PUPILS are singing in the hallways after their school was granted a musical achievement award.

Westlea Primary School in Langstone Way, Westlea, was granted a Gold Sing Up award in recognition of its singing achievements.

The Sing Up Awards is a £40m national programme launched two years ago to celebrate schools that place singing at the heart of school life and to support those which strive to achieve it.

Sing Up is the Music Manifesto’s National Singing Programme, a manifesto originally set up by the Government to promote collaboration across the formal and informal music sectors and the music industry.

In order to win the accolade, teachers and pupils aged four to 11 had to provide about 60 pieces of evidence to prove it was a singing school.

It was awarded Gold, which is above silver, but below platinum, by Liz Terry, the area representative for Sing Up, and John Winterflood, the director of Swindon Music Services.

Westlea Primary School’s music director Sarah Sumner said: “We’re really thrilled because it’s representative of the whole culture at Westlea.

“It’s just a benchmark to say singing is an integral part of the way we teach and of the school community.”

The award goes alongside the school’s gold award from Artsmark, a national award scheme managed by Arts Council England that recognises schools with a high level of provision in the arts.

Mrs Sumner says the inspiration to use music and the arts comes from the headteacher Suzanne Seaton.

There is a heavy emphasis on artistry and creativity at the school with singing events run throughout the school year.

There is also a school choir that regularly performs at festivals and events around Swindon.

“It’s something everybody can do, everybody can sing, it makes you feel good,” said Mrs Sumner.

“We look for opportunities to celebrate children’s achievements.

“Singing is encouraged in classes as part of practice.

“Music and art can really stimulate children’s thinking and it can impact across the curriculum.”

For information about the awards visit www.singup.org.