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Music St Helen's Catholic Primary

What Is Our Vision?

We teach a clear and comprehensive scheme of work in line with the National Curriculum. We use The Charanga Musical School Scheme which provides teachers with lesson support for each year group in the school. It is intended for specialist and non-specialist teachers and provides lesson plans, assessment, clear progression, and engaging and exciting whiteboard resources to support every lesson. The interrelated dimensions of music weave through the musical topics to ensure the development of musical skills as the learning progresses through listening and appraising, differing musical activities (including creating and exploring) and performing.

We aim to expose our children with a wide and varied range of music and throughout our school music plays an important role. We aim to give the children opportunities to develop their ability to perform to an audience, create a passion in the children for a wide variety of music and also to see the value of music in everyday life.

Our Approach

Music plays a vital role in the life of our school and the music curriculum ensures children sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in our classroom lessons as well as the weekly singing assemblies, various concerts and performances, the opportunity to learn an instrument, and the joining of the school choir. The elements of music taught in the classroom lessons are designed to enable the children to use some of the language of music to discuss it, and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed.

Charanga is a scheme of work which offers a topic-based approach to support children’s learning in music. A steady progression plan has been built into Charanga, both within each year and from one year to the next, ensuring consistent musical development. The learning within this Scheme is based on: Listening and Appraising; Musical Activities — creating and exploring; and Singing and Performing.

Charanga is used with our EYFS children in weekly sessions and encourages Singing, dancing rhythm and rhyme which are integral to child development and is a specific area in the EYFS curriculum. This supports the children's listening and observational skills and allows them to respond and express themselves in their own unique ways. It allows them to explore and be creative and provides opportunities an Understanding of the World and find out about People and Communities. 

Music at Key Stage 1 and 2 is taught in weekly sessions and provides an opportunity for the children to embed the different musical elements throughout the year. The programme is planned so that in each unit skills and vocabulary are re-visited so that children can deepen their knowledge and ability in this curriculum area. Children will take part in sessions where they analyse different pieces of music using progressively more complex vocabulary to analyse and evaluate a piece before practising and performing this piece.

In KS1 children will use percussion instruments to support their learning in music and will focus on identifying the rhythm of the pieces that they explore. In KS2 children will learn to use different instruments including recorders and glockenspiels. To enhance the access to instruments some of these may be through the use of digital instruments using our Ipads.

Teachers often use music in other lessons as a cross curricula tool to enhance the learning experience. They may also use musical pieces to enhance the atmosphere or create a calming environment in their classroom.

Curriculum Impact

The desired impact of our Music curriculum is to teach the elements of music in a fun and engaging way and to create a passion for music in our children. We aim to encourage pupils to enjoy music in as many ways as they choose – either as listener, creator or performer. Children have the opportunity to discuss and share their own thoughts, opinions and ideas, acknowledging and respecting that these may vary and that this is positive. They can use the technical language they have learnt to discuss and analyse a piece of music expressing what they do and o not like about a specific piece.

Children are provided with opportunities beyond the National Curriculum to further and support their understanding. These include having the opportunity to learn an instrument and by taking part in school productions. External interests and talents are also encouraged and showcased in class, assemblies and school performances, ensuring that everyone is challenged regardless of previous musical experience. Children will gain an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, enriching their lives and giving them options for the future.

We will measure the impact of the Music curriculum through:

  • Pupil achievement data
  • Pupil voice
  • Productions and performances
  • Lesson observations
  • Learning walks
  • Work scrutiny

In our music lessons some of the things you will see are:

  • Children participate in real music making activities.
  • Children listen to, perform and compose real music from a range of genres, cultures and styles
  • Music is the dominant language of the lesson. Verbal instruction is concise, and pupils spend the majority of the session making music.
  • Pupils sing, move, play and create to internalise musical concepts.
  • Pupils are supported and challenged as listeners, composers and performers, and demonstrate high levels of enjoyment and engagement.