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Our School  »  Curriculum  »  Music

Intent, Implementation and Impact

Curriculum Intent - Our aim and vision for children at Barkston Ash 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 Barkston Ash 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 aims of teaching music in our school are to:
  • Develop the child as a whole through engagement in musical activity;
  • Ensure all pupils are able to access musical activities;
  • Explore and understand how sounds are made, and can be organised into musical structures;
  • Explore how music is made through a variety of instruments;
  • Develop the interrelated skills of composition, performance and music appreciation;
  • Explore how music is composed and written down;
  • Explore how music is influenced by the time, place and purpose for which it was written;
  • Develop and nurture pupils’ sense of self, and allow opportunities to explore their own ability;
  • Explore thoughts and ideas through their imagination;
  • Develop pupil’s knowledge and understanding by having opportunities to practise skills;
  • Create a platform to recognise and celebrate the diverse culture of our school through music.
Curriculum Implementation
Our music teaching focuses on developing the children’s ability to understand rhythm and follow a beat. Through singing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music. We teach them to listen and to appreciate different forms of music. Children develop descriptive language skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent different feelings, emotions and narratives. We also teach technical vocabulary such as volume, pitch, beat and rhythm and encourage children to discuss music using these terms.

We are currently using ‘The Charanga Musical School Scheme’ to ensure that all children across the school are being developed in the following musical skills:
  • Listening and appraising
  • Singing and Musical instrument practise
  • Composition
  • Improvisation
  • Performing and sharing
Charanga is a scheme of work which offers a topic-based approach to support children’s learning in music. A steady progression plan has been built into Charanga, both within each year and from one year to the next, ensuring consistent musical development. By using Charanga as the basis of a scheme of work, we can ensure that they are fulfilling the aims for musical learning stated in the National Curriculum. Charanga includes many examples of music styles and genres from different times and places. These are explored through the language of music via active listening, performing and composing activities, which enable understanding of the context and genre. Charanga provides a classroom-based, participatory and inclusive approach to music learning. Throughout the scheme, children are actively involved in using and developing their singing voices, using body percussion and whole-body actions, and learning to handle and play classroom instruments effectively to create and express their own and others’ music. Through a range of whole class, group and individual activities, children have opportunities to explore sounds, listen actively, compose and perform.

Music teaching at Barkston Ash is practical and engaging. A variety of teaching approaches and activities are provided based on teacher judgement and pupil ability. Lessons typically involve a combination of the following; games, songs, challenges, listening to music and discussing music, playing a range of musical instruments, performing back, finding the pulse and composing music using notation sheets or technology. The scheme allows us to teach music through different genres of music, tailored to the age and stage for that year group. The scheme also allows us to support confident musicians to deliver challenge through differentiated tasks throughout each lesson. 
Additional music opportunities to help inspire, develop and challenge the children’s musical skills are available for them throughout their school journey.  Some of these include; additional singing opportunities through choir events and performances in and out of school, young voices and the school choir sing in various settings to members of the local community. 
Performance is at the heart of musical teaching and learning at our school and all pupils participate in a key stage performance. Pupils also take part in Harvest assemblies, singing assemblies and whole school Masses. Pupils who are confident are also encouraged to perform in solo performances. Parents are invited and welcomed to watch all of these performances whether at school or outside of school. Furthermore, pupils from reception to year 6 all attend a pantomime so that children see first-hand how music performance can be engaging and fun. 

Early Years Foundation Stage
Music is an integral part of the Early Years curriculum as it develops crucial listening skills. As such, it is taught extensively through numeracy and ReadWrite sessions. As well as discreet teaching sessions that follow the Charanga scheme, the children have continuous access to music-based areas of provision in which to practise and embed their skills and learning.

In Reception, the children have an abundance of opportunities to listen and respond to music through Dough Disco sessions and Get Squiggling fine motor activities. Children take part in daily singing sessions and they take part in performances for parents at key points in the year such as Christmas. Music contributes to a child’s personal and social development. Counting songs foster a child’s mathematical ability, and songs from different cultures increase a child’s knowledge and understanding of the world. 

Key Stage 1
In KS1, children are taught to use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes. They will play tuned and untuned instruments musically and listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music. Children will experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music. Pupils are to explore the vocabulary, experiment with using rhythm, tone and volume, creatively. Children will listen with concentration to music to form opinions, identify the instruments used and analyse the purpose that the music was created for, including the emotions they may evoke. Children will be given the opportunity to evaluate their own piece of music as well as perform. Pupils will experience live performances and musical recordings. They will be exposed to different genres and encouraged to identify their own musical interests.

Key Stage 2
In KS2, children are taught to play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression. They will improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music and listen with attention to detail, recalling sounds with increased aural memory. Children will use and understand staff and other musical notations and appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians. Children will develop an understanding of the history of music.

Our ambition is for all of our pupils to access the full Music Curriculum. All teachers support and facilitate access to the music curriculum by differentiation, adult support, and appropriate choice of equipment as necessary. Ear defenders are available for those with heightened noise sensitivity. There is a wide range of capability and confidence across the school; tasks and activities are designed to allow students to engage at their own level and make progress.

Our music Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression and build on and embed current skills. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills in the different musical components and like in other subjects, discreet teaching of vocabulary also forms part of the units of work. If children are achieving the knowledge and skills in lessons, then they are deemed to be making good or better progress. 

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods: 
  • Pupil discussions and interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
  • Moderation staff meetings with opportunities for dialogue between teachers.
  • Annual reporting and tracking of standards across the curriculum.
  • Photo evidence and images of the pupils practical learning.
  • Video analysis through recording of performance in lessons.
  • A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes.
  • Dedicated music leader time.
The impact of our music curriculum is also measured in the uptake of our KS2 choir.

The progression grid provided by the subject leader ensures children are accessing work at age related expectations, with regular opportunities to be challenged through higher-level objectives. Children are assessed termly according to age related expectations in line with curriculum requirements. 

The 2018/2019 assessment results showed that 100% of children at the end of Key Stage 1 achieved the expected end of year standard with 28% of children working at the exceeded standard. 100% of children at the end of Key Stage 2 achieved the expected end of year standard with 27% of children working at the exceeded standard.