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 Woodland Primary School the intention is that children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. Our objective at Woodland Primary School 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 many ways that music may express itself in a person’s life. 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. Every child has the opportunity to play an instrument and we aim to provide children with the opportunity to progress to the next level of their creative excellence.
The music curriculum ensures students sing, listen, create, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in classroom activities and lessons as well as weekly singing assemblies, various concerts and performances, the learning of instruments and partnerships with outside agencies, including the Durham Music Service. Our lessons are planned in progressive sequences to provide children with the opportunities to review, remember, deepen and apply their understanding.
The elements of music are taught in classroom lessons so that children are able to use, with growing fluency, the language of music to dissect it and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. In the classroom children learn how to play the recorder and a variety of percussion instruments. Playing various instruments enables children to use a range of methods to create music, as well as how to read basic music 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, vocal sounds, un-tuned and tuned instruments is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements. In DMS sessions students learn how to play a range of instruments e.g.
recorder and violin. In doing so they also grow to understand the different principles of each method of creating notes, as well as how to read basic music notation.
During their time at Woodland Primary, our children enjoy a wide range of sports and physical activity. Children find sports and activities which they enjoy and succeed in, encouraging them to continue to be physically active throughout their lives. They leave us confident in their own physical abilities and willing to try new activities. Through our PE teaching children recognise the need to remain physically active in order to live a healthy life. Children also develop other life skills such as teamwork, resilience and a determination to succeed as well as the values of fairness and respect
During their time at Woodland Primary School, our children enjoy access to a diverse and progressive curriculum that builds upon existing musical skills and develops them further so that they can engage with music confidently throughout their lives; whether this be as creators, performers or listeners. They will also develop an understanding of how music enriches lives; expressing and reflecting the wide spectrum of human experiences. Our music curriculum allows our children to develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to their own cultures, as well as those from other communities and places. Our children will be able to discuss and share their own thoughts, opinions and ideas, acknowledging and respecting that these may vary and that this is positive. They will be able to dissect music and comprehend its parts. They will be able to sing and feel rhythm and pulse.
At Woodland Primary School children are provided with opportunities beyond the National Curriculum to further and support their understanding. These include welcoming visitors with a musical talent, visiting concerts and producing school productions. External interests and talents are also encouraged and showcased in class and assembly, ensuring that everyone is challenged regardless of previous musical experience. Children will understand how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.
Our music curriculum also allows children to develop fundamental abilities such as: self-expression, self-reflection, self-confidence, recognising and celebrating as well as allowing interaction with and awareness of others.
At Woodland Primary School we believe that all children are entitled to equality of opportunity within all subjects irrespective of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, physical or mental condition or background.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
The school is committed to providing a curriculum that is appropriate to, and meets the needs of, every child, enabling each to reach their full potential. Teachers provide learning opportunities that are matched to the needs of their children including with learning difficulties as well as those that are identified as being more able and talented, differentiating work where necessary.
Coverage, Progression and Continuity
Planning in the foundation stage takes account of section 7, ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ and the age-related early learning goals of the strands ‘exploring and using media and materials’ and ‘being imaginative’. Planning for Key Stages One and Two takes full account of the National Curriculum for music. Music skills and conceptual understanding progress by being based around skills development and expectations as set out in the Durham LA document, ‘Progression in Music’ which informs and guides our rolling long-term plans which considers our small mixed-age classes and which teachers are able to adapt and re-order so as to suit the emerging needs of their pupils.
Children learn best when learning activities are well planned, ensuring progress in the short, medium and long term. Our school creates long-term and medium-term plans as well as short-term lesson plans that allow for clear progression which are supported engaging and exciting resources to support every lesson. Our plans ensure that all the requirements of the current National Curriculum are met and provides a practical, exploratory and child-led approach to musical learning. Music planning is highly kinaesthetic to support all learning styles and is adapted in light of ongoing assessment to meet the emerging needs of learners and challenge them to progress further.
