Connecting young people with sound opportunities


Mila’s story

Five a Day – Early Years Singing Resource, North Yorkshire

All pictures are for illustrative purposes only as these stories have been anonymised.

“Singing is lovely, and it makes me so happy.”

Mila (not her real name) is a Ukrainian refugee. She took part in Five a Day sessions at her school, and when she started the sessions she had no English whatsoever. She used to use a translation app on an iPad and this wasn’t always a successful or practical way for her to be understood. It took the school a while to realise that her first language was Russian and not Ukrainian, and this caused additional distress and upset for her.

The one thing that she really did benefit from was making music in the classrooms and one of the schemes that was being used was Five a Day. Because it’s a highly repetitive and well supported resource, Mila was able to discern song meanings and associate them with the English phrases that she needed to learn. The listening and copying aspects of the resource that were designed to support communication and language development were perfect for her, and during the Five a Day sessions she was able to successfully join in alongside the rest of her new classmates. Her teacher and the music specialist in the setting both cite Five a Day as one of the things that accelerated her language acquisition. She has really built on her language skills and now has pretty amazing English – she’s worked so hard to learn so that she can make friends and feel as though she is a part of her class. In addition she has developed really secure pitch and a great sense of pulse and rhythm – a great result all round.