Music teaching and experiences in the Althorp Primary Partnership are designed so that our children make more music, think more musically and consequently be more musical. Our music curriculum embodies the aims of the National Curriculum:
“The national curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:
- 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 inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.”
The aims of our Music curriculum are to develop pupils who:
∙ Enjoy and have an appreciation for music.
∙ Listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, cultures, styles and traditions.
∙ Can sing and use their voices to create different effects.
∙ Create and compose music, both on their own and with others.
∙ Use a range of musical language.
∙ Make judgements and express personal preferences about the quality and style of music.
∙ Take part in performances with an awareness of audience
Our Curriculum Threads
As a partnership, we provide opportunities for all children to create, play and perform music both in class and to an audience which will promote taking responsibility. Our curriculum draws upon diverse music genres and traditions which promotes diversity.
Music teaching at the Althorp Primary Partnership delivers the requirements of the National Curriculum through use of the Charanga scheme of work. Music lessons are broken down into half-termly units and an emphasis is placed on musical vocabulary, allowing children to talk about pieces of music using the correct terminology. Each unit of work has an on-going musical learning focus and lessons usually follow a specific learning sequence:
∙ Listen and Appraise
∙ Musical Activities (including pulse and rhythm)
∙ Singing and Voice
∙ Playing instruments
∙ Improvisation / Composition
∙ Perform and Share
To ensure progression across our mixed age classes we have designed a rolling programme of Charanga units that incorporate units aimed at children within the appropriate Key Stage. To ensure challenge and support where units are designed for Upper or Lower Key Stage 2 children, our teachers are given additional guidance and alternative accompaniments for UKS2/LKS2 where appropriate.
Within the EYFS, music is an integral part of children’s learning journey. Children learn a wide range of songs and rhymes (using Rhyme of the Week) and develop skills for performing together. Singing and music making opportunities are used frequently to embed learning, develop musical awareness, to demonstrate how music can be used to express feelings and to nurture collaboration. In Class One music lessons, EYFS will be invited to join in with whole class activities to develop their music learning further.
For one term during each academic year, children in Class 2 (KS2) benefit from whole class specialist teaching, delivered by a member of Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust. These lessons allow children the opportunity to learn to play an instrument as part of an ensemble and to engender a love of music learning. Throughout the sessions the interrelated elements of music are developed. The Music Service also use elements of Charanga in their sessions.
Performance is at the heart of musical teaching and learning at the Althorp Primary Partnership and pupils participate in a range of performances during their time in our schools. These include Harvest Festival, Nativities and Christmas Productions, Christmas Carol Concert, Mothers’ Day events and KS2 Summer Performance and Leavers. Parents are invited and welcomed to watch all of these performances whether at school or outside of school. In addition, children receiving 1:1 music tuition are invited to perform at many of these events and celebrated in school assemblies. We encourage and welcome musicians from NMPAT to perform for the children in school as frequently as possible to ensure they have access to high quality live music.
Pupils have weekly singing assemblies and pupils who are confident are encouraged to perform in solo performances. Alongside our curriculum provision for music, pupils also have the opportunity to participate in additional 1:1 music teaching by being offered the opportunity to learn a musical instrument with peripatetic teachers. Our peripatetic music teaching is organised by the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust.
At the Althorp Primary Partnership we also recognise that staff have musical abilities that can be utilised to supplement our musical curriculum. Pupils at Brington have the opportunity to join the school choir lead by a member of support staff.
Our music Curriculum is planned to enable progression by building on and embedding current skills. We focus on progression of knowledge, skills and understanding and use of musical vocabulary in the different musical components (listen and appraise, sing and play, compose and perform). At the end of each unit of work, teachers assess how well the children have met the aims of the unit and these are recorded in a shared document. If children are achieving the knowledge and skills in lessons, then they are deemed to be making good or better progress. At the end of EYFS, KS2, LKS2 and UKS2 children are assessed against our End Points.