Our Intent for Music
Music Curriculum Intent
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should 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. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon. (National Curriculum Purpose of Study)
At SS Peter & Paul Primary, we believe that music plays a vital role not only in children’s musical learning but in their social, emotional, cultural and spiritual development too. Our aim is for children to develop their general musicianship skills to a high standard, to experience the joy of live music and singing; and to foster a lifelong love of music. We place singing at the heart of our school to energise and enrich our daily lives and unite our community. Through the effective teaching and learning of musical knowledge, skills and understanding we will stimulate children’s curiosity, interest and enjoyment of music and singing. We will teach the National Curriculum requirements for music through the use of a wide range of online and published resources. Wherever possible we will make meaningful links with other curriculum subjects.
Children at SS Peter and Paul Primary will have opportunities and experiences to express themselves through music and to participate in performances, in turn increasing their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. Through listening to a variety of high quality recorded and live music, they will understand the value and importance of music across different time periods, cultures (including their own) and in the wider community. We will endeavour to take children on a musical journey around the world and celebrate a diverse range of musical styles, genres and artists to ensure that the cultural capital of our children is both broad and varied and relevant to them as individuals. Alongside this we will promote British Values through fostering mutual respect and tolerance of the diversity in music and encouraging democracy by showing appreciation of individuals’ personal music preferences.
We intend that our children should master music to such an extent that they have confidence to pursue careers within music and/or engage in musical activities beyond primary school. We intend that by using their skills, knowledge and experiences gained in their primary education, children will be able to involve themselves in music in a variety of contexts and make use of music effectively in their everyday lives to benefit their personal wellbeing, mental health, social interactions and relationships.
From Nursery through to Year 6, music is taught by the specialist music teacher. Lessons cover the National Curriculum objectives and incorporate the new Model Music Curriculum recommendations which focus on the development of key musical skills including singing, listening, composing and performing, including instrumental performance. In EYFS, children engage in musical exploration and expression whilst in KS1 there is an emphasis on singing and playing instruments with control and accuracy. In KS2 children further their understanding of the musical elements of rhythm, pitch, dynamics, tempo, timbre and texture. Children learn about famous composers and the historical and cultural contexts of music from a broad range of musical genres from classical to reggae.
Nursery and Reception children receive 30 minutes teaching each week in addition to singing and music activities integrated into the EYFS curriculum. Children from Years 1-6 receive a one-hour music lesson each week. A blended approach is used, incorporating lessons and activities from Singup, the Voices Foundation, Active Music, Orff style whole class tuned/untuned percussion and WCET. All children play both tuned and untuned percussion instruments and have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. In KS2 children learn to play the recorder, djembe drum, ukulele and keyboard as part of the Whole Class Ensemble Tuition initiative, following the process of rehearsal to performance. Many units of work are based on Orff style musical arrangements for whole class which incorporate teaching and learning music through speaking, singing, movement and instruments.
Singing is the foundation of our music curriculum. Children are taught using the Voices Foundation Methodology which emphasizes accurate pitch matching (through SOLFA) and articulation whilst encouraging good vocal health through warm-ups. Vocal repertoire is primarily from the SingUp Songbank - children sing a range of songs in both one and two parts to develop their understanding of rounds and harmony. SingUp Playlists have been developed to link with year group topics so that, where appropriate, links are made to other curriculum subjects. The RE Co-ordinator leads a weekly Hymn Practice where KS 1 & 2 sing songs of praise and worship in preparation for Mass throughout the year.
Merton Music Foundation
We follow the Merton Music Foundation Sound Ideas progression document which ensures a clear and systematic development of musical skills throughout the year groups and covers all aspects of the Music curriculum; this allows children to build on their previous learning and provides both support and challenge. For instance, children begin their learning journey by making marks to show short and long sounds, progressing to the use of formal rhythm notation to depict different note durations. Lessons are adapted to consider the needs of our students and where relevant are linked to topics to provide opportunities for cross-curricular learning.
We subscribe to the Merton Music Foundation Service Level Agreement which offers bespoke arts projects and provides support with curriculum resources, CPD, network meetings and training. MMF also provides specialist music teaching delivered by peripatetic tutors for children wishing to learn and develop their skills playing particular instruments; individual instrumental lessons currently include piano and guitar. Rocksteady Music School teach weekly sessions in school which focus on group music making and popular music, culminating in a performance for children and parents at the end of each term.
We hold events during the academic year in which we celebrate and share our music learning, including the Christmas Carol Concert, Advent Service, EYFS and Key Stage 1 Nativities, Year 5 Easter Production and Year 6 Summer Production. Choir is provided as an extra-curricular club and rehearses weekly at lunchtime. This allows the children attending to further develop their vocal skills and sing to different audiences as well as widening their song repertoire. The choir sings at the annual Merton SingFest, organised in collaboration with other local schools.
Children also have opportunities to participate in musical activities within the wider community. Through our partnership with MMF, children engage in musical projects which involve practical workshops and rehearsals with professional musicians, and culminate in live concerts and performances at venues such as Wimbledon Theatre and The Royal Albert Hall. Furthermore, we recognise the contribution that music makes to ourselves and the wider world by marking notable dates in our school calendar including St Cecilia’s Day, National SingUp Day and World Music Day.
Our music curriculum is planned to demonstrate progression and build on and embed current skills. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills in the different musical components including: singing, dynamics, duration/rhythm, pulse, tempo, pitch, timbre, texture and structure, as outlined in the MMF Sound Ideas skills progression document. The teaching of technical musical vocabulary also forms part of the units of work and is in line with the Model Music Curriculum. If children are achieving the knowledge and skills in lessons, then they are deemed to be making good or better progress.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
∙ Pupil discussions and interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
∙ Governor monitoring with our subject music link governor.
∙ Annual reporting and tracking of standards across the curriculum.
∙ Photo and video evidence of the pupils practical learning.
∙ Use of the assessment tools provided within the SingUp scheme.
The music subject leader monitors children’s progress in music through observations of informal and formal performances, classwork, discussions with children, their responses to questions and use of musical language, and their participation in and evaluation of projects. Evidence of achievement is recorded on video and attainment is recorded in writing at the end of each half termly unit of work, linked to the Merton Music Foundation Sound Ideas skills progression document.
Want to learn an instrument?
Merton Music Foundation (MMF) offer instrumental tuition. Watch the video below to find out more.