St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School – Music Curriculum Statement
At St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School, we want every child to be happy and enthusiastic learners of Music, and to be eager to achieve their very best in order to fulfil their God-given talents. We firmly believe that the recipe for success is high quality first-wave teaching in Music, which is central to the life of our happy, caring school.
Intent – What we are trying to achieve?
- Our principal aim is that children leave St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School with a wide range of happy and rich memories in Music, formed through interesting and exciting experiences, driven through vehicles that enhance a child’s awareness of their own abilities and strengths as a learner; thus ensuring that children see learning in music as an ongoing process not a one-off event.
- Our high-quality music education will engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
- Children will meet the National Curriculum expectations in music, which will be taught by highly-qualified staff who will support children to develop skills which in turn will enable them to develop a deeper understanding of the subject.
- All children will study music for 30 minutes per week.
- Children will develop self-confidence and teamwork skills through performance. They will have opportunities to sing as a class, in smaller groups and as a school community.
- Children will have the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument.
- Children will learn to read and write staff notation, increasing their understanding of rhythmic and melodic notation.
- Children will understand how Catholic virtues and British Values relate to music through a study of music from different faiths and cultures.
- Children will listen to, review and evaluate a range of music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including contemporary music and the works of the great composers and musicians using subject specific vocabulary relating to the musical elements; instrumentation, metre, rhythm, pitch, dynamics, tempo, texture, structure and melody. Where possible, children will use music technology to compose simple rhythms and melodies.
- Opportunities will exist for children of all ages to experience learning beyond the classroom. This will allow them to enrich their knowledge by, for example, attending performances by professional musicians and participating in school productions as well as cross-Academy performances and County performance initiatives. Other opportunities might include visits to concerts, meeting musicians, professional musicians visiting schools to work with pupils, musicians from other schools sharing their expertise with staff and children.
Scheme of Learning
The Scheme of Learning follows the National Curriculum. It allows for appropriate sequencing and aims to secure long-term memory as well as the enjoyment of learning a music. The link is:
The key areas of Listening and Appraising, Musical Activities a. Warm-up Games b. Optional Flexible Games c. Singing
d. Playing instruments e. Improvisation f. Composition and Performing are developed throughout KS1 and KS2 in order to prepare children for secondary education.
Implementation – How do we translate our vision into practice?
- The curriculum hours in music are non-negotiable and will be followed by all staff in the school. Fixed timetables will be set before the academic year and monitored by the Senior Leadership Team of the school.
- Subject specialists from our partner secondary school, Painsley are, and will continue to be, integral to the planning process. This will aid transition to Key Stage 3.
- Where necessary, staff will receive training in music.
- The subject leader for music will meet the SLT on a monthly basis to evaluate provision and, where necessary, highlight staff training needs and meet all aspects of the job description.
- Carefully designed schemes of learning in music ensure consistency and progress of all learners.
- Vehicles drive learning throughout the term. Therefore, music is taught through the vehicle wherever possible. Instrumental skills will need to be addressed during the first term.
- Vehicles include guest performers or composers who are specialists in their field, trips to concerts and performances, innovative use of technology to name but a few.
- Music is taught individually but plays a key role in the achievement of the learning aims of the vehicle. For example, a focus on a musical theatre production could include composing the lyrics and music for a song to be included in the final performance held in a public theatre. Success criteria in every music lesson are set in order to guide children to achieve their potential. This ensures work is demanding and matches the aims of the curriculum.
- High quality teaching responds to the needs of children. Spiral learning is a key focus of all formative and summative assessment with teachers actively marking work in lessons in order to identify misconceptions early.
- High quality input from experts and educational resources complement the delivery of specialist learning admirably. Children understand how music is used in the wider world including careers.
Charanga Music scheme is followed and the assessment, cultural and personal development logs are used to formally record an overview of progress of each child. High quality teaching responds to the needs of children. Spiral learning is a key focus of all formative and summative assessment. (See below)
Music is taught through the vehicle. This results in excellent cross-curricular opportunities. For example, a vehicle focusing on ‘Playtime’ will result in the Music lessons including playground song from past and present. Additional opportunities, such as performing these songs to parents, will also be encouraged in the vehicle. This ensures that children are engaged and interested in the subject through the excitement of the vehicle. It also allows for the British Values of tolerance and respect to be highlighted, understood and practised by children.
Children will learn about key figures from Music history such as Chopin, Debussy, Miles Davis, Byrd, Verdi, Paul McCartney and Adele (see overview).
They will also experience the following during Key Stage 1 and 2:
- Meeting and talking to musicians
- Concert performances both in and out of school
- Playing a variety of musical instruments
- Playing in a band
- Singing in the choir
- Performing at large venues such as O2 with other choirs
- Singing in church
Impact – What is the impact of our curriculum on the students?
• Children are happy learners within Music. They experience a wide-ranging number of learning challenges in the art and know appropriate responses to them.
• Through Music, children deepen their appreciation of their faith and fulfil their God-given talents
• Visits within Music have enriched the lives of the children and they are able to discuss how the experience impacted their knowledge and understanding.
• Children of all abilities and backgrounds achieve well in Music, reflected in outstanding progress that reveals a clear learning journey. Children talk enthusiastically about their learning in Music and are eager to further their learning in the next stages of their education.
• There is a proven track record of outstanding outcomes as shown in pupils’ musical ability, their music books and their enjoyment of the subject. These indicators reflect the impact of deep learning.
• Clear outcomes focus and guide all Music development plans and drive improvement.
• Fundamental British Values are evident in Music and children understand how Music can celebrate difference
• Through wider reading in music, children will gain an appreciation and understanding of the background and historical context of music and of the lives and interactions of the composers. Through this exposure, children will produce work that is influenced by the best of the best.