At Barnett Wood we feel that music is a unique way of communicating that inspires and motivates children. It is a vehicle for personal expression, and it plays an important part in the personal development of people. Music reflects the culture and society we live in, and so the teaching and learning of music enables our children to better understand the world they live in. It also plays an important part in helping children to feel part of a community. We aim to provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform, listen to and enjoy music across a range of historical periods, to develop skills, to appreciate a wide variety of musical forms, and to begin to make judgements about the quality of music.
Our objectives in the teaching of music are:
In Music, the school provides appropriate and meaningful learning experiences. We provide the foundations for a love of music and offer our children the experience and enjoy a variety of music. We use online resources which are relevant to our children and make sure they learn through a variety of cross-curricular methods. Pupils will be encouraged to recognise a range of genres and be able to use and understand a variety of musical vocabulary. They will build on skills learnt in previous years and encouraged to reach their full potential through a varied music curriculum.
Music is a foundation subject in the National Curriculum. Our school uses the National Curriculum for Music and the Model Music Curriculum as the basis for its curriculum planning. We have adapted the curriculum so that the topics children study in music build upon prior learning. While there are opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each teaching unit, the progression planned into the scheme of work means that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school. This progression has three aspects:
We carry out the curriculum planning in Music in three phases: long-term, medium-term and short-term. The long-term plan maps the music topics studied in each term during the key stage. The subject leader monitors this planning in conjunction with teaching colleagues in each year group. The children also study music topics in conjunction with other subjects. Through this programme of study, we teach the knowledge, skills and understanding set out in the National Curriculum.
The medium-term plans, which we have adopted from the National Curriculum, give details of each unit of work for each term.
The Foundation Stage
We teach music in our Reception classes as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. As the Reception classes are part of the Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum, we relate the musical aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Years Curriculum. The class teachers use Sparkyard lesson plans weekly to teach new music vocabulary and provide the children with a rich and varied experience of music. Music contributes to a child’s personal and social development. Counting songs, songs with themes, literacy songs and songs from different cultures are regular features in our Reception classes. Exploring music as an activity is available in both inside and outside learning areas. At Barnett Wood the Reception children have opportunities to perform – Class assemblies and a Harvest and Christmas performance, for each of these they learn songs and actions (including sign language) and develop their confidence to perform in front of an audience. We explore musical instruments and talk about hearing different sounds. The children play Phonics Phase 1 sound games to help us identify different noises and have instruments available as part of our free flow learning. The Reception children follow the EYFS – Birth to 5 Matters, music observations would link to EAD (Expressive Arts and Design).
Music contributes significantly to the teaching of English in our school by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Children develop their language skills through singing songs, with attention to diction, meaning, rhythm and rhyme. They use reference books, and develop research skills, when finding out about the history of music and musicians. Music is also used to stimulate discussion or creative writing. Through working with others in a musical setting, children develop their ability to communicate ideas effectively.
The teaching of music contributes to children’s mathematical understanding in a variety of ways. Children who study the structure of music are observing patterns and processes. We teach the children songs related to our objectives. ‘Talent in music is often linked with talent in mathematics, as the rhythm and structure of music are mathematically based’.
Personal, social and health education (PSHE) and citizenship
Music contributes significantly to the teaching of personal, social and health education and citizenship. Through the common goal of making music, children learn to work effectively with other people, and to build up good relationships. Music is the basis of many social activities, and has an important role to play in the personal development of many young people. It has a vital role to play in building self-confidence. Participation in successful public musical performances are often one of the most memorable things young people take part in at school.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
Creating, performing or listening to music can be moving and even spiritual experiences. We encourage children to reflect on the important effect that music has on people’s moods, senses and quality of life. Children at our school have the opportunity to encounter music from many cultures and, through their growing knowledge and understanding of the music; they develop positive attitudes towards other cultures and societies.
Information and communication technology enhances the teaching of music, where appropriate, in all key stages. Children use computer programs to match sounds or compose music, the children access these games through Purple Mash home learning and are given opportunities to explore these resources with teacher guidance during lunchtime clubs. They listen to music on the Internet, and they record their own compositions. They might experiment with editing voice recordings, which involves the use of a digital sound recorder.
At our school, we teach music to all children, taking into account a range of abilities and individual needs. Music forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our music teaching and careful on-going observational assessments, we provide learning opportunities that enable ALL children to make good progress.
When progress falls significantly outside the expected range, the child may have special educational needs. Our on-going assessment processes looks at a range of factors – classroom organisation, teaching materials, teaching style, and differentiation – so that we can take some additional or different action to enable the child to learn more effectively. Assessment against the National Curriculum allows us to consider each child’s attainment and progress against the expected standards. This helps to ensure that our teaching is matched to the child’s needs.
We enable pupils to have access to the full range of activities involved in learning music. Where children are to participate in activities outside of the classroom, e.g. in a musical festival at another school, we carry out a risk assessment prior to the activity, to ensure that the activity is safe and appropriate for all pupils.
Key Stage 1
As part of the Key Stage 1 curriculum we look at exploring sounds and instruments, pulse and tempo. We focus on musical vocabulary and use a variety of percussion instruments in Year 1 and 2. We look at different instruments and think about beat, pulse and tempo. We use Sparkyard to support our weekly planning and supplement this with songs relevant to our topics.
As part of the Year 2 curriculum children learn the recorder and perform their skills in their end of year assembly. The Year 2 children play instruments at the Harvest and Christmas Assemblies at St George’s.
All children are also able to attend clubs at lunchtimes relating to music and singing, as part of our Choir club the children learn musical vocabulary and have an influence on the song choices. There are weekly singing assemblies with opportunities to learn new musical vocabulary, songs are mostly introduced through Sparkyard as they can be used in further assemblies and the classroom. Music achievements from outside of school are celebrated in our assemblies.
Assessment is ongoing throughout our lessons, and measures children’s progress against the Model Music Curriculum/National Curriculum statements.
Throughout the school we use Sparkyard and YouTube music for assemblies and class time. Our whole school teaching is based on the sequence of the National Curriculum statements and the Sparkyard scheme which has been adapted by the subject leader into our school unit planners, links to our subjects are made throughout the year.
The school has a vast array of untuned and tuned musical instruments. We keep resources for music in a central store which is easily accessible to children. Children are encouraged to select instruments. Our library houses our African djembe drums. Books with CDs are available to support the units of work.
As a school we also use Sparkyard to teach some of our music sessions. We use these schemes of work in class and for some of our clubs.
A strong foundation in music enables our children to have the ability to succeed in abilities such as: achievement, self-confidence, team work and self-reflection. Music allows us to develop an understanding of culture, history and individuality. Children are able to access and enjoy music in a variety of different ways – listening, creating and performing. They will have an opportunity to develop their skills and be able to understand and develop their musical skills.