At Thornaby Church of England Primary School, our intention is that children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. Our objective is to develop a curiosity for the subject, as well as gain an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may play in any person’s life. We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community, and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.
To meet the needs of our pupils by providing opportunities to:
• perform, listen to, review and evaluate music
• be taught to sing, create and compose music
• understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated.
The teaching and implementation of music in our school is based on the National Curriculum and mainly uses the Charanga Music scheme across the age groups of Reception to Y6. This scheme incorporates a series of units that cover a range of activities including listening and appraising, singing, playing, composing, performing and evaluating. Our pupils have weekly singing lessons from a singing teacher (Y1-Y6) and they also sing daily in our acts of Collective Worship. They sing and play for other performances during the year such as Christmas productions and end of year celebrations. The elements of music are taught in the classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language of music to dissect it, and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. In the classroom, students learn how to play an instrument, which may be recorder or percussion such as xylophone. In doing so, they learn the different principles of each method of creating notes, as well as how to read basic music notation. They also learn how to compose, focussing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music. Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument. Pupils in Nursery and Reception sing and enjoy a range of Nursery Rhymes and action songs which not only develop their musical skills, but also improve their listening skills and help to secure learning across the curriculum, for example in maths.
At our school, the music curriculum we provide gives pupils access to a varied programme, which allows them to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon. The nature of music creates an enormously rich range of skills from which a student may access fundamental abilities such as: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self-reflection. Music also develops an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to pupils individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Pupils are able to enjoy music in as many ways as they choose – either as listener, creator or performer. Our children enjoy the release that singing provides, and the ‘feel good’ factor is tangible both during and after lessons and also after performances to each other, and to and within the wider community. The positive mental health benefits of singing together are made stronger through a sense of community that they feel, singing in a group. The learning of musical skills provides pupils with the necessary tools to enjoy this subject on a daily basis but also can instil an interest in music for them to enjoy throughout their lives.