Spotlight on a school: Ysgol Dewi Sant, Rhyl

Friday 18th December, 2015
This month we talk to music pupils and staff of Ysgol Dewi Sant, Rhyl. Here at DMC, we asked Geraint Davies, Headteacher at Ysgol Dewi Sant some questions about the music service…
How many pupils in Dewi Sant learn an instrument or have singing lessons? 
At the moment we have 83 pupils learning 5 different instruments and they are all thoroughly enjoying themselves. 

How many music tutors from DMC teach in your school? 
We are very fortunate to have 5 excellent tutors who teach musical instruments and voice at Ysgol Dewi Sant. Although they work for DMC we also count them as our staff as they are very valued. 

Do you have a music room that lessons take place in? 
It was very exciting last year that we were able to develop a room that became free to be a music room for the peripatetic lessons. Gone are the days when lessons took place in cloakrooms, staff rooms and on corridors and the pupils and tutors get VIP treatment . As space is always at a premium the development of a music room was key in ensuring the pupils got the best out of the service and received the best possible opportunity to learn a new skill. 

How did you find the transition to the new music service and are you pleased with the service you receive from DMC? 
The transition from William Mathias to DMC was a very easy one and from the pupils perspective seamless. We are very happy with the service we receive from DMC and are looking forward to seeing the co-operative going from strength to strength. I think the service Denbighshire school receive from DMC is the way forward and other authorities could learn a lot from it. 

How valuable do you think it is for a school to buy in music lessons? 
Obviously schools are measured on standards, measured by GwE, Estyn and other organisations and other measures are sometimes overlooked.   We believe strongly in giving pupils different opportunities to shine, be that on a playing field, in class, on stage or musically and learning to play an instrument can be life changing. Music lessons enable children to learn different skills, teaches patience, enhances listening skills, develops concentration and perseverance. The fact that 83 pupils currently have lessons is testament that we as a school believe in the service and promote it within and outside the school. Our pupils have opportunities to showcase their musical skills to wider audiences and even have had the opportunity to play with a rock star – without the support of DMC we couldn’t offer these opportunities. Denbighshire Music Co-operative – Long may it last! 

– Mr Geraint Davies, Headteacher at Ysgol Dewi Sant