At Riverside Primary School, we aim to promote the personal development of our pupils through access to a rich set of experiences by encompassing life skills, real life engaging opportunities and first-hand experiences in our curriculum and through extra-curricular activities.
Through our broad and balanced curriculum, opportunities to sing and learn instruments underpin learning and development not only within music as a subject but also through a cross-curricular approach. We want our children to foster a love of music within their learning through other subjects to aid learning and enjoyment such as the use of singing songs to learn times tables in mathematics and to learn historical information in our wider curriculum whilst also developing healthy mind techniques by using instrumental music for study, relaxation and mindfulness.
We recognise that singing is a great starting point for musical learning and the development of many skills, while being a hugely enjoyable activity for our pupils and teachers. We intend to create a strong and positive bond within our school and join the community together – marking significant moments by singing together and listening to music, like during assemblies, instrumental performances, musical visitors into school and special events in the calendar. Additionally, external choir and instrumental performances at different venues aim to develop relationships with our parents and their families, truly showing the enjoyment and value of music whilst providing aspiring opportunities to visit and experience performances together. Singing and musical performances form a large part of what our pupils (and their families) will remember about their time at school, long after they have left.
We aim for our children to do the following in order to meet the expectations of the National Curriculum:
- 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 interrelated dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
- Have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence.
- Enjoy and experience opportunities to sing, learn an instrument and perform in and out of school.
- Allow expression through the creative arts and the opportunity to progress and develop.
The implementation of the Charanga scheme of work in years 1 and 5 enables our children to develop and progress their skills through the primary key stages. Teachers are able to confidently deliver music lessons by following a structure and lessons that are sequenced logically for the progressive development of musical skills – skills that are revisited and mastered over time. The scheme involves the use of games, singing, instruments, improvisation and composition in lessons to:
- Encourage the children to have fun and enjoy listening to different styles of music.
- Recognise instruments and features of key musical styles.
- Encourage confident discussion using accurate musical language.
In years 2, 3, 4 and 6, the pupils are taught through the WCET programme, in which they will learn to play an instrument. The implementation of this scheme of work provides pupils with the opportunity to develop skills which may otherwise be unavailable to them. The programme involves learning how to accurately control the instrument, play chords, and sing – including improvisation and composition.
Pupils in the year 6 cohort have the opportunity to progress onto a brass trombone, continuing their studies from year 4. These lessons continue throughout the year and are delivered by a Music Specialist from the WCET programme. Additional musical opportunities are provided through our KS2 choir and singing assemblies. The choir runs all year as an afterschool club. This involves learning songs, singing techniques, musical notation and performing at a variety of external venues with opportunities to work with various music specialist visitors throughout the year. This enables us to meet our intention to bring our community together through music alongside class assemblies, Nativities, performances and productions within school for our parents/carers, family and friends. These take part across all age groups to further embed singing and musical opportunities throughout school.
We use a cycle of on-going teacher assessment and use the collection of attainment levels based on professional judgement and evidence gathered through the year to monitor progress and attainment of our children.
Pupils can sing, play tuned and untuned instruments, listen to recorded and live music, and compose and improvise using the interrelated dimensions of music. They demonstrate an understanding of musical history, exploring a range of musical styles and traditions, while using and understanding staff and other notations.
Music assessment is ongoing to inform teachers with their planning, lesson activities and differentiation. Summative assessment is completed at the end of each unit to inform leaders of the improvements or skills that still need to be embedded. Music is monitored throughout all year groups using a variety of strategies such as lesson observations and pupil interviews.
- Enjoy and appreciate a wide variety of musical styles;
- Explore how sounds are made and how music is produced by a variety of instruments;
- Develop imagination and creativity;
- Build a sense of pulse and rhythm;
- Understand a range of musical vocabulary;
- Develop the interrelated skills of composition, improvisation, performance and appreciation;
- Enjoy a wide range of songs and sing in tune;
- Develop positive attitudes and experience success and satisfaction in Music.