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Strawberry FieldsPrimary SchoolLearning Together, Building The Future

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Music

Curriculum Statement – Music

 

Our Music Curriculum

 

Intent

The primary intention of music education at Strawberry Fields is to encourage a deep love of music in all our children. Music enriches our life. It has played a significant role as a communicator of emotions, an important cultural touchstone and as a part of ceremonies marking key points in life throughout human history and across human cultures. The ability to appreciate music, the vocabulary to discuss it, the tools to evaluate it and the skills to participate in making it are therefore key aspects of our shared humanity, society and culture.

Our curriculum will:

  • Allow children to develop a love of music, including an ability to appreciate music of different kinds and from different cultures, and articulate likes and dislikes
  • Give children the confidence to sing expressively as part of a group or even as soloists
  • Teach children about key figures and movements from musical history
  • Provide a good understanding of the vocabulary required to evaluate, discuss and make music
  • Allow children to be musicians through developing their core musicality – for example, to identify a beat or rhythm, or to play an instrument appropriately and to know which sounds, instruments and sequences or combinations of notes might be appropriate for different improvisations or compositions
  • Develop the children’s musical cultural capital, through: learning about a full range of composers, musicians and musical styles; providing a range of musical experiences, including opportunities to both watch and participate in live performances; a chance to learn to play an instrument
  • Plant a seed in children so a love of music will continue to enrich them throughout their lives, whether as avid listeners, live music fans, singers or performers, or even as professionals

 

Implementation

The Model Music Curriculum’, introduced by the government in 2021, is a non-statutory scheme which ensures full coverage of the National Curriculum, but also adds significant detail and sets very high standards for musical outcomes. At Strawberry Fields, our curriculum is divided into progression strands, with their objectives derived from the Model Music Curriculum.

Music teaching in Years 1-6 is divided into five strands:

  • Singing
  • Playing and performing
  • Improvising and composing
  • Listening
  • Musicianship

These strands ensure full coverage of the Model Music Curriculum, and will ensure that the intention of our curriculum is delivered fully. However, the five strands are intertwined and often cannot be separated from one another. As such, whilst sometimes an individual strand will be taught in isolation, more commonly, they will often be taught alongside one another within the curriculum. For example, skills learned within the ‘Musicianship’ strand will clearly overlap with and complement learning and activities within each of the other strands.

Learning objectives in the progression plans are divided into phases – KS1, Lower KS2 and Upper KS2. This allows time for key learning to be revisited and embedded over a two-year cycle.

The curriculum will be delivered through:

  • A weekly music lesson (30 minutes duration)
  • A weekly singing assembly, separate for KS1 and KS2 (30 minutes duration)
  • A programme of assembly music designed to introduce children to a wide range of composers, songwriters, musicians and musical styles
  • An annual ‘Music Day’, which will high quality live performances
  • A 30-minute weekly guitar lesson (providing by an external tutor from Artforms) for Year 4 children
  • An opportunity for children in Years 4-6 to participate in Young Voices and/or the school choir

The basis of our weekly music lessons in Key Stage 1 and 2 is the Charanga ‘Model Music Curriculum’ scheme of work. This scheme supports non-specialist music teachers to deliver the full curriculum. Music is a subject which should inspire enthusiasm and as such, we feel it is important that teachers are free to enhance or stretch their music teaching through the use of additional activities about which they feel passionate, as long as the progression requirements of the five strands are met across the year.

A key element of musical learning in Key Stage 1 is the development of the children’s singing voice, though singing as a primary musical tool retains its importance throughout.

In Early Years, the ‘Tap! Ding! Clap! Sing!’ scheme of work is used. This ensures children are introduced to some key elements of musicality, key pieces of vocabulary, and have a secure foundation of core skills which will allow them to access the Model Music Curriculum when they enter Year 1. Some elements of this scheme are also appropriate for use in Key Stage 1.

The Model Music Curriculum has very high expectations for children’s outcomes. We believe it is absolutely right that the children at Strawberry Fields are given the opportunity to attain these standards, and that the expectation of our staff is that these standards can be reached by our children. However, we are also aware that a significant change in curriculum can take some time to embed. Whilst the Model Music Curriculum will form the basis for our planning and teaching from September 2022, we acknowledge that outcomes may not fully align with the MMC for a number of years.

 

Impact

The impact of our music curriculum is assessed through:

  • Pupil voice conversations

Are pupils able to explain and/or demonstrate their learning at an appropriate level? Just as importantly, do they speak about music with passion and warmth – are we gifting our children a lifelong love of music?

  • Monitoring

The music leader will conduct discussions about music teaching with staff and pupils, and will drop-in to lessons, as well as observing performances. Senior Leadership and Phase Leaders will also support in this process

  • Assessment

The majority of assessment in music will be conducted by observation. Materials to support assessment include the school’s progression frameworks for each of the five strands, and assessment materials produced by Artforms

  • Quality of work

The outcomes observed in music lessons will be key to formative assessment decisions. Key ‘end-points’ – for example, a composition, or the performance of a song – will support summative assessment decisions.

 

Where the observations, monitoring and assessment listed above suggest that our curriculum implementation is not delivering the required outcomes, the music leader will work with the senior leadership team, phase leaders and individual class teachers to investigate where changes can be made or support can be offered – for example, through ensuring progression frameworks are correctly structured, auditing resources, or by providing high quality CPD.

Like all areas of curriculum, our Music curriculum offer is constantly evolving, a working document where changes can and will be made if this will support better outcomes for our children.

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