At St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Infant school, we aim to encourage children of all abilities to develop their love and passion for music. If you take a walk around, you will see many aspects of music taking place.
In class sessions, either via Charanga, taught by the class teacher, focus pieces of music or via the Schools Singing Programme provided by The Metropolitan Cathedral, taught by a specialist teacher, children appreciate, respect and discuss the dimensions of music through listening and appraising activities. Children develop their musical skills (finding the pulse, listening and playing back a rhythm, improvisation, internalising, reading basic notation etc…) through game. Children’s learning is developed further through composition and performing (through voice, exploring and creating sounds, body percussion, percussion instruments and tuned instruments.
Music is further integrated into our school by children listening to a wide variety of music during our Prayer and Liturgy sessions. They learn a variety of songs for different religious celebrations throughout the year e.g. Harvest, Christmas and Easter.
The needs of SEND children are met through various means including the use of differentiated work (visual notation/rhythm cards and un-tuned instruments), the support of teaching assistants or mixed ability pairings as appropriate.
Performing in front of an audience provides opportunities for children to develop their confidence and stage awareness. With this, it strengthens children’s abilities to present in other aspects of the curriculum.
Peers support one another with the use of talking partners. With a peer, they have the opportunity to rehearse using and applying key vocabulary when appraising songs. Children use their knowledge and skills to explain and justify their composition pieces.
LEARNING WITHOUT LIMITS
In EYFS, music is taught through a range of mediums. Children access music through continuous provision where they have access to musical instruments and materials to explore and create sounds. In addition to this, children are introduced to nursery rhymes and songs to which they perform for peers, staff and parents. Children explore their pieces of music using key vocabulary and musicianship activities. The interests of the children, such as songs from popular films like Encanto, and a range of festivals e.g. Chinese New Year, are used to enhance and support the delivery of the curriculum and learning.
In KS1, music is taught primarily through the Charanga Musical School Scheme which provides clear progression, lesson by lesson, engaging and exciting whiteboard resources to support every lesson, although staff are encouraged to add their own influence where appropriate. The scheme provides an integrated, practical, exploratory and child-led approach to musical learning. This is achieved by structuring all music lessons into three parts: listening and appraising a variety of genres and composers over time and creating and exploring through musical activities. The final part is supplement via either the Schools Singing Programme, taught by a specialist teacher, or a composition unit that is taught by the class teacher.
Traditionally, objectives and skills of the National Curriculum are addressed through games, singing, playing instruments by reading musical symbols and notation, improvising and composing; thus children are learning music through a range of activities which accommodates all learning styles. Weekly lessons are designed to last 45 minutes to one hour.
Throughout the year, additional cross curricular songs are used alongside our wider curriculum to strengthen the children’s musical abilities and passion for music e.g Y2 enjoy the oceans and continent songs from Hopscotch. The whole school enjoyed a live performance from John Burland, a popular faith composer that we use for our Prayer and Liturgy sessions.
The subject leaders keep opportunities and ideas fresh and current with information from cluster meetings, highly recommended blogs and government updates. Currently, this has been used to create a bespoke overview for our children.
Please follow the link below to find out how our children continue to build their knowledge and skills in music, as they continue their learning in our junior school.
Teachers monitor progress continually and adjust their teaching accordingly. Much of the learning covered in music is kept hands-on and kinaesthetic, providing practical learning and experiences so that skills can become embedded and so ensure concrete understanding. Assessment through questioning and verbal discussion is an area that the school is working hard to promote and enhance.
Music has discrete skills outlined in the new curriculum and teachers report children’s attainments at the end of the year. These are reported on the school assessment programme, Sonar. Decisions are made as to whether children are working towards, expected or above in the objectives and skills taught for their year group. These are viewed by SLT and shared with the subject leader. In this way, we have a clear picture of children’s progress and achievement in music right across the school. In EYFS, learning is initiated from the child’s own knowledge and assessment of children’s knowledge is measured through the steps made in the EYFS profile and is evidenced in the children’s online learning journals on Seesaw.
Where possible, aspects of their learning will be captured on camera and stored on our online learning journal, Seesaw.