Curriculum Overview and Policy
Download: Music Policy 2021-2022 [PDF]
Music – Intent
At St Oswald’s RC Primary school our pupils will learn that “Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity.” Our music curriculum’s intent is to inspire creativity and self-expression, imagination and a sense of personal achievement. By exposing all pupils to diverse musical experiences, we hope to ignite a passion and love of music which enables all pupils to further develop these skills at secondary school level and further Music reflects the culture and society that we live in, and so the teaching and learning of music enables children to learn more about the world we live in. We believe Music plays an important role in helping children to feel like part of a community and as such is used as part of collective worship, in class worship, assemblies and mass in church.
At St Oswald’s, we follow Charanga which is a spiral based curriculum where children can develop new musical skills and concepts through a repetition-based approach that focuses on listening and appraising, knowledge and understanding, composition, instrumental work and performing skills. Charanga is built around the Interrelated Dimensions of Music which are pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, timbre, texture, structure and notation. These dimensions are at the centre of all the learning that will then be re-visited, built upon and embedded throughout reception to year 6. We strive to provide opportunities both within the classroom and extra-curricular activities for all children to create, play, perform, and enjoy music where they can develop their skills in order to appreciate a wide variety of musical forms. So that children can begin to make judgements about the quality of music and musical performances that they encounter.
The aims of our music curriculum are to develop pupils who:
- Can sing and use their voices individually and in a group
- Create and compose music on their own and with others
- Have opportunities to learn a musical instrument
- Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated
- Listen to, review and evaluate the work of great composers and musicians from a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions
- Enjoy and have an appreciation of a range of different musical styles e.g. Rock, Jazz, Classical, hip hop etc.
- Use and understand musical language and include musical features in their own work
- Make judgements about the quality of music
- Have different opportunities to take part in performances.
At St Oswald’s RC Primary school, we follow the programme Charanga that is taught over a half term period across each term. Charanga focuses on three learning strands which are breadth, depth (repetition) and quality that is built around the Interrelated Dimensions of Music. These include pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, timbre, texture, structure and notation. These dimensions are at the centre of all the learning. Vocabulary is introduced at the start of each topic to implement understanding and encourage engagement within lessons. This is then built upon and developed each year throughout the Charanga scheme. All new vocabulary will be displayed within classrooms so that children are able to access this during lessons. In EYFS, children have access to untuned percussion within their continuous provision where they are able to express themselves and experiment with different sounds. In Key Stage one and two, there is a variety of tuned and untuned percussion available for music lessons, there is also a full class set of ukuleles for wider opportunities. Children are also given wider opportunities to access Music outside of the curriculum in the school choir and when there are special occasions and events across the school year.
In Nursery, our pupils are exposed to music on a daily basis through phonic songs, nursery rhymes, rhythm work, exploring percussion instruments and much more. From reception to year 6, Music is taught by class teachers, two out of the three topics taught are delivered by specialist music teachers from Resonate Liverpool Music Support Service. All teachers follow the ‘Charanga’ 2021 Scheme of work for the new curriculum, except Nursery who follow their own curriculum. This allows our children to access engaging, enriched and broadened experiences. We also offer wider opportunities, where our year 3 pupils learn how to play a ukulele and during the year will be given chances to showcase their new skills. Music is taught through the strands of musical learning which link with the national curriculum for Music. Our lessons follow a structured approach which consists of listening and appraising, musical activities, warm-up/flexible games, singing, playing instruments, improvisation, composition and lastly performing.
Opportunities for assessment are identified in both medium and short-term plans. Assessment is ongoing. Clear targets are set at the beginning of each activity, children are encouraged to self and peer assess. Recordings of children’s composition and performance will be taken towards the start and end of a topic to show progression. These recordings will be stored on a central file on the shared drive and form evidence of progression. Music is monitored regularly; formal and informal observations, discussion with children, monitoring of learning environments and assessments including any recordings or written compositions children have created. Information from monitoring and evaluation forms the basis for a Music Action Plan which will be fed into the School Development Plan. As Music is taught through a spiral based curriculum, we are fortunate that a recovery curriculum does not need to be in place. This is because skills that would have been taught and learnt will be re-visited, built upon and embedded through a repetition-based approach.
At St Oswald’s, children are given many opportunities to perform and regularly take part in church services held in St. Oswald’s church and in school assemblies. We also have a great involvement with our local community, where we attend annual trips at Christmas time to the local care homes and Remembrance Day tea parties. Previously, our children have had the opportunity to broaden their musical experiences by attending concerts and other musical activities outside the school, such as performances by the Liverpool Royal Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. We hope that as restrictions ease, we will be able to allow our children to continue to experience all that our wonderful city has to offer.