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About Sparkyard

Songs for the whole of life, and a world alive with singing.


How It All Started

In 1989, Helen Johnson was asked to write a short nativity musical by the headteacher of the primary school where she was teaching. ‘Off To Bethlehem’ was a huge success and within months Mark and Helen were given the amazing opportunity to leave their jobs and explore their gift in writing music. It was with a deep breath and a big leap of faith that they went on to set up their own publishing company and begin to fulfil their passion. And so, Out of the Ark Music was born!



Small Beginnings

By 2010, alongside their own musical creations, Mark and Helen had invited more writers into the Ark and together they built a larger catalogue of songs. Schools now had material to use in assemblies, musicals, nativities, classrooms and even in the lunchtime queue. Cassette tapes changed to CDs and then esongbooks – using our unique Words-on-Screen technology – became the way to access our music. What began with only a tiny desk under the stairs has grown over 30 years to become a thriving business, which now supplies over 18,000 schools.



Our Vision

With well over 1000 songs in the Out of the Ark catalogue, we were keen to open up access for schools to the whole of this song bank, allowing teachers to tap into the endless creative possibilities a song can give and enabling them to enrich their teaching across the whole curriculum and throughout the school day. In 2016, in collaboration with Professor Susan Hallam, we began a major research project into the most effective ways of integrating music and singing into the wider curriculum and the benefits that would bring. What followed was years of exciting conversations, creative brainstorms, further research, plenty of development and of course more songwriting to create something that encapsulated our vision of ‘Songs for the whole of life and a world alive with singing’. Sparkyard was born!



Launch Of Sparkyard

Sparkyard was launched in March 2022. To say that we were overwhelmed by the response to its release is an understatement! Sparkyard is, of course, always growing and developing. We will keep writing and adding values-based songs and resources enabling all teachers to bring singing to every corner of their school. We will continue to innovate, create, adapt and develop Sparkyard to make it the most helpful and enjoyable resource for primary schools, and will of course continue to do what we love most, which is to write and produce songs for children that make a positive difference to their lives. We’re excited for the future.


Our desire will always be to provide the very best songs and singing resources we can, to encourage individuals and communities to experience and enjoy ‘Life to the full’.

Our Goal Is...

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To enhance and expand children’s enjoyment of music and the world around them by producing songs that are thought-provoking, relevant and most of all great fun to sing.
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To write positive songs full of goodness that reinforce self-worth and significance and that are appropriate to children’s experience.
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To make all our resources completely teacher-friendly, highly accessible and fun to use.
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To help schools embrace singing as a core part of their daily life.
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To have fun in the process and continue to bring smiles to our faces and the faces of the children and schools who sing our songs.
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Contact Us

+44 (0)20 8481 7200

Sparkyard HQ Units F1 & F2

Kingsway Business Park Oldfield Road, Hampton, TW12 2HD, UK

©2023 Out of the Ark Ltd