Breadth of Study
Pupils should be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through:
- A range of musical activities that integrate performing, composing and appraising;
- Responding to a range of musical and non-musical starting points;
- Working on their own, in groups of different sizes and as a class;
- A range of live and recorded music from different times and cultures.
- From Year 1, children will be taught to read and understand staff and other musical notations through learning to play a musical instrument.
- Music will be taught as a subject in its own right but linked to cross-curricular topics. It will also be used to support learning in other areas of the curriculum.
- The head teacher, with support from the subject leader for Music and DCC music service, will be responsible for the co-ordination of the music curriculum across the school.
- Music will be taught in all classes following skills coverage and progression plans.
- The aspects of music are built upon progressively throughout, and across, year groups following each class’s rolling programme so as to cater for the mixed-age nature of our classes.
- From Year 1, pupils will be taught to read and use basic musical notations through learning to play chimes bars and/or xylophone.
- Skills are taught progressively but content and context are adaptable and are developed to suit the needs of individual groups of learners.
- Whole school delivery will include hymn practice, religious and secular celebrations, and school performances for parents and the local community.
- Durham’s Music Support Service provides opportunities for children to learn musical instruments and to develop emerging talent through peripatetic music lessons.
Assessment is undertaken in a range of ways;
Questioning in order to understand children’s musical understanding, i.e. open-ended questioning and using the outcomes to guide formative assessment.
Sharing what has taken place during the lesson; which is also a great skill when working towards performing to an audience.
Videos and voice recordings can be used by teachers to evaluate progression.
Termly assessments linked to the skills taught during the sessions are undertaken using Target Tracker. Target Tracker allows us to track coverage and skills development as well as assess current attainment, strengths and areas for development and, thus, identify emerging needs. The Durham Music Service document, ‘Progression in Music Map’ can also be used to support teacher in making judgements.
Foundation stage teachers will complete the Foundation Stage Profile.
The Foundation Stage
Music is taught as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. We relate the musical aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five. Music contributes to a child’s personal and social development. Counting songs foster a child’s mathematical ability, and songs from different cultures increase a child’s knowledge and understanding of the world.
In conjunction with the head teacher the subject leader’s role and responsibilities includes:
- Co-ordination of music provision throughout the school.
- Support with subject knowledge.
- Update staff with current trends and developments.
- Identify appropriate INSET for all staff.
- Identify school needs in music education.
- Ordering and purchasing of music resources.
- Co-ordinating assessment for music.
- Identify cross-curricular opportunities including links to creativity and the arts.
- Monitor effectiveness of provision.
Liaising with the music curriculum support teacher on music deliverance within the school.
Head teacher and School Governors
The Head-teacher has responsibility for ensuring the delivery of the National Curriculum in accordance with guidelines, monitoring the work of the subject leader and, where appropriate, setting targets with the subject leader.
The Governors are responsible for ensuring the Music policy meets the needs of all children and is delivered in accordance with National Statutory requirements within the parameters of the school budget.
Class teachers have a responsibility to provide a broad and balanced musical curriculum in line with this policy and guidance. Each class teacher is responsible for planning within the EYFS Curriculum or National Curriculum Guidelines, depending on the age of the class, to provide the children with activities that are differentiated, developmental and provide opportunities of assessment.
We work with the following outside agencies in the following ways:
- Durham Schools’ Music Service- Supporting the deliverance of instrumental tuition by proving small group tuition for selected pupils in developing instrumental skills.
- Liaising with LA advisory team on best practice in music education where necessary. • Use of visiting musicians to inspire and enthuse pupils.
- School visits to musical productions.
- Collaborating with local primary schools, the Durham Schools’ Music Service and local organisations such as the village church, to participate in musical performances so as to share and celebrate achievements and success and highlight the value of Music in our school.
All instruments are stored centrally, in the hall, and are accessible to all staff, including peripatetic music teachers. All teachers also have access to SingUp! for singing resources and are provided with login details.
Monitoring and review
The subject leader will monitor the impact of teaching and learning in music and provide action plan objectives in light of this; making links to the school improvement plan as necessary. They will also support teaching staff with updates and resources throughout the year.