At St John’s CE School children and staff enjoy music. Music can be an individual or a group activity. Children participate in a range of musical experiences, building up their confidence at the same time. Music is important at St John’s as we value its power to connect people. Our intention is that children form a lasting love of music through developing their cultural capital to include different genres and styles of music from around the world.
Music is taught as a discrete subject but also across the curriculum. Areas of learning, such as times tables in maths, vocabulary in languages and movement in dance can all incorporate different elements of music. Singing in worship in school and in church allows the children opportunities to develop their singing skills and gain an understanding of how ensembles work. Performances such as Christmas nativities and end of year shows, demonstrate that music is important to life of the school. Children develop their understanding of rhythm and pitch, and learn how music is structured, as well as learning technical vocabulary for these elements. As children’s confidence builds, they enjoy the performance aspect of music. Children experience listening to music from different cultures and eras.
We follow the Model Music Curriculum and use Kapow to support this. Music is a subject which brings the class together in joint endeavour and so encourages teamwork, listening and cooperation. These skills are useful across the curriculum. Music is assessed using the Kapow assessment features which are linked to the DFE Music Programme of Study. The subject leader monitors pupil attainment in music and the quality of lessons. Units of work are planned with the wider curriculum in mind as part of a two year rolling programme. Lessons are planned to be accessible for all, activities are differentiated to meet the range of abilities and needs in each class.
In EYFS and KS1, we introduce music through games and movement, and encourage children to think deeply about the pieces we listen to in terms of how it makes them feel, the different sounds they can hear and whether they like it or not. Many of the pieces used in EYFS and KS1 will be familiar to the children, e.g. nursery rhymes, lullabies, popular songs. Instruments are used to accompany the music and children are encouraged to create their own patterns and rhythms to fit the musical style.
In KS2 we build on the skills developed in EYFS and KS1 to enable children to produce a performance to showcase their musical abilities. As before, many of the songs and musical pieces used are familiar to the children which makes music accessible. In KS2, children start to learn how to read music including standard notation and create their own compositions. They are encouraged to respond to the music they hear with movement and by marking the pulse.
The impact of teaching music will be seen across the school with an increase in the profile of music. Whole-school and parental engagement is improved through performances, extracurricular activities and opportunities suggested in lesson/overviews for wider learning. Participation in music develops wellbeing, promotes listening and develops concentration. As a school we are part of the Warminster Music Cluster with other primaries in the town. The Music Lead attends cluster meetings and we take part in a cluster project each year which brings all the schools together. This type of event demonstrates our desire at St John’s that children enjoy music and learn valuable skills from it. We want children to leave St John’s with a love of music and a desire to build on this wealth of musical ability at secondary school.