At Arboretum Primary School, we believe that music should develop the mind, body and spirit of each child. As a universal language, music embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. It allows children to explore their environment and the wider world to flourish within the ready, respectful and safe ethos.
We aim to develop a love of music and singing, through a wide range of genres, to inspire exploration and composition through voice and instruments. We aim to develop strong listening skills and build the self-confidence of learners. As children collaborate and rehearse for many performance opportunities, it provides them a sense of achievement and allows them to show case their talent alongside others. Music at Arboretum engages and inspires learners to develop a love of music and their talent as a musician. Lessons enable children to develop their skills, appreciate a wide variety of music and begin to appraise a range of musical genres.
Music teaching at Arboretum Primary delivers the requirements of the National Curriculum through use of the Music Express scheme of work. Music Express is a complete and holistic scheme for primary class teachers. It offers a broad, deep, meaningful and practical experience for musically rich teaching and learning, in line with the statutory National Curriculum for KS1 and KS2, alongside suggested adaptations for children with SEND, to ensure all children can access and are engaged.
Music lessons are broken down into cross-curricular units (for example, poetry, local environment and singing French), and an emphasis is placed on musical vocabulary, allowing the children to talk and reflect 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
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.
Pupils in KS2 have had the opportunity to learn to play the trumpet within an after-school club led by a member of staff. Pupils also have the opportunity to join the school choir and participate in the annual Young Voices concert. The school choir is offered to KS2 children on a weekly basis, with the average number of pupils being in the range of 20-30. Pupils in the school choir meet after school and focus on singing in unison, developing harmony, solo performances and having fun! The Young Voices choir is extremely popular with KS2 pupils who are enthused by the opportunity to learn and share a wide range of songs with others in school.
Performance is at the heart of musical teaching and learning at Arboretum and pupils participate in a range of performances during their school ‘career’. These include nativities (KS1), Topic linked LKS2 Spring performance and a Leavers performance (Year 6). Pupils who are confident are encouraged to perform in solo performances. Parents are invited and welcomed to watch all of these performances.
Our music Curriculum is planned to demonstrate progression by building on and embedding previously learnt skills. We focus on the progression of knowledge and skills through the different musical components, for example taught vocabulary, appraising, using voice, composition and performance. Through this, the children are able to achieve the knowledge and skills in relation to the subject and effectively communicate and evaluate, to make 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).
· Annual reporting and tracking of standards across the curriculum.
· Photo and video evidence of the pupils’ practical learning/performances.
· Use of the assessment tools provided within the Music Express scheme.
· Dedicated music time with the class teacher.
The impact of our music curriculum is also measured in the uptake of our Key Stage performances and after school Choir club.