In Music, across the school, children work on three main areas:

They perform, listen to, review and evaluate music from different genres, styles and traditions, including learning about famous composers.

  • They learn to sing and use their voices, create music and have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument.
  • They understand how music is created, learning about the different features that make up a piece of music.

In Key Stage 1, children start to sing songs, speak chants and rhymes.  They begin to play tuned and untuned musical instruments musically, listen to and discuss live and recorded music, and they begin to select different sounds to make their own music.

In Key Stage 2, children are taught to play and perform (using their voices or instruments) in different contexts, compose music for different purposes, use and understand musical notation and begin to develop an understanding of the history of music. 

Children sing every week in assemblies, and are taught songs for specific events through the year.  At Christmas and in the summer, children prepare performances in which they have to sing or play instruments.  Recently, we have put on performances of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Annie Kids, The Lion King Kids, The Jungle Book Kids, The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins Junior and Beauty and The Beast.

All children have the opportunity in KS2 learn an instrument including violin, guitar, clarinet, flute and saxophone – led by specialist music teachers.  Performances are regular to encourage children to perform their instruments in front of their peers and parents.

The school also runs a Key Stage 2 choir, which performs regularly at events in the local area.


Stage Plays 21


At George Washington, we understand the importance in providing our children with the chance to take part in residentials. During these visits, we aim to provide all our pupils with a range of activities, that not only enhance the curriculum, but to also provide opportunities to a wide range of experiences to share with their friends.

In year 4, children are provided with the opportunity to spend one night away with their year group to develop their independence. They participate in exciting team building activities and explore the wonders of the natural world around them.

In year 5, children have the opportunity to spend two nights away in the centre of one of our most historic cities – York. On the residential, they will take part in a range of engaging activities: attending a ghost walk one evening, visiting York’s Chocolate Story and the famous Jorvik Viking Centre. 

As an end of primary school celebration, the children in year 6 will be offered the chance to take part in a two-night outward bound residential. They will take part in a variety of exhilarating activities: high rope courses, team building challenges, canoeing and lots more.

During 2021 – 2022, the following residentials took place:

  • Year 4 – Moor House Activity Centre
  • Year 5 – York City Break
  • Year 6 – Dukeshouse Wood Outdoor Centre

Forest School

Forest School

We believe that Forest School provides an outstanding opportunity to provide a wider range of learning experiences to children than would normally be available.  The use of forest school techniques develops a child’s self-esteem and confidence, as well as developing their awareness of risk and how to manage it.  In Forest School sessions, children  engage in a range of different activities in the outdoors that are led by our trained Forest School Leaders.  These can include using natural materials to construct shelters or to create art and craft, playing games, exploring and learning about the outdoors. Some of the work may be linked to particular topics from the classroom.  The activities may include the use of tools or cooking on a campfire.  Risk assessments are available for all activities that we take part in.  These are reviewed regularly to ensure that they are still current.

At George Washington Primary School we run forest school sessions both on our own site and at a remote woodland, Brockwell Woods. 

Our Forest School Site

Regular sessions take place on our own site which has been in a state of constant development over the years.  Our site is located at the edge of the field.  It started as just a grassy bank but over the years we have developed the site to include more trees and bushes as well as a fire circle and a willow tunnel.  We also have an outdoor classroom.

Brockwell Woods

Brockwell Woods offers children the chance to spend time learning in an environment away from school.  The remoteness of the site adds to the adventure.  Days at Brockwell are generally linked to a theme selected by the class teachers and the itinerary is planned to allow a range of experiences.  We use a remote site away from school to provide opportunities for the children to experience learning in a different environment.  The site can only be accessed by the children on foot and they have to walk across fields to get there.   This really adds to the feeling of being in a different place.  The site is a mixed deciduous woodland with few paths.  Once there we have to set up our own camp using equipment that we have to take with us.  The fire is a key part of the camp and the children are given specific instructions about how to keep safe. 

Forest School 12


At George Washington Primary School we pride ourselves in the opportunities we offer to our children. Children are given a chance to work with specialist coaches and utilise the skills taught in PE lessons. Our school attends a range of competitions and sporting festivals allowing the children to apply and further develop their skills.

We attend the following annual sporting festivals:

  • KS1 agility
  • Trampolining
  • Athletics
  • Tennis
  • Football League and Cups
  • Netball
  • Swimming Gala
  • Young Leaders

This year, the PE leads will continue to work closely with our local school games officer (SGO) to ensure that we broaden the opportunities for the children and develop their passion for physical education across the school.

Football Team

Every year, we provide the children with the opportunity to represent the school as part of our football team. We currently have a year 5/6 mixed team that compete in an intra school league and a year 4 team that competes in an annual cup tournament. Following the success of the lionesses in the Euros 2022, we are excited to establish a year 5/6 girls football team, who will participate in the newly formed intra school league.

Football Team 1 1

Mental Health and Wellbeing

At George Washington, we aim to promote positive mental health for every member of our staff and all pupils. We pursue this aim using universal, whole school approaches as well as specialised, targeted approaches aimed at vulnerable pupils. In an average classroom, three children will be suffering from a diagnosable mental health issue; at George Washington we aim to keep our children mentally healthy.

To promote positive mental health in school, we adopt a whole school approach towards developing a positive ethos and culture – one where everyone feels that they belong. It involves working with both pupils and families while making sure that the whole school community is welcoming, inclusive and respectful. Good mental health and wellbeing across the school will maximise the children’s learning potential – this will be achieved through the personal development curriculum, early support for pupils, fantastic staff-pupil relationships, effective leadership and a commitment from every single person involved with our school.

We have successfully achieved our Bronze and Silver Level Award for the Sunderland Mental Health Charter Mark!.

We were one of the first nine schools in Sunderland to achieve this award and we are very proud! 

To read more about it, please visit the Together for Children website:

Mr Knight

Mr Knight

Mental Health Lead

Miss Hussain

Miss Hussain

Mental Health Champion

Miss Forster

Miss Forster

Mental Health Champion

To support children, who may need support during a difficult time, we offer a range of supportive interventions: small group work; one-to-one nurture support; breaks in our purpose built, multi-faceted sensory room; relaxation periods; and mindfulness sessions. 

Children and families who need further support can access other services such as Early Help or CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).

School based counselling service: For more information, contact Mr Knight on 0191 490 6453 

Counselling allows a child time and space to work through their thoughts and feelings to gain a better understanding about what is concerning them. The work is delivered through creative expression and play. Counselling in school allows children to access support in a familiar, safe and secure environment and supports them to achieve their full potential.