Music Curriculum Statement
The Music Curriculum at Harewood Primary School is delivered using the National Curriculum Programme of Study 2014, the Model Music Curriculum March 2021 and the Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals are followed to ensure continuity and progression from Foundation Stage through to the National Curriculum.
The music curriculum at foundation stage is delivered through focused small group teaching sessions using ‘Music Express’ and Charanga once per week and through daily self-initiated activities within the indoor and outdoor nursery and reception areas. In key stage 1 and 2 a scheme of music sessions using musical programme Charanga are taught over a half term block, and embeds previous learning and allow pupils to take on new skills.
At Harewood Primary School, we place great emphasis on the quality teaching of singing which is delivered by a specialist singing teacher and accomplished pianist. We believe singing has an important and positive impact on our children on many levels. We believe that singing is a powerful vehicle for teaching listening, performing and appraising skills, as well as introducing pupils to a wide range of genres; it is an important activity in its own right for developing confidence and self-esteem.
Children arrive at Harewood with low levels of oracy so are given a weekly singing session from Reception to help raise these levels. Learning lyrics, committing them to memory and being exposed to sophisticated vocabulary widens our children’s limited choice of words. As they move through school, children become more aware of lyrics and messages which deepens their emotional literacy. We particularly notice this in the way that boys engage in singing and the emotional impact that they feel/convey when performing.
Our children typically lack confidence so singing in groups or on the microphone develops presentational skills and self believe when performing in front of their peers, teachers, family members and the wider community. Being part of a selected, high quality choir who gain recognition when singing in public and in competitions gives our children the opportunity to excel and gain praise for their talents which may go unnoticed. The school choir practice takes place weekly after school. As a school we encourage everyone to take pride in the sounds that they make and the ‘feel good’ endorphins generated when singing communally are tangible. Given the challenging backgrounds of some of our children this provides a release and a fully immersive experience which generates positive mental health and well-being.
The music curriculum ensures children sing, listen, appraise, compose, play and perform. This is embedded in the classroom activities as well as the weekly singing sessions. The songs and activities chosen to teach musical skills are chosen to reflect either the interests of the children or to make cross curricular links or to broaden the children’s musical knowledge.
Music Express and Charanga is used to teach musical skills and teachers are able to produce inclusive lessons for all children to access the music curriculum in a fun and engaging way. Children are taught in mixed ability classes and children within the class are organised into groups where tasks are differentiated according to the children’s level of musical knowledge and skills. Children are given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. Children who choose to do this are taught in school by a specialist music teacher. Children from Reception to Year 6 also receive a weekly singing session of 45 minutes with specialist music teachers.
In line with guidance from The National Plan for Music Education and the Model Music Curriculum, we feel that quality singing develops slowly over time; therefore, we ensure that from reception all children receive a dedicated quality singing session each week in addition to music teaching. Basic principles are taught and revisited throughout. These include: warm ups, breathing, posture, dynamics, phrasing, context and vocal health. A repertoire of core songs is added to in order to meet the needs of children’s abilities, their interests and current music trends. Songs are always selected to engage pupils, to challenge them and to expose them to a diverse range of musical genres. Wherever possible, children perform for their peers, other children, their families and the wider community. Singing in small groups, as soloists and using microphones are all encouraged to allow children to hone performances, grow in confidence, develop presentational skills and for listeners to respect/ evaluate what they hear.
Music enables children to develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to children individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children are able to enjoy music in as many ways as they choose, either as a listener, creator or performer.
Children have the opportunity to discuss and share their thoughts, opinions and ideas, acknowledging and respecting that these may vary and that this is positive. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts. They can sing and feel a pulse.
At Harewood Primary School, children are provided with opportunities to further support their learning and understanding. Children have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument from a specialist music teacher, visitors with a musical talent were invited into school, children visit concerts and watch school productions. External interests and talents are also encouraged and showcased in class and assemblies. Children are informed of how to further develop their musical interest and skills externally.