‘Where words fail, music speaks’
Hans Christian Anderson
At Mersey Park Primary School, we believe that music should be an enjoyable learning experience for all children and one which encourages children to participate in a variety of musical opportunities. We believe that music is a unique way of communicating that can inspire and motivate children. It is a tool for personal expression and it can play an important part in personal development. We ensure our music curriculum is enriched with as many different learning opportunities as possible, so our children can have musical experiences that they would not otherwise have access to. We aim to provide our children with a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions and musical genres.
Our music curriculum ensures students sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate, following National Curriculum aims and objectives. This is embedded in the classroom activities as well as weekly singing assemblies, and concerts and performances throughout the school year (following Covid advice). We encourage an inclusive environment with all of our curriculum and ensure all pupils, including those most vulnerable and those who are disadvantaged, have the opportunity to access the full and broad curriculum through carefully planned support and scaffolding as required.
From an early age, we make sure that children are introduced to a range of composers and musicians so they can experience styles and genres that might be new to them. The Charanga scheme of work is used from Foundation Stage to Year 6 to ensure a wide exposure to different genres of music, with lots of practical opportunities to explore and develop as musicians and singers. Curriculum progression is clearly set out in our Progression of Skills planning document, which has been carefully structured to allow lots of opportunities for children to practice and embed key skills and concepts.
Teachers are provided with regular opportunities to develop their own subject knowledge through sharing good practice, peer observation and visiting experts.
Each music lesson starts with a mini-quiz, which revises prior knowledge and embeds important facts into children’s long-term memory. These quizzes are informal and allow teachers an opportunity to address misunderstandings and highlight key areas, which need more revision. Teachers regularly assess pupils’ abilities to appraise, compose and perform a wide variety of music. Music is monitored throughout all year groups using a variety of strategies such as folder/book scrutinies, lesson observations and pupil interviews.
An end of year assessment is undertaken by the children which informs future teaching and improvements to planning as required. Final end of year assessments are made using assessment criteria that has been developed in line with the National Curriculum, Target Tracker and Weaving Skills and Knowledge, thus identifying the level at which the child is working. Children in Foundation Stage are assessed within Expressive Arts and Design and their progress is tracked regularly using Target Tracker. Age related expectation levels are reported to parents at the end of the year.
By the end of Key Stage Two, we aim to develop musicians with a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may play in any person’s life. We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community, and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.
Music reflects the culture and society we live in, and so the teaching and learning of music allows children to better understand the world they live in. It also plays an important part in enabling children to feel part of a community. They are given access to more unusual instruments to give them a wider learning experience of instruments that they might not come across in life, such as ukuleles and Samba drums.
We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build up the confidence of all children. Our teaching focuses on developing the children’s ability to understand rhythm and follow a beat. Through singing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music. We teach them to listen and to appreciate different forms of music. Children develop descriptive language skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent different feelings, emotions and narratives. We also teach technical vocabulary such as volume, pitch, beat and rhythm and encourage children to discuss music using these terms. This vocabulary is revisited and revised through the use of quizzes, knowledge organisers which highlight musical vocabulary, key knowledge, and significant musicians and composers.
In recent years, we have worked with visiting artists and performers, for example Key Strings and Merseyside Police brass band, to provide our children with authentic and real life opportunities to get involved with workshops and performances. Additional opportunities are offered in music, such as the Key Stage 2 choir which performs regularly in school and at events in the local community.
Whole School Music Overview
At Mersey Park Primary School, we believe that teaching music contributes to the enrichment of children’s lives, boosts their self-esteem and confidence and gives them opportunities in school that they might not be given in life. Our aim is for children to celebrate the positive impact of music and how it can allow individuals to shine. They will be taught through engaging and creative Music lessons that will allow pupils to develop a love of music and develop their talent as musicians, and in turn increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. Some of our exciting topics include: Disco – Get into the Groove, How Does Music Make our World a Better Place? and How Does Music Bring Us Closer?
Aims and Objectives
Our objectives in the teaching of Music are:
- To promote positive attitudes and enthusiasm for music.
- To provide all children with a broad range of quality musical experiences with purpose and enjoyment.
- To provide enabling environments, so that learners feel safe and confident in their use of music.
- To meet the requirement of the National Curriculum as fully as possible and enable all children to reach the highest possible standards of achievement.
- To use music in a cross-curricular fashion to raise standards across the school.
- To create the atmosphere and levels of resource to encourage all members of the school community to learn and enjoy music.
- To encourage and inspire children to be part of and perform as part of an ensemble.
A Christmas Celebration
To view the overview for our Music curriculum please follow the link for each year group:
Click below to view the progression of skills across the year groups for Music:
MUSIC REPORT TO GOVERNORS