Purpose of study
We aim to provide a Music curriculum that will enable each child to reach their full potential in music, encourage children to enjoy singing, composing and performing and provide children with the opportunity to perform in front of an audience both within and outside of school. Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. Our Music education engages and inspires pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians and increase their self-confidence, creativity, and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they develop a critical engagement with music, compose, and listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon. Our Music curriculum helps to develop the pupils’ reading skills.
At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, the overarching aim for our music curriculum is to develop pupils’ learning so that they can acquire the appropriate subject knowledge, skills and understanding, which promotes their spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experience for later life. Like the National Curriculum, we believe that music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. We aim to engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talents as musicians and increase their self-confidence and creativity, and sense of achievement. We aspire that all pupils develop a critical engagement with music, allow them to compose, and listen with discrimination.
Therefore, all pupils will play, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of great composers and musicians. They should also learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence. Furthermore, all pupils should understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
Our curriculum for music ensures that all pupils:
- perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians;
- learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence;
- understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
- to build a musical curriculum that develops learning and results in the acquisition of knowledge and improved well-being.
- to promote a love of music and singing across a broadened curriculum, teaching them to sing and play with increasing confidence and control.
The clear and comprehensive programme of study we have adopted at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School is an integrated, practical, exploratory and child-led approach to musical learning that works in line with the National Curriculum aims:
- To ensure that pupils use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and thymes.
- To ensure all pupils play tuned and untuned instruments musically
- To ensure all pupils listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and record music
- To ensure all pupils experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music
- To develop all pupils’ understanding of musical composition, organise and manipulate ideas within musical structures and reproduce sounds from aural memory.
- To ensure all pupils play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression.
- To ensure all pupils learn how to improvise and compose music for various purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music.
- To ensure all pupils listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory.
- To ensure pupils use and understand staff and other musical notations
- To ensure all pupils appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions ad from great composers and musicians
- To ensure all pupils develop an understanding of the history of music.
A professional music teacher works with all the KS2 pupils teaching them musical instruments and singing. The violin is taught to Years 4, 5 & 6, and the recorder is taught to Year 3 [glockenspiel during COVID]. All pupils are taught to sing and experience performing to wider audiences such as in school Masses and performances. Still, some pupils will have access to extracurricular musical participation opportunities such as singing as a choir and singing further afield in the local community. This ensures that the pupils get access to being taught by real musicians. Peripatetic teachers are also available in school to teach individual instruments to those children who wish to learn them.
The Structure of a Music Lesson at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
Each unit of work comprises the strands of musical learning which correspond with the National Curriculum for music. Lessons last between 45-60 minutes long and are structured as followed:
- Listening and Appraising [15-20 minutes]
- Musical Activities – [20-25 minutes]
- Games – embed the Interrelated Dimension of Music through repetition
- Singing – is at the heart of musical learning
- Playing- instruments with the song being learnt- tuned/un-tuned. A sound–before–symbol approach is used, but scores are provided as an understanding of notation is introduced to the children
- Improvisation- with the song using voices & instruments [in some units]
- composition – with the song using instruments [in some units]
- Performing/Share- [10-15 minutes]
These units of work enable children to understand musical concepts through a repetition-based approach to learning. Learning about the same musical concept through different musical activities enables more secure, deeper learning and mastery of musical skills. Musical teaching and learning are not linear but part of a learning spiral; over time, children can develop new musical skills and concepts and re-visit established musical skills and concepts. Mastery means both a deeper understanding of musical skills and concepts and learning something new.
Pupils will be expected to practice on their instruments what they have learnt in class.
Long Term, Medium Term and Short Term Planning
Progression of Music Skills
Documents below details the knowledge and skills that pupils will gain at each stage of the curriculum in each of the following domains: Instrumental, Improvisation and Composition.
By the end of the Key Stage:
- Children will retain knowledge that is pertinent to music
- Children will be able to communicate how their wider audience performance experience has increased their self-confidence and how music has helped their general well being
- Children will have heightened awareness of the musical opportunities available in and outside the school in the hope that access will be increased
- Children will be able to demonstrate their singing ability and use this as a form of expression
- Children will be able to demonstrate their instrumental flare and use this as a form of expression
- The large majority of children will achieve age-related expectations in music by the end of their cohort year
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Age-related endpoints for each unit in each year group in the following domains – Listening, Musical Activities and Performing.
Assessment – Assessment for learning is carried out throughout each lesson taught through observation. Live nudges are used as and when needed, and some formative and summative assessments are carried out throughout the year.
- Local Authority
- All of the above will be monitored and discussed during pupil progress meeting and staff performance management.