At Cheadle Heath Primary we believe that exposing children to music during early development, and teaching them rhythm and pattern, can help them to learn the sounds and meanings of words. Children learn about how music can represent feelings and emotions which supports their emotional wellbeing and the English curriculum. We teach children how to work with others to compose music and perform for an audience. We believe that every child should have the opportunity to develop their musical potential and we aim to nurture and encourage musical development across the school. All children are given the opportunity to access the curriculum at their level and are provided with the resources required to enhance their understanding.
Pupils in the Early Years Foundation Stage begin their journey in music through the specific area of Expressive Arts and Design. They are encouraged to be imaginative and to explore different media and movement to express themselves, teachers use videos and Tapestry to record their progress.
In Years 1 - 6 the National Curriculum provides clear progression through age-related objectives from Key Stage 1 through to the end of Key Stage 2. Where possible, cross curricular links are made with both core and foundation subjects.
In music our teaching of the National Curriculum is supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression of the Charanga scheme of work. Children listen to, perform and review music of different styles and from different periods and cultures. They learn to sing, create and compose music on their own and with others, as well as learning musical notation.This progression model ensures all interrelated elements of music are covered and implemented. Teachers use the ‘freestyle’ element of the package to provide thematic, cross curricular lessons that also follow children’s interests. Each unit of work has an on-going musical learning focus and lessons usually follow a specific learning sequence:
- Listen and Appraise
- Musical Activities (including pulse and rhythm)
- Singing and Voice
- Playing instruments
- Improvisation / Composition
- Perform and Share
Music teaching at Cheadle Heath Primary is practical and engaging. During lockdown 2020 we purchased all pupils in KS1 a ukulele so that they could participate in online weekly lessons with their teacher. This has continued since returning to school and, currently, all pupils in Y2 - 5 learn ukulele.
Although we have reduced the number of peripatetic teachers who come into school to teach music lesson, we continue to give opportunities for children in Years 1 - 6 the opportunity to learn and develop their skills in guitar and keyboards. They, along with class teachers, ensure that pitch, rhythm, dynamics, structure, tempo and duration are implemented and repeated throughout all stages of the music curriculum.
Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the curriculum, which develops the children’s understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument.
We use first-hand evidence from pupil interviews, observations of performances and discussions with pupils about what they have remembered about the content they have studied. These judgements will inform the curriculum and whether children are ready for the next stage of their education. By the time children leave our school they will have a wide repertoire and confidence which they will be able to use to create imaginative compositions.