Subject Lead: Mr Andy Cooke [email protected]
The curriculum for Music at All Souls builds upon the programme of study outlined in the National Curriculum for England which can be found here.
What is our vision for Music at All Souls?
At All Souls Catholic Primary School we firmly believe that ‘Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity’ (National Curriculum 2013) and that whether performing, composing, singing or listening, every child should be given the opportunity to develop and foster a lifelong love of music. Through a high quality, deliberate and progressive curriculum we aim to equip children with the knowledge and skills to both critically engage with and appreciate music in an articulate and increasingly technical way, and also skilfully perform, across a range of disciplines, with confidence, expression and a clear understanding of what it is they are communicating. The Music curriculum provides a unique opportunity for all children, including those who are disadvantaged or recognised as having SEND, to express themselves freely and creatively, whilst growing in self-confidence, worth and assurance. It also allows children to express themselves both as an individual, developing their own personal taste, opinions and preferences, but also in a collaborate and highly social manner through sharing in the appreciation of live and recorded music and contributing to the creation and performance of music for others. As a Catholic school, music plays a significant role in the celebration of our faith as we gather together to collectively praise and worship God. Equally, it presents an opportunity to explore and develop an increasing understanding of the diversity of our world and the different cultures within it. We hope that our Music curriculum instils and nurtures a personal love and appreciation of music, and equips our children with the necessary skills so that music remains an important, unique and long lasting part of their lives.
How do we achieve this vision?
From Year 1, Music is taught as a discrete lesson with the aim that in KS1 children ‘develop a sense of pulse and rhythm’, progress onto ‘adding melody to pulse and rhythm’ in lower KS2 and ‘develop as musician’s in upper Key Stage 2. Each year group complete four ‘Music’ units which have a particular focus: Listening, Composing, Performing or Singing. These units are considered the four strands of learning. Within each unit, children will explore the strand whilst continually building upon their understanding of ‘pulse’, ‘rhythm’ and ‘melody (and notation)’ as these are considered key building blocks of music. Where possible, lessons are delivered by a subject specialist or member of staff who feels confident in Music. Lessons are typically around 40 minutes long in Key Stage 1 and extend to up to an hour in Key Stage 2. Each unit will consist of around 6 lessons, meaning that Music is not taught every week throughout an academic year. The school has an extensive range of percussion and tuned instruments and these are utilised within lessons wherever possible, so that children become increasingly confident and knowledgeable. In addition to whole class music lessons, children have the opportunity to learn to play an instrument through peripatetic teaching. This is currently available in Piano and Guitar, although the school constantly looks to increase what is available. The school also has an extra-curricular choir which children can choose to join and a rock band, which is formed by children in upper Key Stage 2. As the school, children gather together on a weekly basis for singing/hymn practice. During this time children develop their vocal skills and learn to sing and perform vocally including music that in sung in parts. Singing is also a regular part of class worship and celebration and takes a significant role in year group and school performances.
How does this impact our children?
Children at All Souls enjoy learning about and developing their musical ability. They are confident singers and, particularly in a group, class or as a school take enormous pleasure from singing and performing together where they are able to hold multiple parts simultaneously. Children also enjoy listening to a wider variety of music where they are willing to express their opinions, preferences and increasingly talk articulately using musical vocabulary and terminology. Increasing numbers of children choose to learn an instrument. As the school’s renewed curriculum and progression maps are becoming embedded, children’s knowledge and confidence in the key building blocks of music are developing as is their understanding of the chronology of music history. They are becoming increasingly to compose, improvise and perform across a range of styles and instruments.
Music Curriculum Map & Progression of Knowledge and Skills