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 St John Fisher Catholic Primary School the 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 at St John Fisher is to develop a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed 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.
The music curriculum ensures students sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in weekly class music lessons as well as whole school singing assemblies. The elements of music are taught in the classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language of music to appraise and appreciate all genres of music before transferring these skills to compose and perform their own ensembles. Each music lesson begins with a ‘Let’s Listen’ task which enables children to build upon their appraising skills throughout KS1 and KS2. KS2 also learn how to read and write basic music notation during their lessons. 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.
To enhance music outside of the classroom each child is sent home with a music knowledge organizer for each unit of work they are studying in class. This enables them to learn key vocabulary or the names of composers which will be used in upcoming lessons or to revise prior learning. Each child also has a music activity set on their termly homework grid so they can continue their learning at home. Children also have access to music books about aspirational and current artists as well as classical composers in the school library.
Children are encouraged to join the school choir and have the opportunity to sign up to in-school piano lessons. One class from each key stage also has the opportunity to collaborate with other schools from the Lumen Christi MAC and take part in a ‘Eco-Warrior Mousike Ensemble’ at a different school.
Whilst in school, children have access to a varied programme, which allows students to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon. The integral nature of music and the learner creates an enormously rich palette from which a student may access fundamental abilities such as: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self-reflection. Music will also develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to students individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children are able to enjoy music, in as many ways as they choose- either as listener, creator or performer. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts. They can sing and feel a pulse. They have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.