13th May 2024 All Posts

The Role of Music in School Readiness and Closing the Attainment Gap

Guest blog from Early Years music provider – Boogie Mites.

In this guest blog, Tasha from Boogie Mites sheds light on the transformative power of music in early years education. Through their innovative programs, Boogie Mites demonstrates how daily interactive music and movement activities can significantly enhance essential skills crucial for school readiness. By drawing on neuroscience evidence and research studies, Boogie Mites showcases how music can boost communication, phonological awareness, self-regulation, attention, and motor skills—all foundational elements for successful learning.

School readiness

In recent years, there has been considerable attention drawn to research indicating that nearly half of the children entering school in the Reception year of 2022 were not adequately prepared for the academic and social challenges ahead (as per the School Readiness 2022 survey by Kindred2, published in January 2023).

The term “school readiness” has been a subject of debate within the early years sector. While it serves as a common framework for assessing a child’s developmental stage upon entering school, many educators express reservations about its implications. Criticisms often stem from the perception that readiness cannot be neatly quantified by standardised assessments, such as baseline assessments.

However, despite these concerns, the concept has remained over the years, encompassing a range of foundational skills outlined in the 7 Areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage, notably emphasising proficiency in mathematics and literacy. Notably, the research highlights that many children in poverty are less school-ready than their peers, creating an ‘attainment gap’.

School readiness skills include:

  • Communication and language
  • Phonological awareness (not phonics!)
  • Self-regulation
  • Listening and attention
  • Group skills, sharing and cooperation
  • Gross and fine motor skills
  • Spatial awareness
  • Sequencing and pattern awareness

Closing the attainment gap

How can we help to close this attainment gap, and ensure children have firm foundations for learning?  Music holds the key! 

All these skills can be boosted with daily interactive music and movement activities based on neuroscience evidence and research studies, and at Boogie Mites we can help with this! Boogie Mites School Ready Literacy & Maths Programmes are specifically designed for this stage of early years, developing strong foundations for literacy and maths at school, while also supporting social, emotional and physical development. And the best part? It’s great fun!

Getting guardians involved with Boogie Mites parent packs is also key, as the added practice at home over the summer will maximise the benefits that music practice brings to school readiness.

It’s worth noting that numerous early years settings opt to allocate their EYPP (Early Years Pupil Premium) funding towards our Boogie Mites music programmes. By investing in our programmes they receive practitioner training and resources that can be used in the setting and for parent engagement sessions.

You can find out more about this here in Boogie Mites blog.

Sign up to our Newsletter

Join our newsletter to receive further insights from Boogie Mites, as well as other early childhood experts, organisations, and providers.
Share this article
About the Author

Content Marketing Executive at Connect Childcare