At Thorney Close Primary, we value music as a universal language and believe that all children can achieve musical excellence. Our ambitious and rich music curriculum aims to engage and inspire pupils to develop both a love of music and their skills as musicians. We provide children with a range of opportunities to cultivate their cultural understanding and develop their musical competencies, such as appreciating and understanding a wide range of music from different traditions.
As our pupils progress through our curriculum, we teach them to engage critically with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to music drawn from different traditions and eras and from great composers and musicians.
By the time our children leave Thorney Close, they have been equipped with this knowledge and understanding as well as having an appreciation of a breadth of musical forms. We value the link between music and wellbeing and the power sharing music can have on our mood and sense of belonging.
How we Plan and Teach Music
At Thorney Close, we follow the Charanga music scheme which supports the music National Curriculum. In the Early Years, music and movement form a valued part of every-day learning. Listening opportunities are planned to develop children’s ability to listen attentively and to move to and talk about music. Through regular opportunities to listen to music, children are supported to notice and respond to a steady beat by singing, tapping, dancing or using instruments. Children are supported to express their feelings about music and to understand that their response is personal and valued.
As they progress from Nursery to Reception, children are taught to discuss changes and patterns in music. Children learn a range of songs and develop their ability to match the pitch of another person to follow the melodic shape of the song.
In Nursery and Reception, children are given opportunities to play instruments to express their feelings and ideas. They are encouraged to create their own songs using their own ideas and inspired by familiar songs.
As the children progress into Key Stage 1 and throughout Key Stage 2, children have a weekly music lesson with specialist music teachers as well as Charanga Music with their class teacher. The children are exposed to a range of carefully selected pieces of music from different genres, periods, traditions and styles and familiarised with the works of some great composers such as Mendelssohn and Brahms. They are taught to recognise and understand how music is constructed using notes, scales, chords and keys. Children are guided to understand how music is created, produced and communicated both with instruments and technology. They are taught to recognise and read musical notation. Children are also taught to create and compose their own music both independently and collaboratively using their technical and constructive knowledge to give their composition expressive meaning.
Children are explicitly taught to sing with increasing accuracy, control, fluency and expression. At our school we are committed to providing a range of musical experiences for our pupils such as singing with the Choristers and The Big Sing at the Sunderland Empire.
How we Evaluate Learning in Music
Class teachers regularly assess children’s progress in music through watching and listening to children’s performances, evaluating their technical, expressive and constructive knowledge. Children are also involved in peer and self-assessment opportunities against specific criteria and are taught to analyse their performances to draw out areas of strength and next steps.