The National Curriculum for music aims for children to:
- perform, listen to, review and evaluate music
- be taught to sing, create and compose music
- recognise and discover how music is created, produced and communicated.
At Rowde Primary Academy, children gain a clear understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, appraising, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. We are committed to developing a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and recognition of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in people’s lives. Through the Charanga Model Music Curriculum scheme, we aim to ensure children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts. We recognise and value the place of music in society, in our understanding of (and engagement with) all cultures and beliefs, and in the power of music in expressing joy, faith, optimism and love. It therefore sits at the very heart of our values and our message of Learn – Grow – Love.
The music curriculum ensures children sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is supported in the classroom through weekly lessons from the Charanga Model Music Curriculum scheme, as well as the singing assemblies, performances and concerts and teaching from specialist music teachers. The Charanga scheme has an integrated, practical, exploratory and child-led approach to musical learning. The learning within this scheme is based on: listening and Appraising, musical Activities (including Creating and Exploring) and singing and Performing. While there are opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit, the progression planned into the scheme of work means that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school. All musical learning in the scheme is based around the Interrelated Dimensions of Music; pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, timbre, texture, structure and notation.
The elements of music are taught in the classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language of music to analyse it, and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and studied. In the classroom, children learn key aspects of music through cross-curricular links. They also learn how to compose, focusing on different scopes of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music. Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument.
Whilst in school, children have access to a varied programme through the Charanga scheme which is developed my music experts. The scheme is progressive, with knowledge and skills developed in every lesson of a unit and across year groups. This allows them to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon. Children demonstrate their ability in music in a variety of different ways. Teachers will assess children’s work in music by making informal judgements as they observe them during lessons. Video recordings are made of musical performances for the children to use as self-assessment. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher will assess the work and give oral feedback. Older and more able pupils are encouraged to make judgements about how they can improve their own work. Individual class teachers will keep samples of children’s work in music for their own evidence. The Music Progression document includes both skills and knowledge, and will enable teachers to assess whether children are working below, above or at the expected level at the end of each year.
The central nature of music and the learner creates an enormously rich palette from which a child may access central abilities such as: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self-reflection. Music will also develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to children individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children are able to enjoy music in as many ways as they choose – either as listener, designer or performer. They can analyse music and understand its parts. They can sing and feel a rhythm. They have an understanding of how to further develop talents less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.
At Rowde, we also offer a wide range of individual music lessons and activities from peripatetic staff, and in participation in a wide range of external musical activities.