midlands.

“We do have a selective audition process, but want to welcome anyone with a passion or a talent for music.”

The learning facility will feature a state-of-the-art music and recording studio, multiple music classrooms and a gigantic purpose build three-story music theatre.

Shireland CBSO Academy is set to open in September 2023, when it will start taking on year 7 and year 12 students. Prospectuses can be online at shirelandcbso.org.uk

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