Music is the universal language of mankind.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.
Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.
The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:
• 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
At Kensington Primary School, we aim to fulfil National Curriculum requirements through the provision of a well-balanced, progressive music curriculum that seeks to enrich all children’s musical experience. We recognise that music is a universal language, which can facilitate communication and understanding between not only our pupils, but between people in the wider school community and indeed all over the world. Enjoyment of music and music making is one of the most natural artistic experiences we can become involved in and forms an integral part of the daily lives of many people. We therefore aim to inspire our children musically and ignite their passion for further musical exploration. As with language, movement and other forms of expression, we believe that the development of a child’s musicality contributes towards the growth of the ‘whole’ person and impacts positively on many areas of their learning, including the development of creative thinking, reflection and open mindedness. We want the children we teach to appreciate the value of music in their own lives and the lives of others and to understand the positive impact it can have on their well-being and wider learning. Music in our school is inclusive and we strive to ensure that children of all abilities and backgrounds thrive as they embark upon their musical journeys. They will be encouraged to enjoy music as both a personal and shared experience and to respond expressively through singing, playing instruments, movement and musical creativity.
Ultimately, we hope to instil a lifelong love of music in all our children and to provide many opportunities for them to grow musically, both within the classroom and beyond, including involvement in extra-curricular activities, such as the school choir, learning to play an orchestral instrument and participating in a variety of musical performances. Our main goal is for all our children to develop their skills as musicians whilst having fun!
Our music curriculum ensures that all children have opportunities to explore and develop their skills as performers, composers, listeners and appraisers. Pupils are taught to sing, play a range of tuned and untuned percussion instruments and appreciate music from a range of genres, cultures and historical eras. They use their experiences as a stimulus for creating their own music through improvising and composing activities. They learn to evaluate music, including their own, using their understanding of the interrelated dimensions of music, which underpin every aspect of learning and are woven throughout the curriculum at all stages of children’s musical progression. Pupils are taught musical terms and are encouraged to describe music using the correct musical vocabulary, thereby enabling them to interact more precisely with their learning and ultimately deepening their understanding.
Our chosen school scheme is Charanga Musical School, as we believe this is an exciting, interactive scheme, which supports our aims to deliver a very practical, exploratory, child centred approach to learning in music. Children in years 1- 6 cover the planned units of work within the Charanga structure, whilst in EYFS the Charanga units are used to support the delivery of the EYFS Expressive Arts and Design Strand Goals. Differentiation is built into each unit of work through levelled musical challenges and opportunities for children to respond through more open ended tasks. Some children are supported in accessing the curriculum, whilst others may take on leadership roles, or perform solos. Each half term, children across all year groups are engaged in exploring a ‘big musical question’ linked to their scheme topic and finding interesting ways to demonstrate their learning. Charanga based lessons are delivered by class teachers, whilst age appropriate singing assemblies, led by in house music staff, enable the children to further develop their confidence and skills in this key area of the primary music curriculum. The school is also fortunate to be supported in the implementation of the music curriculum by a specialist music teacher, who helps the children to work towards whole school performances and to develop their skills within the context of themed projects.
Children at Kensington enjoy their music lessons and gain confidence in themselves as musicians through the many and varied ways they are able to participate in active music making. As they progress through the integrated strands of musical learning, they develop new skills and concepts, whilst revisiting and embedding those already established in a range of different musical contexts. This allows for greater depth in children’s learning and their mastery of musical skills. Using Charanga across all year groups helps to support class teachers in covering the requirements of the National Curriculum within a structured, school wide approach. This enables greater consistency and clear progression to take place, as mapped out in the school EYFS to Y6 Progression of Skills document. Lesson monitoring, discussions with pupils and evidence of children’s learning collected through video recordings, photographs and performances, help to measure the impact of the music curriculum and support a continuous strive for improvement.
Pupils are able to reflect on their own strengths and interests and make decisions about the musical paths they choose to follow, both in school and throughout their lives. They develop an understanding of different cultures and traditions and the historical contexts of different musical styles. Through their learning in music, they demonstrate the ability to communicate their thoughts and ideas, whilst enhancing their skills as listeners, thinkers, creators and performers.