Why is Sistema Scotland opening a new Big Noise Programme in Wester Hailes?

Sistema Scotland believes that all children and young people have great skills, talents and potential. We also know that many of Scotland’s communities face long-standing inequalities and challenges that sometimes make it difficult for children to achieve their hopes, ambitions and dreams. Our charity is committed to ensuring that more children and communities across Scotland are able to take part in Big Noise. We aim to bring our Big Noise programmes to the children and communities who will benefit most from their transformative impacts. 


Who are the partners in the Programme?

We are delighted to be bringing Big Noise to Wester Hailes in partnership with The City of Edinburgh Council.

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How will the programme work in Wester Hailes? What schools will be involved?

The team that delivers the Big Noise programme will be based within the community. The programme will be delivered through a mix of in-school and after-school sessions across three primary schools: Canal View, Clovenstone and Sighthill.


What children will be involved?

We start working with the younger groups of children and the programme grows with them year by year as they get older and we take in the next year group below them. In 2022, we will start working with Primary 1 and 2 children during the school day before the summer holidays and then run a small holiday club for two weeks in July. In the new school year we will see the P1s, P2s and P3s twice a week during the school day before hoping to start our after-school programme for P3s in October. Over time we will add additional strands such as Baby Noise for babies and their parent/carer, Nursery sessions and various adult groups for playing, singing and making music together.


When will Big Noise Wester Hailes finish?

Big Noise Wester Hailes is a long term commitment to the community we serve.


What can the children expect?

An immersive, creative, fun experience with lots of group work. The children will get to learn to play instruments and experience a life filled with music. Longer term, the kids will get to perform in some amazing locations and potentially have residential stays in Scotland. They will learn the value of persisting in learning something difficult and the rewards that come as a result. They will also develop vital life skills such as listening and following instructions, concentration, team work, confidence and resilience.


What can the parents expect?

A creative contribution to the community around school and after-school, the opportunity for their children to learn to play at least one instrument. In the longer term, they will be able to see their children perform in an orchestra and experience the full benefits of the Big Noise programme. If they wish, eventually there will be opportunities for the parents to get involved through an orchestra created for adults and through volunteering.


What can the wider community expect?

A long term commitment from a team of people dedicated to helping Wester Hailes grow. The Big Noise Wester Hailes orchestra will belong to the community and there will be opportunities to see the children perform, volunteer, and grow.


How many volunteers are needed? What will they need to do?

We are always looking for volunteers to help with the Big Noise. The other centres have about 15 regular volunteers. The volunteers help with children in the classes, moving children from school-to-school, getting the snacks ready and a multitude of other tasks. We need people with an enthusiasm for working with children and who know the community. Having an interest in music would also be good.


How else can the Wester Hailes community help the Big Noise Centre?

Get involved, have fun and support the children and the team. We welcome suggestions on how else we can work together.


How does the After School Club work?

After School is an opt-in part of the programme. The children will get to have fun, learn about music and rhythm, have healthy snacks, and learn to play music through instrument classes. We are hoping to introduce an After School Club to local Primary 3 children from October 2022.


It’s completely free and inclusive for the children in Wester Hailes.


How does the Big Noise education programme fit in with Curriculum for Excellence?

We work in partnership with schools to ensure that our education programme fits with the Curriculum for Excellence. We work with teachers to make sure it is up to date.


Can children who don’t live in Wester Hailes join the Programme?

Unlike other interventions, we are a community-based social change programme. The orchestra has to belong to the community it serves and therefore only children from the community are eligible to participate.


Do children have to pay to attend Big Noise?

No. There is no charge to take part in any of the activities.


Do children have to pay for their instruments?

No. Instruments are provided by the charity free of charge.


Where can I stay up-to-date with the latest developments at Big Noise Wester Hailes?

The Big Noise team will be in close communication directly with our parter schools, who will keep parents/carers up-to-date with any key developments. You can also contact and follow us on our Facebook page here!



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