Sistema Scotland: evaluation of Big Noise Douglas

Divya Jindal-Snape*, Derya Asi, Anna Robb, Alexia Barrable, Chris Murray, Eilidh Ross, Hailey Austin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Sistema Scotland is a charity with the purpose of “supporting children, young people and families to realise their potential, improving lives and strengthening communities through music and nurturing relationships”. Sistema Scotland currently runs four Big Noise programmes across Scotland, including Big Noise Douglas (BND). BND was launched in September 2017 and works with children from the Douglas community of Dundee who attend the two local primary schools – St Pius X RC and Claypotts Castle Primary. At present, all (around 250) P1-P3 children and 92 P3-P6 children participate in BND. BND also has a Baby Noise, Nursery and Community orchestra provision. This report focusses on the in-school (P1-3) and after-school (P3-6) programme strands as well as Baby Noise. Please note that due to COVID-19 related restrictions, the provision was adapted for 2020 and 2021.

Sistema Scotland’s first three Big Noise programmes have been evaluated extensively by a partnership led by Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) and involving Audit Scotland, Education Scotland and Glasgow Caledonian University. Please refer to Evaluating Sistema Scotland: initial findings report (GCPH, 2015); Evaluating Sistema Scotland: Big Noise Torry initial findings report (GCPH, 2017); and People change lives (GCPH, 2019). The GCPH evaluation has established a high degree of consistency of outcomes across Big Noise programmes and outlines seven impact pathways and related logic models which are used within this evaluation of Big Noise Douglas.

This evaluation focussed on BND from 2017 to 2020; however, due to the massive impact of COVID-19 on everyone’s life over the past year, participants mainly focussed on BND provision in 2020. This was also influenced by data collection being conducted between October 2020 and February 2021, a particularly challenging period during which to gather data due to pandemic restrictions. Some of the journeys of children and families from 2017 to 2020 have been captured in Section 3.13 as in-depth interviews were conducted with families.

This evaluation aimed to investigate the impact of BND on children, parents and the community. The specific evaluation objectives were:
1. To develop a profile of children and families engaging with BND
2. To explore children’s perspectives of BND
3. To explore parents’, school professionals’ and BND staff’s perspectives of the impact of BND on the child, family and community
4. To map the impact of BND using the seven pathways identified by Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) and identifying prospective impact
5. To explore the robustness and adaptability of the delivery of the BND programme during the COVID-19 lockdown

The strength of the evaluation is that it collected data from multiple sources (children, parents, school professionals and BND staff) and used multiple data collection methods (observations, visual methods, interviews, focus groups and online questionnaires). See Table 3 for more information.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDundee
PublisherUniversity of Dundee
Number of pages59
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Sistema Scotland
  • Big Noise Douglas
  • Dundee
  • Comics
  • Young people
  • Music
  • Charity organisations
  • Third sector


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