Big Noise Wester Hailes Celebrates Successful Launch

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As the school year comes to an end, Big Noise Wester Hailes is celebrating a successful first four months of delivery in the community – and eagerly looks ahead towards expansion of the programme.

The newest member of the Big Noise family began delivery in April of this year and now engages all Primary 1 and 2 children in its three partner Primary Schools. The team at Wester Hailes are now rolling out the area’s first Big Noise summer holiday club programme, and are looking forward to adding an after-school programme for Primary 3’s in the new academic year.

Big Noise is a high-quality music education and social change programme, where the symphony orchestra becomes a community which supports children and young people to gain vital life skills such as confidence, resilience, creativity and aspiration. Through music and nurturing relationships, from infancy to adulthood, Big Noise supports participants’ wellbeing and helps them reach their full potential. The programme also aims to strengthen the amazing communities where it is based; developing relationships with participants and their families based on mutual respect, trust and a commitment to work together and tackle inequalities for the long term.

The Big Noise Wester Hailes programme is delivered by Sistema Scotland, in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council and with Clovenstone, Canal View and Sighthill Primary and Nursery Schools. Significant support has been committed from Baillie Gifford, Parabola Foundation and players of People’s Postcode Lottery among others.

Independent evaluation of the Big Noise model by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health has shown that taking part in Big Noise helps children to improve their concentration and language skills, enhance their problem solving and decision making, increase their self-esteem and develop strong friendships and support networks. The children and young people who take part in Big Noise programmes benefit from improvements in social and life skills, increased levels of self-confidence, and benefit from the respite, support, and protection that the programme provides.

Big Noise Wester Hailes is currently working with all children in Primary 1 and 2. Thereafter, the programme will expand to reach all nursery to Primary 3 age children – approximately 400 participants in total across the community. Big Noise Wester Hailes will continue to grow each year, introducing the next generations of nursery and Primary 1 children. It will ultimately work with babies through to school-leavers in the community, as well as offering opportunities to stay involved in the programme as adults.

Stewart Wilson, Head of Centre at Big Noise Wester Hailes, said:

The focus in the Big Noise lessons first and foremost is fun. Through activities like singing, movement, dancing, and games, we teach the children about beat, rhythm, and pitch to build up their musical fundamentals – whilst also developing motor skills. Music is important in helping our brains to grow and develop. I hope that Big Noise Wester Hailes can continue as we have started. The children have been really engaged with our sessions, and we’ve been having a great time with them. Going forward we will add more classes and build the programme as the children grow.

Councillor Joan Griffiths, Convener for Education, Children and Families at the City of Edinburgh Council, said:

I am delighted to see the early success of the Big Noise programme in Wester Hailes. Having a programme like the Big Noise operating in the area is an excellent opportunity for the local community and the city. As has been found in Sistema Scotland’s other Big Noise programmes across the country, access to an immersive, high-quality music education is an incredibly effective way of boosting the confidence, social and life skills, and overall prospects of children and young people.  The City of Edinburgh council is very proud to be a partner and support the work of Big Noise Wester Hailes.

Steven Jamieson, Head Teacher of Clovenstone Primary School, said:

Having Big Noise working at Clovenstone Primary has been a really exciting opportunity for all of us in the school community. We’ve seen and heard some amazing things about what Big Noise has achieved in other parts of Scotland – so we’re delighted to have the Big Noise working here at Clovenstone. Working together with Big Noise, we can help the children to develop skills such as creativity, resilience, self-confidence and also increase their wider achievement. Big Noise could become a real focal point for the amazing community we have here in Wester Hailes. The way that Big Noise focuses on developing positive relationships, nurturing children and families, and engaging the whole school community has got real potential for tackling social inequality in the long term.

The mother of a Big Noise Wester Hailes participant, said:

Since she started the lessons with Big Noise, my daughter is always up and bouncing about and making music – it’s really nice to see. She loves the classes. Taking part in the Big Noise has had a really big impact on her. She loves music now, so it’s given her an interest and something to focus on. Hopefully longer term we can keep my daughter involved with Big Noise – I hope the programme carries on for a long time.

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