Music at St Charles’ Catholic Primary School
At St Charles’ Catholic Primary School we aspire to be musicians! Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. We want out children to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, thus increasing their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
Our music curriculum enables our children develop their musical knowledge, understanding and ability. We want our children to enjoy their music lessons and embrace the musical opportunities they are presented with!
The intention the music curriculum at St Charles’ Catholic Primary School is first and foremost to help children to feel that they are musical, and to develop a life-long love of music. We focus on developing the skills, knowledge and understanding that children need in order to become confident performers, composers, and listeners. Our curriculum introduces children to music from all around the world and across generations, teaching children to respect and appreciate the music of all traditions and communities.
Children will develop the musical skills of singing, playing tuned and untuned instruments, improvising and composing music, and listening and responding to music. They will develop an understanding of the history and cultural context of the music that they listen to and learn how music can be written down. Through music, our curriculum helps children develop transferable skills such as team-working, leadership, creative thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, and presentation and performance skills. These skills are vital to children’s development as learners and have a wider application in their general lives outside and beyond school.
Our music curriculum enables pupils to meet the end of key stage attainment targets outlined in the national curriculum and the aims of our music curriculum align with those in the national curriculum.
At St Charles’ Catholic Primary School we take a holistic approach to music, in which the individual strands below are woven together to create engaging and enriching learning experiences:
- The history of music
- The inter-related dimensions of music
At St Charles’ we use the Kapow Music Scheme and each five-lesson unit combines these strands within a cross-curricular topic designed to capture pupils’ imagination and encourage them to explore music enthusiastically. Children will be taught how to sing fluently and expressively, and play tuned and untuned instruments accurately and with control. They will learn to recognise and name the interrelated dimensions of music – pitch, duration, tempo, timbre, structure, texture and dynamics – and use these expressively in their own improvisations and compositions.
Our Music Medium Term Plan shows which units cover each of the national curriculum attainment targets as well as each of these strands within it.
Our Music Progression of Skills Knowledge and Vocabulary shows the skills, knowledge and vocabulary that are taught within each year group and how these skills develop year on year to ensure attainment targets are securely met by the end of each key stage.
We use a spiral curriculum model where previous skills and knowledge are returned to and built upon. Children progress in terms of tackling more complex tasks and doing more simple tasks better, as well as developing understanding and knowledge of the history of music, staff, and other musical notations, as well as the interrelated dimensions of music and more.
In each lesson, pupils will actively participate in musical activities drawn from a range of styles and traditions, developing their musical skills and their understanding of how music works. Lessons incorporate a range of teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired and group work as well as improvisation and teacher-led performances. Lessons are ‘hands-on’ and incorporate movement and dance elements, as well as making cross curricular links with other areas of learning.
Differentiated guidance is available for every lesson to ensure that lessons can be accessed by all pupils and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are available when required.
Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts and vocabulary.
Strong subject knowledge is vital for teachers at St Charles’ to be able to deliver a highly effective and robust music curriculum. We have chosen the Kapow Music Scheme because each unit of lessons includes multiple teacher videos to develop subject knowledge and support ongoing CPD, aiding teachers in their own acquisition of musical skills and knowledge. Further CPD opportunities can also be found via webinars with Kapow music subject specialists. Using Kapow ensures that all teachers at St Charles’ develop their confidence delivering the music curriculum and feel supported to deliver lessons of a high standard that ensure pupil progression.
Weekly music lessons each half term embed music as part as our school culture. Music has a unique way of communicating that can inspire and motivate children. It is a vehicle for personal expression and plays an important role in the personal development of our children. We believe that music should be accessible for every pupil in our school. Making music provides opportunities for physical, intellectual, imaginative and spiritual development. Successful participation in music develops pupils’ self-esteem, confidence, well-being and learning skills. It is an effective medium for self-expression and creativity.
We have a range of percussion instruments available in school and take part annually in our Peace Proms which engages our children in music and enriches their lives through exceptional musical experiences and performances. Guitar lessons are available through Create Music.
The impact of our music curriculum can be constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Each lesson includes guidance to support teachers in assessing pupils against the learning objectives and at the end of each unit there is often a performance element where teachers can make a summative assessment of pupils’ learning. Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils by providing a highly visual record of the key learning from the unit, encouraging recall of practical skills, key knowledge and vocabulary.
After the implementation of our music curriculum, pupils should leave St Charles’ Catholic Primary School equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education and to be able to enjoy and appreciate music throughout their lives.
The expected impact is that children will:
- Be confident performers, composers and listeners and will be able to express themselves musically at and beyond school.
- Show an appreciation and respect for a wide range of musical styles from around the world and will understand how music is influenced by the wider cultural, social, and historical contexts in which it is developed.
- Understand the ways in which music can be written down to support performing and composing activities.
- Demonstrate and articulate an enthusiasm for music and be able to identify their own personal musical preferences.
- Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the national curriculum for Music.
Music Curriculum Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2
Purpose of study
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.
The national curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:
- perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
- learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
- understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Subject Content – Key stage 1
Pupils should be taught to:
- use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes play tuned and untuned instruments musically
- listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.
Subject Content – Key Stage 2
Pupils should be 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 should be 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.