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St James Hatcham



Music is fully embedded into school life at St James Hatcham as we aim to provide a platform for all our musicians to shine and develop their musical talents and potential.

It is proven that children who engage in high quality, regular musical learning from an early age gain musical, intellectual, emotional and social advantages. However, many children miss out on these benefits as they do not have access to any form of music education.  Over the years staff at St James Hatcham have had many training sessions and much fun learning about the value of singing, musical techniques and the importance of a strong musicianship foundation.

Many of our pupils are actively involved in music and there is a wide range of opportunities to play, sing, perform or simply enjoy listening to music through:

Specialist teaching and training

We are the only school in Lewisham to partner with The Voices Foundation, a national charity which aims to make sure that no child is left out when it comes to learning singing and musicianship. The Voices Foundation has provided training for all our school staff, developing their knowledge, skills and confidence in teaching music effectively. This has transformed the quality of music teaching in our school. What’s more, we are privileged to have over very own specialist singing teacher at the school.

Singing and The Choir

Pupils interview and audition to be part of our highly successful choir who then regularly perform for our school and wider community, sing at the legendary Lewisham Showcase and have, and always will, look for ways to raise money for charity.

We regularly incorporate various singing styles during our singing assemblies such as acapella, rounds and we have even perfected our very own mash up! All of which work alongside our whole school vision of developing oracy and becoming confident, articulate advocates.

Singing has become an everyday norm here at St James Hatcham and our children’s talents have really shone through. We cannot wait to see how far our children’s voices can take them!

Instrumental tuition

Lessons are offered in a range of instruments, including piano, drumming and guitar, of which the majority take place during the school day. There is a charge for instrumental tuition, but the cost is usually lower than private lessons outside school.  They prove very popular and there is often a waiting list!

When I started piano I thought it was hard to learn the notes but I decided to keep going. I kept on practising, and I learned the notes. Now I know it’s good not to give up! 

Ainara Y5

Rocksteady Music School

We partner with Rocksteady Music School whose inspirational, skilled band leaders come in to teach our pupils how play in a band. Choosing from the electric guitar, keyboard, drums or vocals, pupils learn musical skills alongside building teamwork, resilience and communication skills. We hold concerts, so our pupils show off their progress to friends, teachers and their families with the rest of their band.

The Piatti Quartet

Through the Cavatina Music Trust, the Piatti Quartet have performed regularly at St James Hatcham. They are one of the most distinguished string quartets of their generation and have performed in all the major venues and festivals around the country and abroad. Their recitals give our children an opportunity to hear world-class classical music performed live in their own school. We are very fortunate that quartet member, Michael Trainor is also our violin tutor.

The Gentlemen of St John's

The Gentlemen of St John's are a vocal ensemble made up of Choral and Organ Scholars from the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge. We are extremely lucky to receive visits from The ‘Gents’ who perform and provide workshops for our pupils.