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Music at Holy Innocents’ Catholic Primary School
Intent, implementation and impact
As a school, we believe that music is a vital area of children’s education and is an important part of their entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. Music is a unique way of communicating that can inspire and motivate children. It is a vehicle for personal expression, and it can play an important part in the personal development of people. Music reflects the culture and society we live in, and so the teaching and learning of music enables children to better understand the world they live in. Besides being a creative and enjoyable activity, music can also be a highly academic and demanding subject. It also plays an important part in helping children feel part of a community. We provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music, to develop the skills, to appreciate a wide variety of musical forms, and to begin to make judgements about the quality of music.
The National Curriculum for Music aims to ensure that all pupils:
Children learn in Music through first-hand experiences. During Music lessons, children will be active through performing, composing, listening and responding. Whilst there will be an explicit learning objective for every lesson, many additional skills will be developed as a result of children’s active participation in the sessions.
Our medium and long term planning maps out the Music curriculum for each year group. The Music Coordinator then develops weekly plans which give specific detail of learning objectives alongside appropriate, differentiated activities.
In KS1`and KS2, Music is delivered by the Music Coordinator to each class for approximately 50 minutes per week. Music may also be used by class teachers as a cross-curricular tool to support learning in other subject areas.
Music curriculum planning
Our school uses a combination of the Music Express and Kapow Primary schemes of work as well as BBC Ten Pieces as the basis for its curriculum planning. This has been adapted so that the topics build upon prior learning and are enhanced by the subject leader’s knowledge and experience. Each unit specializes in one of the musical elements and develops the children’s listening, appraising and composing skills. While there are opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit, the progression planned into the scheme of work means that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school.
The Early Years Foundation Stage
We teach music to both pre-school and reception classes once a week. The focus for pre-school is on teaching basic skills and singing. Reception lessons are usually linked to Music Express. However, Music is also an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. As the pre-school/reception class is part of the Early Years Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum, 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.
Extra curricular Opportunities
Children are offered the opportunity to study a musical instrument with peripatetic teachers. Peripatetic music teaching is provided by Bromley Borough Music Service. Parents who want their children to participate in the scheme must purchase or hire the instrument and pay the additional music lesson fees on a termly basis. These lessons are normally taught to small groups of children who have chosen to learn one of a variety of instruments, such as the guitar and flute and piano. This is in addition to the normal music teaching of the school, but usually takes place during curriculum time.
The school choir and musical events
We believe that music enriches the lives of people, and so we wish to involve as many children as possible in musical activities. We have a school choir which we encourage all children from Y3-6 to join. The choir meets on a weekly basis and, although its primary aim is to enable children to enjoy singing together, it also performs at school events on a number of occasions throughout the year.
We currently offer ‘Orchestra’ for those pupils who are learning instruments. We provide opportunities throughout the year for budding musicians to perform for the school community. This includes solo and ensemble performances as part of assemblies and concerts. This recognises their achievements and celebrates their success
Children demonstrate their ability in music in a variety of different ways. Teachers will assess children’s work in music by making informal judgements as they observe them during lessons. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher assesses the work and gives oral or written feedback as necessary to inform future progress. Older pupils are encouraged to make judgements about how they can improve their own work. At the end of a unit of work, the teacher makes a summary judgement about the work of each pupil in relation to the National Curriculum. We use this as the basis for assessing the progress of each child and year group as a whole.
Music and Religion
Music plays a major role in the ethos of a Catholic school. It plays a vital part in developing a child’s relationship with God and the Church and provides them with another channel through which to praise God or to reflect. All children attend a weekly singing practice and sing hymns throughout the year during assemblies and mass.
We keep resources for music in the music room.
Roles and Responsibilities
The subject is led by the Music teacher as a whole and each year time is set aside to review standards and monitor curriculum provision and ensure training and resources are up to date.