Our vision is for all pupils to be engaged and inspired by music and to learn to sing, to play a musical instrument, to read musical notation, to compose their own music and to have the opportunity to perform to others. We teach pupils to listen with discrimination so they can express an opinion about what they hear. We want our pupils to be able to express their feelings through music and to have the opportunity to use music to lead mentally healthy lives, both now in the future. (See Curriculum Driver 1 People Skills – communication and confidence). We want our pupils to learn to appreciate the work of great musicians and composers and understand how music reflects and contributes to the history, heritage and culture of our nation and beyond. (See Curriculum Driver 3 Creativity – culture and enrichment).
The vision is achieved by:
- A high quality music curriculum with a clear programme of study which teaches musical skills and musical understanding progressively
- A curriculum which uses the 3 pillars of progression to contribute to musical understanding: technical (skills of controlling sound and understanding musical notation); constructive (understanding of the musical elements that structure music); expressive (understanding the impact of musical quality and creativity)
- Providing opportunities for pupils to listen to a range of music, to create their own music and to perform their own and others’ music
- Providing examples of how music both reflects and shapes our history and contributes to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
Implementation of the Music Vision
We have chosen to follow the Charanga Music scheme of work because it offers a clear programme of study which meets our vision and enables pupils to meet the National Curriculum end of key stage attainment targets. This scheme is closely aligned with the DfE Model Music Curriculum: Key Stages 1 to 2 non-statutory guidance. Our chosen scheme has an integrated, practical, exploratory and child-led approach to musical learning, which meets the St Michael’s Curriculum Driver 4: Exploration – adventure and discovery. The interrelated dimensions of music weave through the units to encourage the development of musical skills as the learning progresses through listening and appraising, differing musical activities (including creating and exploring) and performing (see appendix a Scheme Progression Overview KS1 and KS2)
We enable children to understand musical concepts through a repetition-based approach to learning. Learning about the same musical concept through different musical activities enables a more secure, deeper learning and mastery of musical skills. Musical teaching and learning is not linear. The strands of musical learning are part of a learning spiral. Over time, children both develop new musical skills and concepts, and re-visit established musical skills and concepts with increasing complexity. This is in line with all other St Michael’s subjects.
The music curriculum develops pupil’s knowledge and understanding of key musicians and composers through practical experiences.
Foundation Stage pupils investigate Music through songs and classroom instruments and are provided with opportunities to access creative arts through play on a daily basis. (See St Michael’s EYFS curriculum: Creativity - To perform a maypole dance and move in time to the music).
In Key Stages 1 and 2, all classes have a scheduled Music lesson each week. Children in Years 3 and 4 are taught to read music and learn to play the recorder. Children in Year 5 learn to play the tenor horn. Singing is an integral part of all Collective Worship.
Measuring the Impact of the Music Vision and Implementation
- Use their voices and instruments to perform with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
- Experiment with sounds and improvise and compose music for a range of purposes
- Listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
- Learn to understand and use musical notations
- Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
- Know about great composers and musicians and the historical and cultural significance of their work
- Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National Curriculum for Music
The music curriculum uses a Plan-Do-Check-Review approach. It is designed in such a way that children are involved in the evaluation, dialogue and decision making about the quality of their outcomes and the improvements they need to make. These discussions help children to talk about their own learning journey and have an understanding of how to improve. This links closely with the St Michael’s Curriculum Driver 2 ‘Learning skills’: aspiration and attitude. Observations of pupil progress within each lesson are used to plan subsequent teaching, including targeted support and opportunities for working at greater depth. Summative assessments are made twice each year (February and June) based on the progression of skills (see appendix b Teaching and Learning Outcomes KS1 and KS2)
Subject leader monitors provision in Music through:
- observations and learning walks
- teacher/subject leader discussions
- pupil voice activities
- an annual 'deep dive' in Music with the senior leadership team
Monitoring activities and an analysis of attainment and progress are used to formulate the subject leader action plan which is updated twice each year.
Opportunities are taken to embed Music across the curriculum. All children take part in weekly singing assemblies and perform to both the school community and parent community at St Michael’s in assemblies, church events and musical productions. Performing arts productions include: The Nativity by Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 in the autumn term; a musical play by Years 3 and 4 in the spring term; and a musical production in Years 5 and 6 in the summer term. Pupils in Year 6 end their primary school journey in a week-long workshop with professional musicians at the end of the school year based on their primary school experiences and culminating in a performance for parents.
The St Michael’s choir performs in many community events.
All children learn a musical instrument in key stage 2. Private instrumental lessons are offered with a specialist teacher (fees charged termly - parents purchase or hire the instrument where required).
Teachers incorporate Music where possible to provide enrichment for the topics being studied or to mark significant events e.g. the playing of the Last Post on Armistice Day.