On 4 May, our Head of Music and Performing Arts, Catherine Barker, was awarded “Music Teacher of the Week” by classical music radio station Scala.
Catherine was nominated for the title by our Head of Sport, Shaun Dowling, who appeared on Scala over the May bank holiday weekend to discuss the resounding impact that Catherine has had upon music education and the arts across the Group and beyond.
Catherine has developed a Group-wide music curriculum to open the world of music to all students. She has supported the growth of eight new secondary school music departments, which has led to an increase in 5,000 students learning music.
A great example of how we strive to provide an Education with Character, Catherine is persistent in delivering new and exciting musical opportunities to young people across our network of schools. She was behind the highly successful productions of “Zimbe!” in 2016, as well as “Wassail!” in 2017, both of which featured original music from celebrated composer Alexander L’Estrange.
Not only does Catherine’s work benefit students, staff and parents within United Learning but she also helps to provide educational resources and training to teachers outside our Group, helping students across the country to access an impactful musical education.
Catherine is currently organising and co-ordinating “Carmen”, the Group’s largest production to date, in partnership with Royal Opera House, Voices Foundation and English Pocket Opera Company. 1,500 students and staff – from primary, secondary, state and independent schools across the Group – are set to take to the stage at the Copperbox Arena in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in June where they will perform the world-renowned opera.
Shaun Dowling, our Head of Sport, said:
“The hard work that Catherine does doesn’t go unnoticed and it is really valued across the Group. Thousands of young people, their parents and their teachers are all really grateful for the time and energy Catherine puts into her work and for the enormous contribution she is making to music education in this country.”
Catherine Barker, our Head of Music and Performing Arts, said:
“I’m completely blown away by Shaun’s nomination and this recognition from Scala. It’s great to be able to raise awareness of all the excellent work that we do at United Learning in providing an Education with Character to our students – in the world of music and beyond. Our students are currently in the throes of rehearsals for “Carmen” and are all working incredibly hard – we cannot wait to showcase the final performance in June.”