Students in year 3 at St John Fishers Primary school were learning about Canada and we were able to deliver a project around Canadian spoon playing.


OCM have worked with St John Fisher Primary school on a number of music projects over the years and this is our second Arts Award Project with the school.

When we last spoke with the school we mentioned that we would be interested in tailoring our workshops to support the needs of the curriculum. This was of keen interest to them and when the right opportunity presented itself we returned to deliver this project.


St John Fisher School approached OCM for some ideas on how they could use music to enrich their year 3 class topic, Canada.

The school are also working toward achieving Artsmark so we decided to include Arts Award in the delivery of our project.

We approached artist Jo May who plays the spoons and other exotic instruments. We asked her  to devise a fun participatory workshop using Canada as a theme. Jo had recently been researching French Canadian music which spoon playing has a strong role in and used this as stimulus with the class. 

The Story

During the summer term of 2015 Jo May visited the school and delivered four weeks of fantastic and inspiring workshops for the children, improving their musical skills as well as deepening their learning on their class topic.

We used Arts Award Discover as a framework for our project and the young people practised their spoon playing and art form knowledge as the weeks went on.

Impact on Participants

During the project it was clear that the children were enthused by the content, the history and the practical activities in the workshop sessions. There were a lot of , “wows, cools and gasps of surprise when they learnt new things.

The students grew in confidence as the sessions progressed and by the end of the project they were able to put on a small performance for parents after school as well as a school assembly.

Next steps

We are planning to deliver projects like this once a year with a primary school in Oxford, and we will maintain our relationship with St John Fisher School and deliver projects with them whenever it is possible.

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