Performance Awards and Graded Examinations (PAGs)
What are Performance Awards and Graded Examinations?
The Performance Awards and Graded Examinations are formal assessments in musical performance and ability, designed by the Every Child a Musician programme in partnership with the London College of Music Examinations (LCMe). These graded examinations provide an excellent opportunity to gain an Ofqual accredited qualification, awarded by the University of West London (UWL).
The awards and examinations are designed alongside schemes of work to deliver the National Curriculum, offering pupils the chance to work towards and receive a genuine qualification to be proud of. This is at no cost to parents or schools, with all costs covered by the Every Child a Musician programme.
Candidates are examined by specialist assessors within Every Child a Musician, and moderated by the London College of Music Examinations. This ensures that the highest standards in assessment practice are maintained, and enables ECaM to quality assure its teaching.
Over the course of the 2017/2018 academic year, more than 7500 pupils in Newham have taken and passed a graded examination as part of the Every Child a Musician programme. This has been highly beneficial to pupils, fostering a greater understanding of their own musical development, a sense of pride and confidence in their learning, and an enthusiasm to achieve their potential. Professor John Howard, Director of the LCMe and lecturer at the University of West London, personally assessed a selection of Newham’s pupils during the scheme’s pilot, and described the children as “hard working, showing high levels of musicality, and a pleasure to work with.”
What are the benefits of the Performance Awards and Graded Examinations?
There are a number of benefits to being involved with the Performance Awards and Graded Examinations as part of the Every Child a Musician programme:
- Pupils can take an assessment at any stage of their learning throughout the academic year.
- Assessments take place at the pupil’s school, a familiar and safe environment.
- The materials and structure of the assessments are designed alongside schemes of work which deliver the National Curriculum, and are regularly reviewed to ensure they reflect the latest pedagogical developments.
- Instrumental tutors, assessors, and schools decide collaboratively when pupils are ready for examination, allowing for flexible arrangements which have the pupils’ best interests at heart.
Accredited and Notable
- The London College of Music Examinations is an accredited university body with over 130 years of experience in the musical examinations field.
- The LCMe and the Performance Awards and Graded Examinations are validated within Ofqual’s Regulated Qualification Framework.
- Assessment materials and practices are of equal standing with other accredited examination boards.
ECaM’s Unique Performance Awards and Graded Examinations
The Every Child a Musician programme is working in a ground breaking partnership with the London College of Music Examinations (LCMe) and the University of West London (UWL), providing bespoke examinations in instrumental performance.
The awards and grades are available for each instrument taught by ECaM: violin, viola, cello, clarinet, flute, keyboard, guitar, trumpet, trombone, flutophone and ukulele. The qualifications begin at Step 1 for pupils at the start of their learning. This is followed by Step 2 as the children progress, moving on to Grade 1 which propels pupils into their journey through more advanced grades.
Professor John Howard of the LCMe and UWL said “these Performance Awards and Grades ensure that all the children in Newham have the same opportunities as children from more affluent boroughs. This is a unique and exciting project.”
The Every Child a Musician programme becomes an official Examining Centre for the London College of Music Examinations
The LCMe has invited the Every Child a Musician programme to become an official examining centre. This means that ECaM’s Performance Awards and Graded Examinations (PAGs) are now available to schools and the wider community from other boroughs. This represents an important external verification of the Every Child a Musician programme’s quality of provision in both teaching and assessment practices.
Assessors receive highly specialised training from the Chief Examiner at the London College of Music Examinations (LCMe), Dr Philip Aldred. The LCMe have reported that the results from the Performance Awards and Graded Examinations are on a par with their international mean figures. We can be very proud that the achievement of Newham’s pupils is equal to that of children around the UK and internationally.