Music is a foundation curriculum area at St Francis Primary school.
At Francis Primary School, we believe that music is a powerful, unique form of communication that transcends different cultures, abilities and generations. Listening to and making music fulfils an instinctive human need for self-expression and creativity.
We recognise how Music contributes to the wider aims of our children’s Primary Education and how it supports all areas of learning across other curriculum subjects. Furthermore, we delight in how our teaching of Music helps towards the development of lifelong skills such as: listening, concentration, creativity, intuition, sensitivity, perseverance and self-confidence.
Our overall aim is to provide children with a high-quality education in Music, which develops their appraising, historical knowledge, composing and performing skills. They will consistently be given opportunities to be critical and creative within music in order to develop their skills as young musicians.
We intend for children to listen to a wide range of music, from different genres, across different eras. This gives them the opportunity to think critically about what they are listening to. As well as this, it allows them to pick up key features of genres of music which they can later use in their own music. Enabling them to listen to music across time, from the past to the present, gives them the opportunity to understand how music has developed and changed as a result of events of the time.
We also intend to give children the opportunities to compose their own pieces of music. This will give them the opportunities to be creative and explore their use of sounds. They will be able to work both individually and as part of a group to create their own pieces of music.
With regards to performing, we intend to give children as many opportunities as possible to perform together in order to develop their confidence. This may be a range of pre-composed songs, which they can perform in their own style or recreate, or songs which they have composed themselves.
The National Curriculum for England describes the purpose of music as thus:
'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, to perform and to listen, all with discrimination, confidence and enjoyment’.
We are proud of our music curriculum here at St Francis Catholic Primary. Every child from Year 1 to 6 receives a weekly music lesson. In the early Years, music is incorporated consistently into daily routines and is used to enhance teaching of the core curriculum in addition to being taught as a stand-alone subject.
We follow the Charanga music school scheme. As part of these lessons, pupils have the opportunity to play tuned and untuned percussion instruments. They sing and play music from different cultures and in different styles. Children are taught to listen with concentration and focus. They develop their understanding of pitch, rhythm and tempo. They are encouraged to compose and improvise, so that by Year 6 they can create their own songs and pieces of music. The teaching of notation begins with responding to symbols in Year One and the children progress to reading and performing music. In both Key Stages One and Two, pupils are introduced to the history of music and to the works of major composers.
Our aims are embedded within our Music lessons and opportunities are provided as part of the wider curriculum. We follow Charanga's carefully planned activities to build upon a child’s prior learning, whilst giving children of all abilities the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding throughout each key stage. We follow Charanga's detailed progression of knowledge and skills in music across the year groups enabling teachers a greater flexibility to differentiate, tailored towards each child's need, developing opportunities in learning for all. Children are encouraged to develop themselves as musicians as well as challenge themselves.
Within our whole class teaching, children experience a wide range of musical opportunities with regards to appraising, composing and performing. Teachers deliver music lessons by following a structure and progression of lessons increasing in depth throughout the key stages. The scheme involves the use of games, singing, instruments, improvisation and composition in lessons to:
- Encourage the children to have fun and enjoy listening to different styles of music.
- Recognise instruments and features of key musical styles.
- Encourage confident discussion using accurate musical language.
All children take part in a major performance each year: Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 at Christmas, Years 3 and 4 in the spring term, Year 5 and Year 6 in the summer term. Pupils are encouraged to sing, act, play instruments, dance, create and perform their own music. The children have lots of different opportunities to sing and play at school assemblies, class assemblies and perform at special services at St Francis Church, Morley.
We have a specialist peripatetic teacher who teaches groups of children throughout KS2 the glockenspiels, chime bars or recorders on Tuesday afternoons. The children are assessed by the teacher and this information is shared with class teachers. Talented musicians are identified and given further opportunities to develop their skills.
Our music curriculum ensures children sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. These skills are embedded in classroom activities. A variety of performance opportunities exists in the school calendar; these include class and whole school assemblies and productions. The elements of music are taught in lessons using the online resource Charanga and this incorporates the use of instruments to help develop an understanding of how music is made, played, appreciated and analysed.
PSHE links - The whole school encourages participation in 'Mindfulness', using music as a simple, yet powerful concept that our young musicians can use as a tool to their advantage. Mindfulness practice offers a considerable number of benefits, including stress reduction, improving focus, boosting confidence, and offering the opportunity to reclaim the joy that music provides - adding a whole new dimension in musical life.
The children of St Francis Primary School will have developed a love and appreciation of music, including composing and performing. Their skills will have progressed in order to have made good progress against the National Curriculum objectives. As well as this, they will have had the opportunities to participate in a range of wider opportunities for music. Music also being looked upon to have a positive impact on well-being and the activities our children participate in, further contributing to having a positive impact on their mental health.
Whilst in school, children would have access to a varied programme, which allows them to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon. The integral nature of music and the learner creates an enormously rich palette from which a child may access fundamental abilities such as: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self-reflection. Music will also develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to children individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children are able to develop an enjoyment of music in as many ways as they choose – either as a listener, creator or performer.