For the pupils at Salehurst Church of England School, we want our music curriculum to give children opportunity to instil a musical understanding which is underpinned by great composers, musical traditions and genres. We want children to have an understanding and appreciation for the history of music and how this has developed and changed through the development of musical styles. We want the children across all key stages to have a widening repertoire which they can use to create their own musical pieces and use their own imagination, composing and performing skills to become confident musicians.
At Salehurst School, our Curriculum Vision is the starting point for our Music Curriculum. Opportunities to develop the children’s creativity are at the heart of the Music curriculum we provide and we want for all Music learning to be an enjoyable and fun experience. Carefully selected musicians are a source of aspiration and diversity for all children and we have mapped out the musical ‘greats’ to be exposed to during their time at Primary School. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build up the confidence of all children.
Our teaching focuses on developing the children’s ability to understand rhythm and follow a beat. Through singing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music. We teach children to listen to and appreciate different forms of music. Children develop descriptive language skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent different feelings, emotions and narratives. We also teach technical vocabulary such as volume, pitch, beat and rhythm and encourage children to discuss music using these terms.
From Reception to Year 6, we follow the Charanga Scheme of Learning which is designed to support children to acquire key skills and knowledge in Music. Children learn to use a range of percussion instruments, recorders and glockenspiels and develop their skills at planned intervals across each Key Stage. Through each whole class topic, Music lessons are structured to include opportunities to appraise and compare, compose and perform. In addition to this, children are taught to sing and this skill is developed through the learning of more complex pieces as the children move through the school. Overarching vocabulary lists have been identified and are taught through all class topics to ensure vocabulary progression for all learners. Using this structure and key vocabulary multiple times within each phase ensures it is securely embedded in the children’s long term memory and is clearly developed across the primary years.
Age appropriate knowledge is clearly planned within each class topic in line with the National Curriculum expectations for Key Stage 1 and 2. The Music Subject Leader, ensures that subject specific knowledge is progressive and sequential and this is identified in Knowledge Organisers for each topic.
Music is featured on all class time tables. Lessons are fun and engaging and all lessons, start with a song and explanation of vocabulary that is relevant for that specific lesson. In some year groups, ipads and laptops are used to enable children to compose their own music digitally.
In addition to these lessons, children access weekly collective singing assemblies and learn to sing pieces that related to with school values and Christian worship. In classrooms, children learn to sing songs that extend their understand of the topic learning. During each term, children who learn instruments are encouraged to showcase and perform to a wider audience to inspire other children. Music specialists from the local area and East Sussex Music Service visit the School to deliver small group lessons for children to learn additional musical instruments in our Quiet Noisy space including violin, guitar and piano.
The Music Subject Leader will be delivering training to all Staff twice a year. The Music Subject Leader also attends CPD themselves to better understand wider subject developments linked to the Charanga Scheme of Learning and updates for school based practice are then disseminated to other staff.
All children sing at different performances across the academic year including Harvest, Christmas, Easter and end of year Leavers Service. Younger classes form audiences for older classes when performing to develop listening and appraisal skills. Visiting musicians come into school to perform and share their musical talents with the children.
Music assessment is ongoing and is used to inform teachers planning, lesson activities and differentiation. Summative assessment is completed at the end of each unit to inform leaders of the improvements or skills that still need to be embedded. Threshold Concepts are continually revisited across a two year phase to give children opportunities to revisit key skills to allow it to move from their short term. Music is monitored throughout all year groups using a variety of strategies such as learning walks and pupil voice questionnaires. Pupils leave Salehurst School with a solid musical knowledge, an appreciation of different musical genres and the skills and confidence to recognise themselves as a Musician.