Performance Awards and Graded Examinations (PAGs)
What are Performance Awards and Graded Examinations?
A Performance Award and Graded Examination provides an incredible opportunity for the assessment of music ability and performance.
Candidates are assessed and moderated by the London College of Music Examinations and the University of West London. A Performance Award and Graded Examination offers candidates an assessment of their performance standard.
It is offering pupils in Newham the opportunity to take a Graded Music Examination, at absolutely no cost to parents or to schools as part of the “Every Child Matters” government initiative. All costs will be covered by the ECaM Programme. By adopting this approach pupils in Newham are offered a fantastic free opportunity to achieve a nationally recognised award in Music, fostering a sense of musical development, pride and confidence in the children themselves and pride for the school that they represent.
Why are ECaM involved in Performance Awards and Graded Examinations (PAGS)?
There are a number of benefits to being involved in the joint ECaM - London College of Music Performance Awards, some of which are outlined below:
- pupils can be involved in the Performance Awards and Grades assessment process during any school term, at any stage of learning
- assessments take place at school, a familiar environment
- the material and structure of the assessments relate to the way music is taught within the ECaM Programme
- ECaM tutors decide when pupils are ready for their Performance Award and Graded examination
- Greater flexibility is allowed in terms of Performance Award and Graded examination and submission dates
- submission of examination by filmed material
- assessment in a classroom environment with a trained assessor
- the ability to offer these Performance Awards and Grades to all pupils learning an instrument on the ECaM Programme
Accredited and Notable
- London College of Music Examinations (LCMe) is an accredited University body with over 130 years of experience in the musical examinations field
- material included in the assessment is at a comparable level to other accredited examination boards
- London College of Music (LCM) examinations and Performance Awards are validated within the Ofqual Qualification framework
ECAM’s Unique Performance Awards and Graded Examinations
Newham’s Every Child a Musician Programme is working in a ground breaking partnership with the London College of Music Examinations and the University of West London, in the development of bespoke Performance Awards and Graded (PAGs) examinations.
The Awards and Grades are available for each of ECAM’s instruments: violin, viola, clarinet, flute, keyboard, guitar, trumpet and trombone. They start at Step 1 for beginners, Step 2 as the children progress in their learning and then Grade 1.
The Awards and Grades are assessed by specially trained ECAM tutors, they are verified by the London College of Music Examinations and the certificates are awarded by the University of West London.
An important mark of quality is that ECAM’s Performance Awards and Grades are accredited within the Ofqual framework, the national body which assesses examinations nationwide. Therefore ECAM’s grades are of equal standing with any other external examining board.
Professor John Howard, University of West London said “These Performance Awards and Grades ensure that all the children in Newham have the same opportunities as children from more affluent boroughs. This is a unique and exciting project”.
The Every Child a Musician Programme becomes an official Examining Centre for the London College of Music Examinations
The London College of Music Examinations has invited the ECAM Programme to become an official examining centre. This means that Newham children, Newham residents and schools in other boroughs can enter ECAM’s Performance Awards and Graded Examinations.
This represents an important external verification of the quality of ECAM’s teaching and practice.
A range of specially selected tutors have been trained in assessing music examinations by Philip Aldred, Chief Examiner at the London College.
All the children in Newham’s classrooms now have access to awards and grades, at no cost to their parents or their schools.
The London College of Music Examinations have reported back that these results are on a par with their internationally mean results. We can be proud that the achievement of Newham’s children is equal to that of children around the UK and internationally.
An important element of the pilot was the involvement of Professor John Howard, who personally assessed a number of Newham’s children for their awards and grades. He described them as “hard working, showing high levels of musicality and a pleasure to work with.”