Click on the file below to download our music policy. Alternatively, scroll down to read an online copy. Please do feel free to speak to our music lead or your child's teacher if you would like to discuss any aspect of this policy.
This policy has due regard to statutory guidance, including, but not limited to, the following:
The intent of the music curriculum
Our music curriculum is shaped by our whole school vision and curriculum intent, which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability, additional needs, to flourish and excel - to become the very best version of themselves they can possibly be.
At Berkswich CE Primary, we value music because it is a powerful and unique form of communication that can change and impact the way in which children feel, think and act. Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. An engaging music education should inspire children to sustain a life-long love of music and enhance their talent as musicians. Our curriculum is designed to increase each child’s self-confidence and aspirations, recognising the way in which music can play an important role in the personal development of each child. Learning at Berkswich CE aims to inspire and motivate children to continue with a life-long delight and involvement in music.
As children progress, our intent is that the curriculum enables all children to develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose and listen with discrimination to the best in the musical cannon. Children develop a greater appreciation of the world we live in, by understanding both their own and different cultures and societies through music.
Our music planning is cumulative with a coherent progression of interconnected knowledge and skills, purposefully driving forward each child’s musicality. It is ambitious for all groups, including SEND. Greater depth opportunities are available for every learner to reflect our high expectations; indeed, challenge is relished in music, providing opportunities for children to be tenacious and build resilience.
The curriculum is supported by research, recognising that the impact of participation in the arts is positive; improved outcomes have been identified in the core subjects. Practice is informed by findings which suggest that this effect, on average, is greater for younger learners and, in some cases, particularly beneficial for disadvantaged pupils. Wider benefits are reported to include more positive attitudes to learning and increased well-being (Education Endowment Foundation).
The implementation of the music curriculum
Berkswich CE delivers a rich, broad and balanced music curriculum, in line with national requirements, which aims to enable pupils to:
Planning in school is structured systematically and in line with the Entrust Primary Progression in Skills Map: this ensures that units are in line with our school approach of a concept-driven curriculum. Although a unit may have a particular context, the learning progress is within all of the inter-related music processes (Performance, Composing and Improvising, Aural Awareness and Reflecting and Evaluating). In this way, knowledge and skills related to the other concepts (elements) in music (e.g. pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations) are progressively developed. We recognise the interconnected nature of the concepts in music and the way in which these weave throughout the units covered each half term.
In Nursery and Reception, all children are taught music as an integral part of the learning covered during the academic year. All musical objectives within the EYFS are underpinned by the objectives of the early learning goals (ELGs). The music curriculum in the EYFS is delivered with particular reference to the ELG16 – exploring and using media and materials, which enables children to:
The Kodály approach with Solfa (see below for further details) is purposely used throughout EYFS to develop the children’s ability to use their inner hearing. Lessons are well-paced with key elements repeated with increasing levels of complexity. Teachers use each child’s voice as their own instrument to develop their understanding of pitch, pulse, rhythm and dynamics. Provision in the Early Years provides further opportunities for children to test out their learning, apply it in new situations and extend their knowledge and skills further.
At the end of EYFS, Jolly music follows seamlessly into Year One and Year Two where the technical and practical experiences progress repetitively. Alongside this progression, children have further opportunities to compose, learn a wide range of songs for different purposes and refine performances ready for an audience. Throughout Key Stage One, the voice is valued as an internal instrument – one with which children can effectively learn many transferrable skills. In Key Stage Two, all children learn to play at least one instrument. They continue to follow a progressive framework providing breadth and depth to enable all to be involved in building skills and knowledge related to performance, aural awareness, composing and reflective thinking. Please see the school website (www.berkswichceprimary.co.uk) to view our school overview.
We do not follow a scheme; instead, the needs of our children are met through using the best of resources such as the BBC Ten Pieces, Music Express, Jolly Music (Kodály approach with Solfa). The support materials that have been chosen ensure that teachers have full access to expertise when planning; these can maintain the integrity of the music curriculum whereby the children’s increasing musicality remains at the heart of all planning.
Through CPD provided by the music lead, support from members of the musical community and self-learning, teachers are equipped with the necessary subject knowledge. For example, members of the Manchester Camerata work alongside staff and pupils to compose and perform, bringing with them a wealth of experience and technical expertise.
Teachers know their children’s prior learning, and are mindful of their own end points in relation to the expectations contained in subsequent years. Please see the school website to view our whole school overviews.
To ensure that pupils embed key concepts in the long-term memory, these are repeated within each year and throughout every year group. This repetitive approach means that children have opportunities to revisit, apply and extend what they have already covered to ensure that learning is both cumulative and permanent. We believe that this is the best way for children to develop the knowledge and skills needed for mastery of a subject.
In EYFS and Years One and Two, children have access to a structured and consistent Kodály approach with Solfa which enables them to develop their musical ‘ear’ and better learn pitch relationships. The consistent use of Solfa syllables facilitates memorisation and helps the mind to recall the exact distance between intervals with greater ease. By practicing with Solfa patterns, singers improve their ability to pitch every note accurately. For younger children, Solfa is a good introduction to stave notation (or staff music). They can make more rapid progress than if they start with the musical staff alone. Pairing hand signals with singing helps the children to physically understand the differences of high and low pitch. They start to see that every song follows the same patterns and as awareness increases, the children are able to perfect them more easily.
