First Federation Trust
"Music is the universal language of mankind."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Through our music curriculum, we wish to foster pupils’ love of music for their personal pleasure, as well as their appreciation of music as a valuable and impactful, universal form of artistic communication. In line with our school vision, we wish to instil in children an appreciation for our God given ability to create music.
We hope for all children to leave with the basic musical skills needed for composition, and for those particularly talented individuals to be recognised and encouraged through frequent, wider opportunities to compose and lead at their level. Furthermore, we intend to provide children with frequent and varied listening experiences and equip them with the skills needed to be interpretive listeners. We intend to develop children’s confidence to perform both in ensembles and solo, in a variety of settings. We will offer whole class instrumental tuition for all students for at least one half term each year. We also feel passionately that our children should be exposed to musical technology as a means of music making, given that this is increasingly common in today’s music industry.
We recognise the importance of children having a creative outlet for good mental health and intend our curriculum to support children to access music as a form of self-expression. We want music to have a clear and valued presence in all areas of school life, not just in the classroom, in order that our pupils recognise it as an integral part of the lived human experience and music is interweaved into everything we do in school.
We intend to develop children’s awareness of music as a cultural product, developing their tolerance and empathy through exposure to the wide-ranging genres, styles and traditions of music through time. We want to use music as a tool to support learning in other areas of the curriculum.
Music will be taught in every class, every other week. Learning is assessed through an elicitation (either practical or written, depending on the objectives and unit of work) and a whole class vocab lab activity at the start of each unit, which is then repeated at the end for a summative assessment. Class teachers also make formative assessments on a lesson by lesson basis through questioning and observing the children undertaking the activities planned. Evidence of children’s progress may be recorded in video or photo format, alongside written tasks where appropriate – this can be found in each class’ dedicated music journal.
In addition to this, each term there will be an expressive arts day, where the children will take part in a whole-day immersive learning experience combining music, art, dance and drama.
Our curriculum is broken down into 5 key areas: Listening, performing, singing, composing and musical knowledge. Our overview ensures that children’s skills are built upon year on year, so that teachers are clear about how composition should look different in Year 2, compared to Year 6. Our overview also identifies key vocabulary that children should become confident with in each year group, in order to facilitate the building of knowledge in the subsequent year groups.
We have appointed, as a school, creative arts ambassadors. These Key Stage 2 children’s role is to lead on pioneering new musical initiatives and opportunities within school. The ambassadors help to coordinate our termly music celebration concerts and lead playtime enrichment in their area for children across the school.
Through pupil voice, children will be able to talk about the skills and knowledge they have acquired. A range of recorded examples of children’s progress will show that children’s skills are building across the key areas, ensuring they will be ready to engage with the Secondary Music curriculum in a meaningful way. Children’s work will also show that cross curricular links are made where possible and that the music curriculum is inclusive of all pupils using lens of the SEN pupils to ensure planning meets the needs of the class.
The school environment will be music rich through displays, resources, vocabulary etc. Assessments and monitoring will show standards in Music will be high and will match standards in other subject areas. Children will be engaged in Music lessons and seek out other musical opportunities outside of the classroom.
Gifted and talented pupils will enjoy taking ownership over their leadership role, inspiring other children to get involved with music. Children will begin to see themselves as musicians and will recognise music as a means of self-expression and communication.