Music teaching at Bookwell Primary School aims to follow the specifications of the National Curriculum; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum and ensuring the progressive development of musical concepts, knowledge and skills. We believe that music plays an integral role in helping children to feel part of a community, therefore we provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music both in class and to an audience. Through assemblies and key stage performances, children showcase their talent and their understanding of performing with awareness of others. Lessons enable children to develop their skills, appreciate a wide variety of music and begin to appraise a range of musical genres.
At Bookwell, the aims of our music curriculum are to develop pupils who:
- Enjoy and have an appreciation for music
- Listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, cultures,
- Can sing and use their voices to create different effects
- Create and compose music, both on their own and with others
- Use a range of musical language
- Make judgements and express personal preferences about the quality and style of music
- Take part in performances with an awareness of audience
Music teaching at Bookwell Primary School delivers the requirements of the national curriculum through use of the Charanga scheme of work. Teachers follow the suggested scheme of work, although adaptations can be made using the ‘freestyle’ element of the package to substitute units deemed to be more appropriate for thematic learning in other curriculum areas. Music lessons are broken down into half-termly units and an emphasis is placed on musical vocabulary, allowing children to talk about pieces of music using the correct terminology.
Each unit of work has an on-going musical learning focus and lessons usually follow a specific learning sequence:
- Listen and Appraise
- Musical Activities (including pulse and rhythm)
- Singing and Voice
- Playing instruments
- Improvisation / Composition
- Perform and Share
Our progression model also follows the same learning sequence to ensure all interrelated elements of music are covered and implemented. Children in Year 4 benefit from whole class specialist teaching, delivered by a member of Cumbria Music Services. These lessons allow children the opportunity to learn to play the ukulele as part of an ensemble and to engender a love of music learning. In Year 5 and 6, the pupils are given the opportunity to learn guitar in small group sessions led by a member of Cumbria Music Services. Throughout the sessions the interrelated elements of music are developed.
Performance is at the heart of musical teaching and learning at Bookwell and pupils participate in a range of performances during their school ‘career’. These include nativities, harvest performances, class assemblies and a Year 6 leavers assembly. Pupils who are confident are encouraged to perform in solo performances. Parents are invited and welcomed to watch all of these performances whether at school or outside of school.
At Bookwell, we also recognise that staff have musical abilities that can be utilised to supplement our musical curriculum. In the new academic year, pupils in Year 3 and 4 will have the opportunity to learn to play the recorder within an after-school club led by a member of staff. Pupils will also have the opportunity to join the school choir. The school choir is open to KS2 children on a weekly basis, with the average number of pupils being in the range of 10-20. Pupils in the school choir meet after school and focus on singing in unison, developing harmony, solo performances and having fun! The school choir also have the opportunity to perform in school performances and have sung at a range of events both in school and at other venues.
Our music Curriculum is planned to demonstrate progression and build on and embed current skills. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills in the different musical components and teaching of vocabulary also forms part of the units of work. If children are achieving the knowledge and skills in lessons, then they are deemed to be making good or better progress. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Pupil discussions and interviewing the pupils about their learning
- Governor monitoring with our subject music link governor
- Annual reporting and tracking of standards across the curriculum
- Photo and video evidence of the pupils’ practical learning
- Use of the assessment tools provided within the Charanga scheme
- Dedicated music leader time
The impact of our music curriculum is also measured in the uptake of our music after school clubs and uptake of additional music teaching.
When our pupils finish their journey at Bookwell, they will have developed the musical knowledge and skills needed if they wish to further pursue music beyond primary school and if not, they will have an appreciation of music, whatever style or genre they enjoy.
EYFS - Expressive Arts and Design: being imaginative and expressive
Through expressive arts, children are taught to sing songs, make music and dance. Children are given opportunities to experiment with ways of changing sound and develop an understanding of pulse, rhythm and pitch. Children follow a scheme of work from Charanga Music School and enjoy listening and responding to different styles of music, learning to sing, joining in with nursery rhymes and action songs which leads to playing classroom instruments and performing for others. Children are also encouraged to use everyday objects to make music and create sound, children enjoy exploring our music wall outdoors and experiment with sound using objects made from different materials such as wood, metal and plastic.