Please see the school website (www.berkswichceprimary.co.uk) to view our school overview of learning.
Teachers have high expectations of children to use discussion to further learning. Children are increasingly expected to give precise explanations, using technical and specialist terminology appropriately. Teachers model this practice, using the correct language within all learning. To support genuine understanding of the associated vocabulary, the Kodály approach with Solfa acts as a precursor to more technical vocabulary. For example, using terms such as rhythm names (ta, ti-ti), singing names (sofia) and heartbeat (pulse) means that the understanding is deeply rooted before the technical terms are phased in during Year One and Year Two.
In every year, our school curriculum includes examples of music styles and genres from different times and places, including the classical cannon. These are explored through the language of music via active listening, performing and composing activities, which enable understanding of the context and genre.
Children regularly enjoy rich and meaningful experiences to listen to a range of more experienced musicians. These include performances from:
Please see the school website (www.berkswichceprimary.co.uk) to view our school overview of wider experiences.
Berkswich CE is ambitious for all pupils; challenge is a part of every child’s learning. We provide Greater Depth pupils with the opportunity to extend their musical thinking through planned opportunities to broaden and apply their learning within contexts of increasing complexity. Greater Depth pupils also benefit from providing peer support and having to problem solve and articulate their own understanding in order to encourage learning in others.
Professional musicians are regularly invited into school to perform in order to encourage the children to be aspirational and understand the impact of practice and resilience.
Our peripatetic teachers, who come into school to teach individuals and small groups, give opportunities for children to learn and develop their skills from an experienced specialist teacher. These lessons include: flute, clarinet, violin, cornet, guitar and trumpet. All children learn to play the recorder through Year Three and Year Four; their skills are then applied in Year Five and Year Six through supporting younger peers and through composition.
Built into each year are numerous opportunities to perform in front of wider audiences and to sing or perform for a purpose. These include:
Please see the school website (www.berkswichceprimary.co.uk) to view our school overview of performances.
Roles and responsibilities
Berkswich CE Primary has a designated link governor who meets with the music lead at least once a year to find out about:
The curriculum governor will report back to the governing board.
Overall responsibility for monitoring the teaching of music throughout the school lies with the headteacher who will support the subject lead in continuing to develop:
The headteacher will also be responsible for overseeing the review of this policy with the subject leader.
The subject leader is responsible for:
The classroom teacher, in collaboration with the subject leader, will ensure that the needs of all children are met by:
The SENDCo is responsible for:
Music across the curriculum
In the school, music is taught both as a discrete lesson and as part of cross-curricular learning. When beneficial to both subjects, the music curriculum will provide opportunities to establish links with other curriculum areas, for example, composing using Audacity to refine captured sounds. The integrity of the music curriculum is upheld and furthered through meaningful, purposeful connections.
The impact of our music curriculum
Throughout the year, teachers will plan on-going assessment opportunities in order to gauge whether pupils have achieved the key learning objectives. Teachers constantly assess the children’s understanding, correcting misunderstandings. Teachers are responsive and alter planning accordingly to help children embed and use knowledge fluently and develop interconnected understanding rather than memorise isolated facts within a unit. Formative assessment, which is carried out throughout the year, enables teachers to identify pupils’ understanding of subjects and inform their immediate lesson planning. Summative assessments may also be used at the end of a unit. Teachers will make a judgement about the learning of each pupil in relation to the national curriculum – the outcome of which will be recorded using OTrack (used by school to analyse and act on attainment and progress) and used to inform future planning.
The progress and development of pupils within the EYFS is assessed against the early learning goals outlined in the ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage’. For further information about assessment in EYFS, please visit our Early Years area found via the Learning tab on our school website (www.berkswichceprimary.co.uk).
Assessment will be undertaken in various forms, including the following:
Parents will be informed about their child’s attainment in music during the Summer term every year. This will include information on pupils’ attitudes towards the subject. Verbal reports can be provided during informal meetings with parents throughout the year. The progress of pupils with SEND will be monitored by the SENDCo.
By the time children leave our school, they will have a rapidly widened repertoire of music history and of musical genres which they will be able to use to create original, imaginative, fluent and distinctive compositions.
This will be evident in our children through:
All pupils will have equal access to the music curriculum. Gender, learning ability, physical ability, ethnicity, linguistic ability and/or cultural circumstances will not impede pupils from accessing music lessons. All efforts will be made to ensure that cultural and gender differences are positively reflected in lessons and the teaching materials used. Since historical examples from female composers are not as readily available as those for male composers, care will be taken to ensure that female composers are well represented through the curriculum (for example, in the ‘Trail Blazers’ units).
The music policy is reviewed bi-annually or sooner if required. A named member of the governing body is briefed to oversee the teaching of music, and meets with the subject leader to review progress. Any changes made to this policy will be communicated to all teaching staff.