#ShareYourMFStory – St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College

17th October 2018

Welcome to our newest Musical Futures Champion School – St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College, Bradford – and Head of Music Sarah Ross Shaw as she shares he Musical Futures journey.

“St. Bede’s and St. Joseph’s is one of the largest Catholic schools in Great Britain. We currently have almost 2000 students on roll and are located in the middle of dynamic Bradford, the youngest city in the U.K.  We are a truly comprehensive school with students of all cultures learning across two sites.

I first got involved with Musical Futures in Leeds back in 2010 when I worked with Musical Futures M.D, Fran Hannan on a Gifted and Talented Y8 project with Pop Practitioners. The project was an enormous success, it raised the profile of music within the school with the outcome of many more of our students taking up Music at GCSE level.

I arrived at St. Bede’s and St. Joseph’s Catholic College in 2012 in a dilapidated Fiesta with a Bass guitar and a Purple Ukulele.  I wanted to create an immediately impact and so I introduced Musical Futures as part of a strategy to engage students and show them that Music lessons could be exciting and relevant.  We immediately established Schemes of Work on the Top 40, Battle of the Bands and Reggae based on Musical Futures approaches and saw engagement soar.

Today we are a vibrant department always busy with bands and ensembles and fantastic joint projects with our colleagues such as the Bradford Schools Prom and the musicals Les Misérables and School of Rock last academic year.  Through Musical Futures we began to work internationally with a partner school in Brisbane, Australia. We offer Music at GCSE, BTEC Levels 2 and 3 and A Level and achieved 100% 5 and above in the new 1-9 GCSEs last summer.  Bradford Music Hub recently nominated us for Music Mark status and we were delighted when MF awarded us Champion School Status in September 2018.

It’s estimated that by 2030, 800 million global workers will lose their jobs to robots. It’s more important than ever that we encourage students to be creative thinkers. As a Musical Futures Champion Teacher I’m so proud to be a member of the Musical Futures team who encourage independence, resilience and creativity in our young people.”

If you’d like to share your story of how Musical Futures contributes to the music-making in your school, then please email with an outline of how you feel info@musicalfutures.org with the title #ShareYourMFStory in the subject line

All #ShareYourMFStory contributions featured on our website or social media channels will receive a free playalong resource of your choice.

*Terms and conditions

  • Contributors to #ShareYourMFStory must be a member of Musical Futures

  • Submission of a #ShareYourMFStory contribution does not guarantee publication – all contributions selected to feature on the Musical Futures website or social media channels are the decision of the Musical Futures Team.
  • All pictures/videos accompanying #ShareYourMFStory contributions must be cleared for photo permissions for use on our website or social media channels.

Excellent workshops ‑ extremely accessible for all abilities and levels."

Claire Armour, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra