Music is a unique way of communicating that can inspire and motivate children. 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. We teach music because we want to foster an appreciation of, awareness of and a response to, a wide variety of musical styles, times and cultures, whilst extending the pupil’s musical experience and knowledge.
Music at the Bedonwell Federation aims to:
- Provide every child with the opportunity to experience enjoyment through a variety of musical activities and to respond to musical emotions
- Help children of all abilities develop positive attitudes and to experience success and satisfaction in music
- Develop social skills through co-operation with others in the shared experience of music making
- Develop an understanding of musical traditions and enhance performance skills by learning and performing music in a variety of cultures
- Know and understand how sounds are made and then organise them into musical structures
- Know how music is made through a variety of instruments
- Know how music is composed and written down
- Know how music is influenced by the time, place and purpose for which it was written
- Develop the inter-related skills of music, focusing on listening, appraising, performing, and composing.
We have carefully considered chronology in our planning that builds progressively on pupils’ knowledge and skills from Nursery to Year 6. We use the National Curriculum as a basis for our planning and personalise and extend it to suit our specific context.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Music forms an integral part of the Expressive Arts & Design area of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Children of nursery and reception age will follow the EYFS and work towards the Early Learning Goals
Teachers plan for this area of the EYFS through a themed approach, which enables children to receive a balanced cross-curricular education. 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. Exposure to a wide range of instruments and songs is important within the EYFS to encourage and develop an intrinsic love of music. The Charanga scheme also has a section specifically aimed at musical development in the Early Years which can be embedded in the teaching.
Staff in the EYFS assess children’s progress against the Development Matters (DM) statements for each of the 7 areas. At the end of the Reception year, teachers assess pupils against the Early Learning Goals.
The Profile provides parents and carers, practitioners and teachers with a well- rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their attainment against expected levels, and their readiness for year 1. Year 1 teachers are provided with a copy of the profile report to inform their transition into Key Stage 1.
Key stages 1 & 2
We recognise that there are children of widely different musical abilities in all classes and we ensure music planning provides suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. Our music planning is geared to three aspects:
- Increasing breadth and range of musical experiences
- Increasing challenge and difficulty in musical activities
- Increasing confidence, sensitivity and creativity in the children’s music making
Pupils are taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.
Pupils are taught to:
- Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
- Improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
- Listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory use and understand staff and other musical notations
Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians develop an understanding of the history of music
Every week the music leader and specialist music teacher conduct a singing assembly. From spring term this also includes Reception. Children learn and sing new songs together as well develop new singing techniques.
Throughout the year we have many different occasions and events that incorporate music such as Young Voices, One World week, Black History day, Christmas Carol service, Nativity plays, Shine Week, Harvest Festival and class assemblies. We often invite external agencies into school to share a range of different music with the children.
Musical Instrument Tuition
Children are offered the opportunity to study the violin with a peripatetic teacher. In KS2, pupils have the opportunity to learn to play keyboard, woodwind, brass, string instruments and form part of the school orchestra and choir. Lessons are offered to a limited number of children and places are allocated through an auditions process. Lessons take place once a week during the day. These children also have the opportunity to participate in assemblies as well as concerts that parents/carers are invited to attend.
Teachers formatively assess children’s learning in music through informal judgments and observation during lessons. On completion of any written work, the teacher marks the work and will make comments in accordance with the marking policy.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals for Expressive Arts and Design.
In key stages 1 and 2, at the end of each unit of work, teachers grade children’s musical ability by following the Charanga teaching scheme guide. Teachers mark whether a child is working towards, working at or working beyond each strand of musical learning. These strands are as follows:
- listening and appraising
- playing instruments
- improvisation, composition and performing.