At the Isle of Ely Primary School, all pupils have access to an inclusive music curriculum which aims to engage our whole community and promote a love of learning. They are exposed to a wide variety of musical and cultural traditions to promote the development of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. We explicitly teach pupils the key areas of music: dynamics, rhythm, melody, pitch and tempo. This helps them to think critically about what they are listening to and develop their evaluation skills – explaining their opinions clearly and concisely. Through performing on vocals, percussion and tuned instruments, pupils develop their self-confidence and creativity, using the key skills they have identified in the work of others to inspire their own work. In lessons, pupils are introduced to the key vocabulary needed to discuss music and listen carefully and considerately to the views of others. Through learning an instrument, they will develop the resilience needed to keep going when introduced to a challenging new concept. Our aim for all pupils is that they can discuss their opinions around music, listen to the opinions of others and show their unique talents through performance and composition.
The implementation of the music curriculum is sequential, building on the prior skills and knowledge of pupils systematically to develop a long-term change in memory.
Early Years Foundation Stage
In the Early Years, pupils are introduced to music, rhyme and song through familiar works including nursery rhyme and song. They sing together, including with actions, developing a love of music and a basic understanding of beat and melody.
Key Stage One
During this key stage, children are introduced to all the key elements of music. They begin to study important works in the musical canon, with a focus on storytelling and expression through music. They use Charanga to recognise and respond to steady beats, sing and repeat simple melodies and to begin to play simple rhythms on instruments such as glockenspiel and percussion. Alongside this, they listen to a wide variety of classical and folk music and sing in groups and individually. Their self-expression is promoted through Charanga’s library of songs, and the opportunity for simple improvisation.
Key Stage Two
As children progress through the school, they have the opportunity to take group instrument lessons, with recorders being taught in Years 3 and 4, and violins being taught in Years 5 and 6. Alongside learning how to play instruments, pupils work on reading and writing music notation on a standard stave. This allows them to better discuss and understand the complexities of the music they are listening to – especially in pitch, tempo and dynamics. Over their time in Key Stage Two, the children come to understand the wide variety of reasons music has been composed, including the spiritual and religious elements of music. They are introduced to music from different cultures and traditions to better discuss the similarities and differences of known works. Alongside this, pupils continue to use Charanga to better their understanding of the key elements of music and to question how music makes them feel and why.
Across their time at the Isle of Ely, learners are introduced to a wide variety of musical styles and opportunities for innovation and creativity. They have time for self-reflection to consider their areas of strength and areas to improve. The integral nature of music and the learner creates an enormously rich palette from which a child may access fundamental abilities such as: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others and self-reflection.
Key Performance Indicators and quizzes are used to track the knowledge and development of our pupil’s musical ability. Video evidence is uploaded to our e-portfolio to track conversation and evidence the levels attained by our leaners. These key assessment points will be reviewed across this academic year as the school moves towards the teaching and study of key instruments, as well as pupil knowledge of notation.