What are we aiming for?
At Yardley Primary School we believe that music has the power to make life better for everyone. It has the power to make us cry, and to make us dance. It unites people across divides. It consoles us in tough times. It reminds us how it feels to be at our best.
Music has always been all around us and is inseparable from what it means to be a human on planet Earth. It’s in our voices and bodies, in our computers and phones, our films, our places of worship or entertainment; it’s in our elections, our wars, our ceremonies; it’s in our schools and homes, our radios, stadiums and concert halls, our shops and our cars; it’s in the news and in our children’s toys; and we find it in the nature that surrounds us. It’s in every country and every culture. It is part of our identity.
At Yardley Primary School we know that, as well as nurturing the musicians of tomorrow, a good musical education allows children to find and develop their natural talents, to express their unique creativity, and to build self-confidence, cognitive skills, and social-emotional literacy, among many other benefits. As well as this, regular communal music-making promotes physical and mental well-being, and can be particularly beneficial to children with cognitive differences and neurodiversity.
We want to give all our children regular access to these opportunities, to make life better for them now, and in the future.
How do we achieve this?
We teach weekly whole-class music lessons in Years 1 to 6, using the Charanga Musical School resource base, in line with the National Curriculum and the new Model Music Curriculum.
Teaching using the Charanga resource allows children to build upon previous learning and supports gradual progression in the various elements of music. These include singing, learning to play instruments, performing, improvising, composing, and listening to music from a range of historical and geographical genres.
Children who show a particular passion or aptitude for music are encouraged to join the School Choir, or may choose to learn the flute, clarinet or keyboard in small groups. This gives them the opportunity to engage in extra performance opportunities, in termly concerts, or by singing in local community settings at Christmas, for example. Children may also take ABRSM exams on their chosen instrument and go on to participate in other musical groups in the local community.
What does success look like?
Children enjoy weekly music-making opportunities with their classmates. They build self-confidence, and a passion for learning, through fun, interactive lessons. They develop their musical knowledge and skills through singing, playing instruments, performing, improvising and composing, and through listening to and discussing musical works from a broad range of historical and geographical genres. Music lessons are easily accessible to all, and are a weekly highlight for many.
Children with a particular passion or aptitude for music take part in additional music making opportunities. They are able to realise their potential as musicians, and further develop their natural passion for learning, sometimes taking ABRSM grade exams as appropriate. They take pride in their playing or singing and keenly look forward to opportunities to perform. Concerts and performances bring the community together, and provide a ‘buzz’ for everyone involved.
Music in the early years
In EYFS, Music is taught through the specific area of learning and development; expressive arts and design. This is delivered through exploration and child-initiated play.