“…musical education has a positive impact on social and cognitive development of children. And these effects are long lasting – better hearing, better motor skills, improved memory, better verbal and literacy skills.” Alan Harvey (Musician and Neuroscientist)
Music education is essential to safeguarding and extending the musical life of our country for generations to come. Excellent music education opens opportunities, but it is not simply a means to an end: it is also an end in itself. It gives children and young people an opportunity to express themselves, to explore their creativity, to work hard at something, persevere and shine. These experiences and achievements stay with them and shape their lives. That is why music is an essential part of a broad and ambitious curriculum for all pupils. It must not be the preserve of the privileged few.
National Plan for Music Education June 2022
We believe music is a universal language; one that all pupils should have access to. The music curriculum covers all the areas set out in the national curriculum: performing using voices and instruments; exploring and composing/arranging; listening, reflecting and appraising.
Our intention is to:
- facilitate, develop and consolidate learning in music
- encourage children’s appreciation and enjoyment of music of different traditions and cultures, through practical involvement in performing, composing, listening and appreciation
- develop key skills, such as social skills, teamwork and communication, through co-operation with others in the shared experience of making music
- inspire creativity and motivation to engage, enjoy, and succeed in music; understand and explore how music is created and communicated, including the elements of music: pitch, rhythm, tempo, timbre, texture, structure, dynamics and notation
- use technology to explore and create music.
Children are taught weekly 45min lessons by a music specialist in class groups. Lessons take place every other half term. Children undertake a balanced programme of activities, which builds on previous work and, at times, reflect topics in other subjects. Progression is shown through greater depth of knowledge, broader understanding of the elements, and applying skills in increasingly challenging contexts. Differentiation and challenge is planned, and children are encouraged to work at a level they feel is appropriate for them. Those who learn an instrument outside of school are encouraged to use their skills in the classroom, join music clubs, join the Peterborough Centre for Young Musicians, and perform in the school’s end of year talent show.
Music clubs, such as choir and keyboard club, are run by the specialist music teacher during lunchtimes and after school. Children are encouraged to make suggestions of music clubs they would like to do at lunchtimes. All children are encouraged to participate fully in music lessons and other musical opportunities outside the classroom.
Assessment is ongoing and recorded on our Foundation Subject Assessment spreadsheet; evidence is gained from teacher observation during lessons and at the end of each unit of work. Compositions and performances are recorded on the iPad or Purple Mash and kept to show progression.
Music has links with all National Curriculum subjects, contributing widely to a broad and balanced curriculum. Class teachers are encouraged to borrow instruments for use in other subjects, such as Science. Early Years have a set of hand percussion in their learning area.
Music promotes SMSC development, as well as developing key skills: communication, teamwork, initiative, problem-solving, IT skills, organisation, leadership, creativity, numeracy and literacy.
We have links with our local church, and our Harvest and Easter services are held there.
Children have the opportunity to take part in Peterborough Sings! events, performing with children from other schools. In the past, the choir has sung at All Saints’ Church Christmas Fayre. The school has strong links with Peterborough Music Hub and PCYM, as the music teacher works for them. Gifted and talented children are encouraged to join the Peterborough Centre for Young Musicians.
Music is a regular feature of worship. Music is played as the pupils enter the hall and they are expected to listen and focus on the music playing. There is a strong emphasis on the importance of music for praise and our weekly singing practice is duly named ‘Prayer and Praise’. The pupils are taught different styles of worship songs, including traditional hymns and modern worship songs. ‘Prayer and Praise’ is also an opportunity to support singing outcomes: pupils learn to sing songs in different styles and in parts/rounds, and are encouraged to sing clearly, confidently, with correct posture and accuracy, and with enjoyment.
The school has a wide range of instruments, including hand percussion, keyboards, ukuleles, recorders, cellos and violins. Charanga and Out of the Ark song banks are used to support singing, and there is a growing collection of songbooks and recorded music. The Internet is widely used to support music, and musicians are occasionally invited into school to perform for the pupils. The Model Music Curriculum is also referred to for music suggestions and ideas.
Children share their thoughts on music that they listen to, developing their use of musical vocabulary. They are creative and imaginative in their response to a given stimulus. They become more confident in their abilities, sharing their developing skills in front of their peers by performing as a soloist or a small group in class.
Below you can see the topics that are taught in Music for each year group.
Please note that Music and Spanish teaching alternates each half-term.