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ABRSM launches ‘Classical 100’, a free online resource bringing classical music to primary schools


Kortext partners with Microsoft to make studying easier for students


Kortext, the UK’s leading digital textbook platform, is working with Microsoft to give students and universities easy access to thousands of textbooks anytime, anywhere and on any device.


The partnership agreement will see Kortext integrate its digital textbook software into the Microsoft Office 365 cloud- based platform, now used by over 100 universities in the UK and thousands more globally.


By adding over 200,000 education titles to Office 365, including the key front list textbooks from all major publishers such as Pearson, Cengage and Wiley, Kortext and Microsoft are able to offer an affordable and extensive selection of digital learning materials to universities worldwide. The platform integrates the content with detailed student engagement analytics to deliver what universities need to better support student learning outcomes. Kortext is also producing a new app for the Universal Windows 10 Platform, which will contain a number of unique features to aid students in their learning as they access their key textbooks through the platform.


James Gray, CEO of Kortext, said: “I am delighted that Microsoft has chosen to partner with Kortext as it very much validates our technology and solutions, as we continue to develop our platform for the modern learning environment. Partnering with Microsoft means that we can accelerate our global reach as the Microsoft Office 365 platform has over 15 million UK education users and over 200 million education users worldwide. By integrating Kortext with Office 365 we can give users unparalleled access to the content they require and provide an enhanced user experience.” Marc Wells, deputy director of the education technology unit at Imperial College Business School, said: “We have been delighted with our partnership with Kortext who have delivered digital textbooks to our students for the last two years and who, in our opinion, continue to innovate ahead of any other provider in the market. We look forward to our faculty and students, who are big users of Microsoft Office 365 and Kortext, benefiting from this new partnership.”


www.kortext.com 8 www.education-today.co.uk November 2015


Teachers in primary schools in England can now ignite their pupils’ enthusiasm for classical music with a free online resource, Classical 100. Complementing existing teaching resources, Classical 100 has been developed by ABRSM in partnership with Classic FM and Decca Classics and with the support of the Department for Education. Classical 100 is built around 100 recordings of classical music pieces which teachers can draw upon in lessons, school assemblies and other school activities. Alongside a recording of each of the works taken from Decca’s world-renowned catalogue, there is information about the composer and the story behind the music. ABRSM has also drawn on its network of primary school experts to create and publish a range of downloadable materials on the resource throughout the academic year, thereby helping teachers to bring the music to life in the classroom.


Classic FM’s Aled Jones, musician, broadcaster and father of two, has welcomed the initiative, saying: “Classical music can be the richest and most emotionally fulfilling thing in the world for many people and it’s important that children can hear and explore it in imaginative ways from an early age. Classical 100 is a wonderful collection of some of the treasures of classical music and will hopefully help open doors to a lifetime of listening for a new generation.”


Teachers can use the flexible resource to raise energy levels by selecting Bernstein’s ‘Mambo’ from West Side Story, or encourage a moment of quiet reflection with Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata; if a class were, for example, exploring story-telling, the teacher could draw together multiple resources around Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf; and, Classical 100 can also be used to meet the National Curriculum’s Key Stage 1 criteria of ‘listening to, reviewing and evaluating music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians’. For example, if a teacher wanted to exemplify the Romantic period, it would lead them to a list including Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture or if they were exploring Choral music they could discover Handel’s ‘Hallelujah’ Chorus from Messiah. Classical 100 was developed by industry experts with a wealth of primary teaching knowledge and professional experience compiling syllabuses and other education materials and has been rigorously tested by a broad community of teachers, music services, and educational musical experts.


Schools Minister Nick Gibb said “At the heart of this government’s commitment to extending opportunity is a belief that all pupils should have access to an excellent, well-rounded education – music is a key part of this. Music shouldn’t be the preserve of a privileged few. All children should have the opportunity to hear and appreciate the work of great composers and musicians. These imaginative new resources, developed by experts in music education, will help schools introduce a new generation to the wonders of classical music.”


Schools can gain full, unlimited free access to Classical 100 by registering at www.abrsm.org/classical100


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