' Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.'
The main aim of our music curriculum is to engage and inspire our children to develop a love of music that will remain with them and enhance the rest of their lives. We want our children to use music to increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. Our music curriculum and beyond through choir, First Access, performances, singing assemblies and additional tuition aims to promote a sense of community and joy regardless of talent or background. We want all of our children to have had an opportunity to learn an instrument in the hope that they will continue with it beyond the classroom and be exposed to a wide variety of composers and musicians from different times and genres. We have designed a curriculum to ensure that children's opportunities are not 'one-offs' but can be built on and developed as in the case of Y3 First Access where all of our Y3 children learn the recorder before being offered a place at the weekly KS2 differentiated recorder club.
Our weekly music lessons are taught using the Charanga units with additional yearly Composition units designed and written by our music lead to supplement Charanga. These units are based around one of the BBC Ten Pieces and ensure our children are securing skills necessary to be able to compose with confidence as well as exploring the life and works of significant composers, musicians and styles. Every year group has a performance which includes singing and playing and in Year 5 the focus is on traditional Cornish songs.
Each unit is underpinned by a knowledge organiser which sets out the key knowledge and vocabulary to be learnt. The knowledge organiser is also used to assess learning and as a reference for the children throughout the unit. Prior learning is always revisited at the beginning of a unit to ensure first that the children are ready to move on and secondly to allow the children to make connections between what they already know and the new learning. Key vocabulary is explicitly taught at the beginning of each unit and revised throughout to ensure children can access the taught material and can communicate their own ideas and opinions accurately and confidently.
Each unit has a clear focus and musical skills have been carefully mapped to ensure year on year progression within the classroom. In addition, enrichment and extra-curricular activities have been carefully planned to ensure wider opportunities are available to our children to further develop their skills and enhance their enjoyment of music. These include: Recorder Club, tuition for guitar, violin, piano and brass entry to the County Music Festival, choir and Rock Steady as well as our weekly singing assemblies and yearly performances.
Music lessons are taught weekly in 35-45 minute lessons. Charanga documentation ensures teachers are well-prepared and have good subject knowledge prior to teaching. Each Charanga unit has 6 clearly defined steps that build on the previous week's learning with consistent opportunities throughout a unit to listen and appraise a wide variety of musical genre. Musical games then introduce and reinforce the inter-related dimensions of music, with 3 levels providing both support and challenge, before a song or piece is introduced to facilitate practise and improvisation on tuned and untuned instruments. There is opportunity after each step for student practise so that skills can be evaluated, refined and rehearsed. Teachers model active playing and performing in each lesson. During the unit teachers will use questioning and observation to assess learning and will revise and reteach where necessary before moving on. Additional support will be given to those who are unable to keep up with their peers, through either guided work, one to one instruction, additional resources or differentiated tasks. The aim always being to ensure all of our children meet age-related expectations. At the end of each unit, a performance allows the children to demonstrate their new learning and develop their performance skills.
At St Agnes Academy, we have 3 measures of curriculum impact, all of which are essential in ensuring that our children make excellent progress, are ready for the next phase in their learning journey and are well-rounded, thoughtful and responsible individuals. Our 3 measures are:
- What we learn
- Who we are
- How we behave
Our curriculum is designed and implemented to ensure that our children know and remember more so that they well prepared for the next step in their learning journey. They will be able to draw on their knowledge, skills and vocabulary to be able to express themselves confidently and critically evaluate the work of others. The spiral nature of our curriculum ensures children's knowledge and skills are secure and the connections between units and year groups ensure coherence.
The impact of our curriculum is much broader that the acquisition of knowledge and skills. Our children will grow in confidence and self-expression and form their own opinions. They will enjoy music for its own sake and recognise the value it brings to their lives. In addition, they will appreciate and celebrate cultural diversity and also the shared human connections that music brings, for example during our community choir events. Participation in music events and clubs will be a high, with no child feeling that music is 'not for them'.
Our music curriculum and implementation encourages our children to be effective and active listeners as well as confident performers. Our children will be able to work independently and collaboratively, valuing and building on the input of others'. They will learn to accept and act on constructive criticism and view it as a way to improve and develop and be confident to express their own ideas and opinions.
Our music curriculum lead is Lindsay Turner
Sarah Whormesley supports music in the school as a music specialist
Below are links to:
Our Music Whole School Overview
Our Progression of Skills for music
Our Listening and Appraising Overview