‘Where words fail, music speaks.’ – Hans Christian Anderson
At Mersey Park 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 the personal development of people. We ensure our music curriculum is enriched with as many different learning opportunities as possible, so our children can have musical experiences that they wouldn’t 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 variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres.
Our music curriculum ensures all students sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. These key skills are embedded through classroom activities as well as weekly singing assemblies, collective worship and school productions. Our curriculum provides pupils with the opportunity to encounter a wide range of composers and musicians from a variety of genres. We encourage an inclusive environment 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.
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.
Through teaching music we can contribute to the enrichment of children’s lives, boost their self-esteem and confidence and give them opportunities in school that they might not be given in life. We celebrate the positive impact music has on our children and how it can allow individuals to shine. Our music lessons aim to engage and inspire 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. Children are able to enjoy music, in as many ways as they choose- either as a listener, creator or performer.
Teachers are provided with opportunities to develop their own subject knowledge through sharing good practice and peer observations.
Music assessment is ongoing to inform teachers with their planning, lesson activities and differentiation. Teachers regularly assess pupil’s abilities to appraise, compose and perform a wide variety of music. Summative assessment is completed at the end of each unit to inform leaders of the improvements or skills that still need to be embedded. Music is monitored throughout all year groups using a variety of strategies such as music folder/book scrutiny, lesson observations and pupil interviews. 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 in 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 reception year.
By the end of Key Stage Two we aim to foster musicians with a curiosity for the subject, as well as with an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music. We encourage all children to understand the value and importance of music in the wider community, and to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.
Teaching and Learning
We provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music, to develop the skills, to appreciate a wide variety of quality musical forms, and to begin to make judgments about the quality of music. We teach them the disciplined skills of recognising pulse, dynamics, rhythm and pitch. We also teach children how to work with others to make music, writing musical notation and composing music using the online, digital music resource ‘Charanga’, a new music scheme for the new curriculum.
We teach music in Foundation Stage classes as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. As the F2 class is part of the Early Years Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum, we relate the musical aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five. 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.
In KS1, the children enjoy singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes. They also begin to learn technical vocabulary such as volume, pitch, beat and rhythm and we encourage children to discuss music using these terms. They have the opportunity to play both tuned and percussion instruments which they use to create, select and combine sounds. They also listen and move to a wide range of music.
Children in KS2 build on the skills acquired in KS1 so that, by the end of year 6, they sing and play with increasing control and self-confidence. They deepen their understanding of music in the world and the significance of music through history. Children are encouraged to explore their own musical preferences and discuss these with confidence. We teach them to listen and to appreciate different forms of music and they develop descriptive language skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent different feelings, emotions and narratives.
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.
Merry Christmas from everyone at Mersey Park
To view the overview for our Music curriculum please follow the link for your child’s year group:
Click below to view the progression of skills across the year groups for Music:
Assessment, Record Keeping and Reporting
- Assessments are used diagnostically by teachers to evaluate learning and inform teaching and to inform future provision
- Assessments are completed at the end of each unit of work
- Year groups keep evidence of work produced by the pupils in a class music book to show their music’s learning journey
- The music subject leader keeps samples of children’s work in a portfolio, which is used to demonstrate the expected level of achievement in music for each age group in the school
Extra-curricular activities and live music experiences
Children have additional opportunities to develop their understanding of skills in music. Extra-curricular activities such as choirs, recorder club and ukulele club. Outside musicians are invited to perform to the children, giving them as much experience of live music as possible, for example, musical duo Key Strings visit our school annually covering many elements of music. We participate in the Christmas and Summer Wirral Music Festival (made up of our cluster schools), Christmas carol concert, Easter services and Summer musical concert at the end of the year.
FOUNDATION SUBJECT REPORT TO GOVERNORS – SPRING 2019 – MUSIC