At Writtle Infant School, we are committed to providing our children with a curriculum that has a clear intention and impacts positively upon the social and emotional needs of children. We value music because it is a powerful and unique art form, which boosts creativity and supports development in social skills, self-discipline and confidence. We provide a music curriculum where children develop a solid understanding of the interrelated dimensions of music through the skills of performing, composing and appraising. We ensure children experience a range of classical, rock, folk, jazz and popular music taken from different times and cultures. All Key Stage 1 pupils experience tuned musical instrument teaching (glockenspiels and recorder Y2) and pupils in Y1 and Y2 are offered the opportunity to build on these with additional 1:1 piano lessons in school time (privately, including financial support for Pupil Premium children). Our wider curriculum offer includes opportunities for pupils to take part in extracurricular musical groups including: the school choir, the Infant Music Festival (Y2) and playing untuned and tuned percussion for year group or whole school musical productions (Class assemblies, Christmas performances, the Infant Music Festival and end of KS1 assembly). We understand the importance of music within our wider community and participate regularly in local events, such as the annual Harvest Festival, Christmas Carols on the Green and our musical performance to The Link Club’s Christmas party for the housebound elderly in our village. Writtle Infant School values all the arts and holds the national Artsmark award at bronze level, in recognition of our efforts to embrace the arts in all aspects of the curriculum.
|THE INTER-RELATED DIMENSIONS OF MUSIC|
|The regular heartbeat of the music; its steady beat.||Long and short sounds or patterns that happen over the pulse.||High and low sounds.||The speed of the music; fast or slow or in-between.||How loud or quiet the music is.||The sound quality of an instrument e.g. the trumpet has a very different timbre to the violin.||Layers of sound working together.||The structure of a piece of music e.g. introduction, verse, chorus, ending.||The link between sound and symbol.|
|BROAD AND BALANCED CURRICULUM
We use the Charanga Musical School Scheme which provides teachers with week-by-week lesson support for each year group in the school. It is ideal for specialist and non-specialist teachers and provides lesson plans, assessment, clear progression, and engaging and exciting whiteboard resources to support every lesson.
The Scheme supports all the requirements of the National Curriculum and is an integrated, practical, exploratory and child-led approach to musical learning.
Over the course of the Key Stage, children acquire and use appropriate musical vocabulary and understand musical terminology.
|LISTENING AND APPRAISAL
All lessons provide the children an opportunity to listen to at least one new song per session. They will apply their knowledge of the interrelated dimensions of music (see above) to different genres e.g. gospel, reggae, blues.
Children also listen, appraise and learn about the work of one iconic singer/musician/composer/band (from different times in history and from different ethnic backgrounds) per term. This helps to build pupils’ cultural understanding and knowledge.
Musical activities form the basis of most lessons and are based around a song:
Games embed the interrelated dimensions of music through repetition.
Singing is at the heart of all musical learning.
Playing instruments as an accompaniment to the themed song – on tuned/untuned classroom percussion. A sound before symbol approach is used but scores are an Musical notation is also introduced to the children.
Improvising with the song using voices and instruments occurs in some Units of Work.
Composing with the song using technology and instruments occurs in some units of work.
|PERFORMING AND SHARING
Children are given the opportunity to share what has taken place during lessons and work towards performing to an audience.
Whole school performance opportunities include choir performing in assemblies, performances and local music festivals.
Wherever possible, links are made to current topics, to engage pupils and make their learning relevant. Dance lessons and aerobic/fitness sessions set to music help the children develop their sense of rhythm and an understanding of tempo and musical context. We use musical cues and songs in class to help the children memorise key facts in other subjects, e.g. times tables, phonics and grammar exercises.
Children have the opportunity to join free extra-curricular music activities, such as choir.
Piano/keyboard lessons are available for children to partake in if they wish. Funding is available for Pupil Premium children.
At the end of each year, pupils will have gained a deepening understanding of the interrelated dimensions of music. They will be able to apply this to:
Children can listen and appraise songs from a wide variety of genres and time periods. They can name a growing number of iconic musicians, musical instruments and composers, and discuss why they are/were important. Our HIPIP values are supported throughout our music teaching.
|EVIDENCE IN SKILLS
Children can sing a variety of different songs with increasing control. They can play tuned and untuned instruments with increasing competence.
|IMPROVISE AND COMPOSE
Pupils can show their deeper understanding of a piece by improvising further rhythms/melodies and composing short additional sections.
|PERFORM, SHARE and EVALUATE
Children can perform and share their work with others. They can compare and comment on skills, techniques and ideas that they and others have used, then use their observations to improve their work.
Performances may be videoed at the start and end of a unit.
We monitor this by:
- Subject leaders observing lessons including with governors
- Looking at data for the subject
- Discussion with children
- Observing music in other lessons or events, such as assemblies