Charles Darwin Community Primary School
After 7 years of studying music at Charles Darwin pupils will have learnt how to:
- Sing in tune
- Listen to and appreciate music
- Compose and perform music
What This Looks Like at Charles Darwin
At Charles Darwin, we make music an enjoyable learning experience. The children participate enthusiastically and are keen to perform. We teach music generally every other week. Our curriculum is centred around ‘Music Express’, a music-based scheme, in which the children learn to sing and play instruments. The children are provided with opportunities to learn how to play the recorder and read music in Year 5 and to play the ukulele in Year 4. The children are also able to have private weekly keyboard and guitar lessons with two peripatetic teachers. The school has a choir at Christmas who perform at old people’s homes. There is also a KS2 carol service and two separate infant nativity related performance at Christmas in which the children sing and play percussion instruments. We have a well-attended singing club which ends with a performance at ‘Young Voices’. There is a weekly singing assembly taken by the music lead. There are several concerts and events that Charles Darwin children take part in each year, including Northwich Sings, and also opportunities that might happen just once, for example Key Strings.
Music is taught in Reception as an integral part of the topic work through child-initiated and adult led activities. The children are given opportunities to sing, explore sounds and dance and play to music. Music is often used as a method for learning about other things in the curriculum, such as science, numbers and words, too. Children will be helped to understand how sounds can be changed; sing simple songs from memory; recognise repeated sounds and sound patterns; and match movement to music. Children might also have the opportunity to compose using a variety of musical instruments. Through carefully planned activities, chosen by us, activities based around the interests of the children and children working and exploring independently, they will develop their musical skills.
Key Stages 1 and 2
At Charles Darwin, the intention 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 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. Lessons based around our scheme ‘Music Express’ alongside all of the additional opportunities presented at Charles Darwin ensure that KS1 and 2 children are musically literate.
Making Music Accessible to All
At Charles Darwin subject leaders and teachers work together to ensure music is accessible to all. We recognise the fact that we have children of differing abilities in all our classes and so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies which are differentiated in the main by expected outcome and/or support from peers or adults. Provision is according to pupils’ needs.
Whole School Initiatives
Each assembly, music from our composer of the half term is playing as the children enter the hall. This composer is introduced at the first singing assembly of that half term so that children have an understanding of their place in history. There is also a display about that composer outside of the hall. The weekly singing assemblies allow children to come together and enjoy music.
We engage in a whole-school music afternoon in the summer term to celebrate our achievements in music. This allows children to showcase, individually or in class groups, the songs and pieces of music they have been studying. Children also like to perform their own pieces at Charles Darwin’s Got Talent each year.
Cross Curricular Opportunities
Teachers select units from the scheme which match up with topics that they are studying in class that half term whether it be in science, history or geography. This allows the nature of music as an integral part of life to be appreciated.
Assessment and Recording
At Charles Darwin, assessment is a fundamental part of the teaching process. Assessment is used to inform planning and to facilitate differentiation. The assessment of children’s work is on-going to ensure that understanding is being achieved and that progress is being made. Feedback is given to the children as soon as possible.
Monitoring will take place in the form of termly scrutiny of the following areas:
learning walks when music is taking place
Roles and Responsibilities
The subject is led by S Harley. Each year time is set aside to review standards and monitor curriculum provision and ensure training and resources are up to date.
We have a set of recorders so that each child has their own for the year that they are learning to play. We have a set of music stands for performances. In the hall we have a good selection of untuned percussion instruments. We have a few CD players, a large set of speakers, a piano and a selection of CDs.
Charles Darwin children participate enthusiastically in wide ranging musical lessons, assemblies, events and extravaganzas! They are able to enjoy music as listeners, creators and performers using appropriate vocabulary as well as gaining knowledge and appreciation of composers from history and present day.