NCEA Music

NCEA is committed to high quality and inclusive music education. We are one of the few educational establishments nationally that employs a primary music ‘specialist’ who coordinates, plans and delivers both curriculum based and extracurricular music across the NCEA primary phase.

At NCEA, we see the wider benefits music can bring to our pupils and therefore strive to provide them with as many opportunities as possible, both inside and out of school. Research has shown that music can help children with numeracy and literacy skills, as well as helping them become confident, independent and resilient learners.

Instrumental Tuition

A team of 10 instrumental tutors work closely alongside primary teachers to deliver music tuition throughout KS2 in the form of whole class (Y4), half class (Y5) and small group (Y6) lessons on a wide range of orchestral and traditional instruments. The curriculum is delivered to students via instrumental tuition, which has proved a fun and engaging way to learn. All instruments are provided by the school and students aim to take their grade 1 ABRSM exam after SATs in Y6.

  • Josephine Butler Primary – Y3: Recorders. Y4: Violin / Steel Pan. Y5: Mandolin / Ukulele. Y6 Violin / Cello.
  • Grace Darling – Y3: Recorders. Y4: Cornet / Trombone. Y5: Cornet / Trombone Y6: Clarinet / Cornet / Trombone.
  • Thomas Bewick – Y3: Recorders. Y4: Recorders Y5: Clarinet. Y6: Trombone / Tenor Horn.
  • James Knott – Y3: Recorders. Y4: Recorders. Y5: Saxophone. Y6: Trumpet / Tenor Horn Extra: Northumbrian Pipes.
  • William Leech – Y3: Recorders. Y4: ‘Toot’. Y5: Flute. Y6: Flute.


Extra-Curricular Music

NCEA Primary prides itself on the broad range of extra curricular music activities we are able to offer, specifically catered to the specific needs of each campus. The lunchtime and after school clubs are delivered not only by music staff, but also by primary teachers who are instrumentalists themselves and are passionate about sharing their love of music. Through these, students take part in performance opportunities such as concerts, events and festivals throughout the year, showcasing their musical learning to their families and peers.

Over the next few years, campuses will evolve into specialist schools which focus on one section of the orchestra. This will enable schools to develop extra curricular ensembles further, and allow each campus to remain unique.

  • Josephine Butler – Recorder Club, Choir, String Group
  • Grace Darling – Recorder Club, Choir, Trombone Group, Rockestra, Rock Choir, Steel By The Sea (Newbiggin -By- The Sea -Partnership)
  • Thomas Bewick – Recorder Club, Choir
  • James Knott – Recorder Club, Choir, Classical Guitar Group
  • William Leech – Choir, Guitar Group

NCEA has been selected to host the prestigious Wansbeck Music Festival for three years in a row now, with each year proving to be more and more successful for the Academy. In 2016, we were placed in 25 categories, with students bringing home trophies, shields and bursaries. Primary ensembles successfully competed in several categories including Guitar Ensemble, Choir – Own Choice Hymn, Brass Group, String Group and various Vocal solos. The 2016 Wansbeck Music Festival was a fantastic experience for students, and they had similar successes this year, being placed in 32 categories!


All musical successes are celebrated at NCEA, and primary individuals and groups are commended in their Campus end of week achievement assemblies. A range of awards and certificates are presented to successful individuals and teams throughout the year from the various festivals, concerts and competitions they partake in


Head of Music Development / Primary Music Coordinator: Rebecca Glanville


Director of Music: Selwyn Thompson


NCEA Instrumental Staff:

Emma Simm (Woodwind & Piano)

Jenny Gilberg (Steel pans)

Matthew Forster (Woodwind)

Cathy Geldard (Strings)

Tim Bloomer (Guitar)

Richard Wallace (Upper brass)

Tony Griffiths (Lower brass)

Anna Corcoran (Voice)

Instrumental Staff funded by the Newbiggin by the Sea Partnership:

Aaron Bayley (voice)

David Muckle (guitar / keys / drums)

Emma Straughn (clarinet / piano).