Music - Intent
The purpose of Music at WRPS is to nurture all of our children to become music lovers and for some, to realise their ambitions to become music producers, songwriters, composers or rockstars!
Our vision in achieving this is to provide children with access to an engaging and fun music curriculum reflecting the world they live in now, but at the same time giving them access and knowledge of musical styles throughout history.
To achieve this, we endeavour to provide children with well-chosen opportunities to access a variety of musical games, songs, instruments, music workshops, and extra-curricular activities giving them practical hands-on experience. We hope children continue to grow in confidence as they progress through the musical curriculum and become passionate in their responses to music. Children will have opportunities to listen to and appraise a variety of musical styles alongside performing pieces and creating their own compositions through the use of instruments and technology.
Photo: The school Stomp band who performed at the Royal Albert Hall.
Added to this, we endeavour to integrate our school values of Generosity, Respect, Agape, Courage and Empathy into the planning and delivery of Music and to develop children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
It is our intention that children will:
develop an awareness, enjoyment and appreciation of music in all its forms.
develop imagination and creativity.
develop positive attitudes and experience success and satisfaction in music.
have opportunities to sing, play instruments, including to an audience.
Have opportunities to compose, listen to and appraise music and musical performances.
Singing skills - A singing culture will be established and nurtured within the school. Children and adults in the school will be encouraged to sing whenever appropriate to aid well -being and health as well as musical outcomes. Children will be taught to sing a wide-ranging variety of songs and to use their voices expressively.
Instrumental skills - They should have the opportunity to play both tuned and un-tuned instruments; with increasing control and should rehearse and perform with others, with an awareness of audience.
Composing skills - Children will create musical patterns and will be shown how to explore, select and organise musical ideas, recording these in a variety of ways e.g. pictorial score, digitally or using notation.
Appraising skills - Children will be given the opportunity to explore and explain their own ideas and feelings about music.
Listening and applying knowledge and understanding – Children will be provided with opportunities to listen to music and grow in their awareness throughout their musical journey in school. Children should be able to listen with concentration and to internalise and recall sounds with increasing aural memory. They will learn that time and place can influence the way music is created, performed and heard and that music is produced in different ways.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in music, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Music is taught as part of a termly or half-termly topic, focusing on the knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum.
Music lessons at Withycombe utilise Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction (2010). The four strands (Reviewing Material, Questioning, Explaining and Modelling and Practising) as suggested by Rosenshine are embedded throughout the Music curriculum, helping children to avoid overload of their short-term memories and to make connections to prior learning. This allows children to develop their own schema, committing learning to their deep processing and semantic memory. Whenever possible and suitable, our Music lessons begin with a ‘review’ activity which encourages children to retrieve and recall their prior learning, vocabulary, skills and/or knowledge. This is especially prevalent in the ’Recorders’ unit of work which every year group delivers each year. This allows children to make clear and distinct links between their learning of an instrument and the rest of their wider musical education. It also allows them to draw upon previous successes and content (whether in the previous lesson, the previous week, the previous term or the previous year), preparing children for what they are about to learn in the current teaching session. We are also careful not to overload children’s thinking by presenting them too much content in one session; using a small steps approach ensures that children can fully understand and access their learning.
Music at WRPS is inclusive; all children are able to participate and make progress at their own level. Scaffolding and differentiation allow children to access music lessons fully and challenge is offered to those that have the potential to make accelerated progress in the subject.
We ensure that the status and importance of music as a subject is recognised and that links to the wider curriculum are made.
In order to achieve this:
Lessons provide opportunities for children to develop their knowledge and practical skills by listening to and by appraising, singing, playing, composing, and performing.
We make use of the online musical resource ‘Charanga’ to support our delivery of music across the school.
Teachers plan to further children’s development within music. Every year group builds upon the learning from prior year groups therefore developing a depth of understanding and progression of skills. The scheme also provides the necessary details, activities, accompaniments and recordings to support our music teaching.
Teachers make professional judgements about when to adapt or supplement, using additional materials, where this enhances learning. Another core, supportive resource is the ‘BBC Ten Pieces’, which provides an excellent bank of musical pieces from a wide range of genres and also provides opportunities for cross-curricular links.
Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument and creating further opportunities for inclusivity and differing learning styles.
We promote an enjoyment and foster interest of music through regular singing practice, musical workshops, and other extra-curricular opportunities such as the school choir.
Performances take place within various school activities and are integral to the school ethos:
- Senior staff lead regular whole school assemblies which include song learning and music appreciation.
- Instrumental groups and those receiving individual tuition are encouraged to perform in assembly whenever performances are ready to be heard.
- An annual music evening allows children to perform both instrumental and vocal music. This is live-streamed to local care homes to promote local community links.
- We are very proud of our Year Group and Key Stage productions that take place throughout the year including an annual Year 6 production which is performed at Exmouth Pavilion.
Music skills and skills progression are monitored, as is the delivery of music through a program of lesson observations, children conferencing
Our foundation subject assessment tracker allows us to use data to inform future teaching and learning, building on children’s prior learning in order to make new connections.
The Music Subject Lead regularly attends music conferences and hub meetings to ensure they are kept up-to-date with new resources and opportunities available from the County’s music service.
Subject Leads and their supporting team deliver effective CPD in staff meetings to ensure that high levels of confidence and knowledge are maintained within the staff.
The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum provides a bedrock and supports children’s understanding of music. Through expressive arts, children are taught to sing songs, make music and dance. Children are given opportunities to experiment with ways of changing sound and develop an understanding of pulse rhythm and pitch. They enjoy listening and responding to different styles of music, learning to sing, joining in with nursery rhymes and action songs which leads to playing classroom instruments and performing for others.
A wide range of music equipment and resources are accessible to all classes. We have a particularly strong tradition in drumming and untuned percussion and have an impressive collection of ‘Stomp!’ instruments (recycled objects).
We access the County’s sets of whole class instruments and regularly hire out class sets of instruments (e.g. glockenspiels, Jumbie Jams) which can be used alongside the Charanga teaching programme.
We also access grants for whole class instrumental teaching delivered by specialist peripatetic teachers. These sessions result in a whole class performance to the school or wider community.
A portable sound system with computer, radio microphones and CD player are available for every year group.
The impact of quality teaching in music will first and foremost be achieved by fostering a love and increasing enthusiasm for the subject amongst our children, and a potential for life-long musical study and enjoyment. Whilst in school, children have access to a varied musical programme, which allows them to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon.
The impact of this music curriculum will facilitate pupils in making outstanding progress over time across Key Stages and relative to a child’s individual starting point. Children will therefore be expected to leave WRPS reaching at least age expected expectations for music. Those children with a particular interest or aptitude in music will be given the opportunity to extend their education in a variety of ways, for example, orchestral groups, singing club and involvement in instrumental performances in assembly or within the wider community.
At WRPS, we understand that the integral nature of music and the learner creates an enormously rich palette from which a child may access fundamental abilities such as achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others and self-reflection.
We aspire that music will also provide children with a rich set of opportunities, helping them to develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to children individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Our children are able to enjoy music in as many ways as they choose – either as listener, creator or performer. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts. They can sing and feel a pulse. They have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.