At Hadley Wood, we believe music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. We believe high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, we encourage them to develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose and to listen with discrimination to a wider range of musical pieces and genres.
We have designed our whole school curriculum into half-termly themes and teach our music curriculum within these themes to ensure we make music relevant and meaningful whilst also teaching explicit music skills and knowledge. Our Music Curriculum aims to ensure all children have the opportunity to perform, listen to, review and evaluate music; to learn to sing, create and compose music and to understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated.
We want to engage children to love participating and feel that music and ‘being musical’ isn’t a gift and a talent held by a few, but it is a tool and pleasure for all. We believe these experiences support the growth of each child’s cultural capital.
Our music curriculum has a focus on the significance of famous musicians both classical and modern as well as providing opportunities to explore and learn about significant musical events that celebrate music locally and globally.
We recognise through our music curriculum that subject-specific vocabulary is important for children to acquire. This will support their musical knowledge and understanding. When planning our curriculum, the vocabulary required to succeed is identified, planned and modelled within our music curriculum.
We aim to promote a mutual respect for the role that music plays in people’s lives and create a strong and positive bond within our school and join the community together. We do this through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing and composing across a wide range of historical periods, styles, traditions and musical genres. Our three school values: confident, capable and caring underpin this musical ethos.
How we plan for and teach Music:
In our Early Years Foundation Stage, we teach Reception-aged children music through the EYFS Statutory Framework and the Development Matters non-statutory guidance. Expressive Arts & Design is one of the four specific areas within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and is used to develop a child’s imagination, creativity and their ability to use media and materials. We ensure our curriculum and both our indoor and outdoor provision areas encourage children to explore a range of musical experiences from singing well-known nursery rhymes and songs to performing songs with others and to develop towards moving in time with music.
Our EYFS, Key Stage 1 & 2 Music Curriculum is developed around the Primary National Curriculum, England incorporating ideas from the Model Music Curriculum. Music skills are explicitly taught, practised and developed through the medium of our half-termly themes. In order to ensure children improve their music knowledge, understanding and skills, we ensure our curriculum builds on prior knowledge, skills and experiences. To ensure a cohesive and progressive Music curriculum through school from Reception to Year 6, we have developed our own music curriculum drawing on expertise from both Kapow Music, Charanga and Local Authority Music Hub to support our planning, teaching and learning.
What you will see in our Music lessons:
- Every lesson is carefully planned around an enquiry question for children to answer. By ensuring that these questions spark children’s enquiry and curiosity, children are engaged in their learning and want to find out the answer. Lessons are purposeful and result in children gaining a new understanding of the world around them.
- In each lesson the learning objective is designed so that children have a powerful understanding of the skills and understanding they are developing in the lesson. Success criteria define the features of the learning intention in the context of the activity so that children can identify what they are aiming for and how well they are doing.
- Learning is effectively sequenced by sharing prior learning ‘building blocks’ at the start of each lesson/topic/new concept. We recognise that children are more likely to retain new learning if it connected to prior understanding. Building blocks help pupils of all levels to connect new learning with existing concepts and promote independence.
- Teachers start each lesson with a discursive statement to engage pupils and draw links between prior and new learning. Different levels of challenge and ‘what if’ challenges help to ensure our children have high aspirations of themselves and strive to be the best they can be.
- Teachers skillfully use the ‘Deliberate Mistake’ approach to learning to build pupil resilience to failure alongside their ability to work independently to problem solve. This embeds the concept that making mistakes is integral to the learning process.
How we evaluate learning in Music:
To capture learning in music, class teachers use video footage to show progress between the first and final session within each unit of work. Class teachers measure impact by assessing children against The Big Question for each unit of work.
On completion of the unit of work, class teachers then use the children’s compositional work, along with the final piece in order to make a judgement as to whether each child is working at developing, expected or exceeding level.