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Music at St. Patrick’s

Subject Leaders: Mrs Manning &  Mrs Grimstead

I am Mrs Manning, music subject leader here at St. Patrick’s. I have the important role of monitoring and developing the teaching and learning of music in order for pupils to experience a wide range of musical skills and make the best possible progress.

I believe that music is a unique way of communicating which can inspire and motivate children. It allows pupils to express themselves and it can play an important part in the personal development of individuals and groups of children. Not only this, I believe that music reflects culture and society, and so the teaching and learning of music enables children to better understand the world they live in. We aim to make lessons a creative and enjoyable activity for all pupils and provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music, to develop the skills, to appreciate a wide variety of musical genres, and to begin to make judgements about the quality of music.To ensure that high standards are being maintained across each year group, termly monitoring takes place in the form of evidence gathering from class work and pupil voice. When planning lessons, teachers focus on topics from Charanga and Sing Up. All topics covered meet the National Curriculum (2014) strands of performing, composing, listening and notation.

Intent

The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music
  • Be taught to sing, create and compose music
  • Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated.

At St. Patrick’s our aim is to have a strong musical presence in our school with a living musical culture, and to ensure that music an enjoyable experience. We want children to learn in, through and about music. The intention is that through regular music lessons and musical activities children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, performing, improvising analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. Our objective at St Patrick’s is to develop a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life. We want music to inspire self-confidence in our children through the development of a fun and safe learning environment, and encourage a feeling of fellowship through shared creation and appreciation of music.We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community, and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.We develop hidden talents and passions from an early age and ensure all our pupils reach their full potential within our curriculum.Music teaching will help children to gain an appreciation of life in other cultures and promote key British Values.

Curriculum Drivers

In Music, we aim to provide opportunities to develop interests and overcome barriers through our ‘Curriculum Drivers’. These drivers are used to underpin the direction and development of our curriculum and to ensure that Music is enriched and personalised in order to meet the needs, interests and ambitions of our children and families. We want our children to:

  • Develop a sense of pride in themselves in the community as they share their musical knowledge, skills and talents through class concerts, productions, Harvest, Christmas, singing and music making at Mass in school and within our Parish. Year groups share their love of music in the local community when performing at local care homes and apply their understanding the importance of being tolerant, respectful and how to value the needs of others. The school choir takes part in city wide events including church services, assemblies, carol singing at homes for the elderly, carol singing in the local community, Young Voices, Diversity, fetes.
  • Develop the skills necessary to communicate their thoughts, ideas and feelings successfully. Music creates another dimension to language providing opportunities for children to express themselves through dance and a wealth of musical experiences. When learning new song words children are introduced to new vocabulary, poetry and rhythm. The structure of music provides an opportunity for children to develop their communications skills and imagination and access a wealth of new vocabulary. We encourage our children to communicate their learning through music and through the use of technology.
  • Know about and understand the wider world. Music adds to our pupils’ cultural capital by providing a wonderful platform to learn about cultures around the world including learning about great composers and musicians. Sing Up and the Charanga programmes use a wealth of world music which provides opportunities to recognise and explore many world cultures. Our pupils learn that music is used to express ideas and provide entertainment, for example, pupils from Reception to Year 6 have attended a whole school pantomime at a local theatre to see first-hand how music performance can be engaging and fun. We celebrate world music by inviting children to dress as their musical icon for a whole school musical role model day.
  • To realise that anything is possible by becoming independent in thought and action and encourage them to imagine, enquire and become increasingly ambitious. We want our children to have challenges and feel the deep satisfaction of struggling and then achieving. This is achieved by learning about role models, such as the Wolverhampton born singer, Beverly Knight.
  • To promote healthy living. Musical experiences provide opportunities to promote mental well-being in order to develop the mental strength to be successful and happy.

Implementation

The music curriculum ensures students sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom activities as well as the weekly singing assemblies, various concerts and performances and the learning of instruments. The elements of music are taught in the classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language of music to dissect it, and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. Children begin to understand the different principles of each method of creating music, as well as how to read basic notation. They also learn how to compose focusing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music. Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument.
 
Organisation and Planning
We use the National Curriculum and our curriculum drivers to support our decisions when planning the topics for each year group. The curriculum is sequenced logically, for the progressive development of musical skills. We have a spiral curriculum approach with skills revisited and mastered over time.
 
Our curriculum planning is in 3 phases
  • Long term plan – maps the music topics studied each half term during each key stage
  • Medium term plans – key skills maps and detailed knowledge organisers
  • Short term plans – notebook slides (incorporate resources from Sing -Up and Charanga)
The music subject leader reviews these plans on a regular basis ensuring key skills are being taught and learning objectives are being covered, in relation to children’s age-related expectations and the interest and needs of our pupils.

Impact

The National Curriculum for music states:
 ‘By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study’
Whilst in school, children have access to a varied curriculum, which allows students to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon. The integral nature of music and the learner creates an enormously rich palette from which children may access fundamental abilities such as: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self-reflection. Music will also develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to students individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children are able to enjoy music, in as many ways as they choose- either as listener, creator or performer. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts. They can sing and feel a pulse. We give the children an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them so that it gives them the skills needed to continue with this as they develop their interest in music throughout their lives.

Music Documents

Please view the additional documents in school:
  • Music Knowledge and Skills Progression
  • Music Vocabulary Progression
  • Music Knowledge Organisers