Education Minister, Leighton Andrews, has announced nearly £245,000 of funding to extend a project to promote singing in schools for another year.
The CânSing programme was introduced in 2009 to help school children take up singing, both as part of activities within the school curriculum as well as out of lesson time.
The programme has provided training, support and guidance on the promotion and benefit of singing to over 700 schools in Wales, with a further 200 schools due to be supported by the project over the coming year, thanks to the additional funding.
The programme – delivered by charity CaST (Communities and Schools Together) Cymru – has been positively received, with schools reporting that the training improved the confidence of teachers delivering singing activities.
Schools find the programme helps to motivate and engage reluctant learners, can support the development of language skills, and also supports young people with special educational needs.
The CânSing website – which allows users to access valuable resources, including songs, exercises and good practice guidance – is also proving very popular with schools, receiving several thousand unique hits per month.
The new funding will deliver a programme of training to an additional 200 schools, with a focus on Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Caerphilly, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.
Education Minister, Leighton Andrews said: “It is essential that while in school children and young people are able to develop the confidence necessary to fulfil their potential – both during their school years and long into adult life. The CânSing programme is designed to motivate and engage learners, as well as develop skills such as team work and communication, and I am pleased that this programme is having a positive impact on a variety of aspects of children’s development.
“The £244,900 of funding I have announced, will allow at least 200 extra schools to provide this no-cost, whole-class activity, so that hundreds more children can gain from the excellent benefits it provides.”
The programme is delivered by the charity CaST Cymru (previously ContinYou Cymru), in partnership with local authorities. It is aimed principally at pupils in Years 5, 6 and 7.