“A strange art – music – the most poetic and precise of all the arts, vague as a dream and precise as algebra.”(Guy de Maupassant). Music is a universal language that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. It transcends different cultures, abilities, and generations – stimulating responses on both emotional and intellectual levels. At Ashfield Junior School, our Music North Star aims to promote a life-long love of music and the enjoyment of music in all its forms. Children will be inspired through singing, playing tuned and untuned instruments, improvising and composing music, and listening and responding to music. They will develop an understanding of the history and cultural context of the music they listen to and learn how music can be written down. By engaging children in these musical experiences, we offer them opportunities to develop transferable skills such as teamwork, leadership, creative thinking, problem solving, decision-making, presentation, and performance skills, which are vital to children’s development as learners and have a wider application outside and beyond school.
At Ashfield, Music is taught as a discreet subject and lessons are planned with a clear progression across each year group. We have adopted the Charanga scheme of work to support but have also invested in music specialist teachers to improve the quality of teaching at Ashfield.
Charanga works seamlessly with the National Curriculum ensuring that learners revisit the interrelated dimensions of music: pulse, voice, pitch and rhythm – and building upon previous learning and skills. The learning within this scheme is based on: listening and appraising, musical activities, creating, exploring, singing and performing. Key skills and knowledge have been broken down and allocated across different year groups to ensure full coverage of the National Curriculum. Our Music curriculum has been adapted for back tracking and filling the gaps to meet our children’s needs and it builds on what children have learnt at our local infant feeder school. It has been carefully planned to ensure that children listen and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres and styles, they learn to sing, compose and create music, have the opportunity to play musical instruments and understand musical notations. Units of work are allocated across each year group.
In addition to Charanga, our Music curriculum is also delivered by two music specialist teachers to provide children with more breadth of learning in music including a teacher from Herts Music Service. In the autumn term, one teacher delivers music lessons for children in Year 3 and Year 5 teaching a range of music skills and knowledge. Our specialist teacher from Herts Music Service teaches children in Year 4 how to play the cornet.
There is a clear progress of learning in each year group. Children in Year 3 will start using untuned percussion (rhythm, beat, improvising and composing), building on their previous knowledge in Year 1. They will then begin learning the foundations of the language of music, using and understanding staff and other musical notations through playing glockenspiels and applying their knowledge through listening to and responding to reggae songs and traditional songs. In Year 4, children will play cornet and will continue learning the foundations of the language of music which will then be applied through listening and responding to a range of Gospel music. In Year 5, children will learn how to play the recorder, building on their previous learning at Merry Hill Infant School. They will continue with the foundations of the language of music through playing glockenspiels before applying their knowledge to improvise and compose their own music by listening to old school hip-hop music. Year 6 will start by learning the foundations of the language of music through playing glockenspiels. This will be followed by listening and responding to jazz music, composing their own music and learn about the music of Carole King and her importance as a female composer in the world of popular music.
All year groups will learn about the history of music in context, listen to some western classical music and place the music from the units they have worked through, in their correct time and space, as well as consolidating the foundations of the language of music in the summer term.
Our Music units will include:
- A progression of music knowledge and skills
- A clear sequence of learning
- Specific musical vocabulary for units of work
- Exposure to a range of genres, styles and traditions including the work of great composers and musicians
- Opportunities to sing, play, improvise and compose
- Opportunities to understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated (pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and musical notations)
- Provide opportunities to reflect and build on prior learning
- Make links with other subjects in the curriculum
- Differentiated activities and/or support
To enrich the Music curriculum at Ashfield Junior School, we offer children the opportunity to play a musical instrument and join the school choir which are delivered by Herts Music Service.
- Children express a passion for Music by talking about their learning and sharing their knowledge and understanding
- Children demonstrate new knowledge and skills by discussing a range of musical genres and its impact on culture
- Children will express their opinion, show appreciation and appraise different genres of music
- Children will reflect and evaluate their own performances and that of others
- Children use and apply a range of musical vocabulary when discussing music
- Children will sing and/or play a range of instruments with expression, accuracy and control
Our children will be successful and engaged in lessons because:
- Teachers use assessment for learning to inform planning to address misconceptions and gaps in learning
- Teachers build on a progression of skills and knowledge from the previous year
- Teachers make links and connections with prior learning in Music and in other curriculum subjects
- Teachers scaffold activities, model vocabulary and follow a structured sequence of learning so that all children can make progress