Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon. (The National Curriculum)
Music teaching at Spring Bank Primary School aims to follow the specifications of the National Curriculum; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum, which includes all children, ensuring the progressive development of musical concepts, knowledge and skills. At Spring Bank 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.
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, styles and traditions.
- 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 Spring Bank 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.
Alongside the Charanga curriculum, Spring Bank values the intent of the Kodaly method of teaching. The interactive, collaborative, and highly kinesthetic Kodály method of learning music was developed by Hungarian composer and educator Zoltán Kodály in the early 20th century. It combines several powerful techniques for developing the core skills of musicianship. The Kodaly method focuses on the expressive and creative skills of musicianship and is therefore very closely related to the world of musical ear training. This method hinges on the principle that children hear and experience the musical content before they are explicitly taught it. Music lessons at Spring Bank start or end with the songs and games associated with the Kodaly method. The children’s heads are filled with songs and rhymes. Put the right songs and rhymes in the bank and it will be an investment for the future (Lucinda Geoghegan). Staff are provided with ongoing training with regards to their music teaching and the principles of the Kodaly method. Resources have been provided including the fantastic books ‘Songs and games for Early Years’, ‘Songs and games for Middle years’ and ‘Singing games and rhymes for ages 9-99’. Staff work closely alongside the music coordinator for their ongoing CPD, developing confidence and excellence when delivering the songs and games. The Charanga curriculum alongside the Kodaly method ensures that children are given a rounded musical education that focuses on developing their musicianship.
Within the EYFS setting, music is an integral part of children’s learning journey. Rhyme and rhythm are utilised throughout the learning of phonics, handwriting and mathematics. Children learn a wide range of songs and rhymes and develop skills for performing together. Singing and music making opportunities are used frequently to embed learning, develop musical awareness and to demonstrate how music can be used to express feelings.
Performance is at the heart of musical teaching and learning at Spring Bank and pupils participate in a range of performances during their school ‘career’. These include nativities (EYFS), Christmas performances (Years 2 – 6) and a Leavers performance (Year 6). Pupils also take part in singing assemblies. 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.
Alongside our curriculum provision for music, pupils also have the opportunity to participate in additional small group music teaching by being offered the opportunity to learn a musical instrument with peripatetic teachers. Our peripatetic music teaching is organised by Leeds Artforms. As part of our offer for PP children, instrumental lessons are provided at a reduced rate and are subsidised by the LMEP. At Spring Bank, we also recognise that staff have musical abilities that can be utilised to supplement our musical curriculum. Pupils in the school choir meet on a Friday lunchtime 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, carol concerts and have sung at a range of events both in school and at other venues. This includes performances at OWLs and residential homes for the elderly around Headingley. The school choir is open to KS2 children on a weekly basis, with the average number of pupils being in the range of 20-30.
At Spring Bank, we are very lucky to have talented parents within our school community. Children have access to a variety of after school clubs for music. These include: Samba Club and Music Club.
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 (pupil voice).
- 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 1:1 teaching.
Please see the document below for the overview of learning.