At Springfield, we value music as a universal language and believe that all children can achieve musical excellence. We provide a rich and ambitious music curriculum which gives all pupils the opportunity to sing, play, create and perform, both individually and collaboratively. Lessons are inclusive and developmentally appropriate for different age groups and specific needs of the children, while still allowing opportunities for pupils to stretch and challenge themselves.
The music curriculum is designed to build a musical foundation and build on skills and knowledge throughout the years. Pupils will become confident in their ability to create, compose, perform and listen. Children will leave KS1 with a good understanding of a variety of rhythms and pitches and basic knowledge of stick notation, using crotchets, quavers and rests. They have learnt and practised key glockenspiel skills through taught exercises and composition activities. Pupils have also been exposed to music from around the world through the folk music based curriculum.
As pupils progress through KS2 they become more confident in their singing and musical skills on a variety of tuned and untuned percussion instruments. pupils have a more in depth understanding of the inter-related dimensions of music and can describe music using key terms (pitch, pulse, rhythm, tempo, dynamics). They have an increased awareness of different genres of music and music from other countries and can improvise and create music in different styles and metres, including compound time. Pupils can read and transcribe stave notation using simple and compound time, complex rhythms, including dotted rhythms, and a full diatonic scale. Children will move onto KS3 with a passion to learn and share their love of music.
We provide children with a range of opportunities to cultivate their cultural understanding and develop their musical competencies, such as appreciating and understanding a wide range of music from different traditions. As our pupils progress through our curriculum, we teach them to engage critically with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians. By the time our children leave Springfield, they have been equipped with this knowledge and understanding as well as having an appreciation of a breadth of musical forms. We value the link between music and wellbeing and the power sharing music can have on our mood and sense of belonging.
How we plan for and teach music
To ensure our music provision at Springfield is high standard, our music curriculum lessons are delivered by music specialists from Sing Education. The music curriculum is designed to rigorously ensure children make progress in the technical, constructive and expressive components of the National Curriculum for Music. The curriculum comprises half-termly units, with step-by-step progression, always building on prior knowledge and skills, giving children the opportunity to consolidate, deepen and progress their rich musical skill set. Sing Education teachers use the Kodaly method of teaching to ensure subject matter is presented logically and building on the children’s previous experience with music. This helps pupils to consolidate earlier learning and link new concepts to previous knowledge.
Children regularly have the opportunity to perform and record a piece of repertoire they have studied at the end of each half term, with the chance to describe and discuss what they have been learning and exploring in music lessons. This allows teachers to assess progression and embed the learning of the half term. Other performance opportunities like our Winter Performance and class assemblies give children the exciting experience of performing before an audience.
Singing is a highly-valued part of our music curriculum. Children are explicitly taught to sing with increasing accuracy, control, fluency and expression. Where our children’s voices are valued throughout our curriculum as part of our VERSE, children’s singing voices are equally valued and developed. Singing together with correct posture and proud projection in assemblies is a joyful and intentional practice opportunity and the benefits of singing and music for children’s wellbeing are highlighted and promoted.
Throughout their time at Springfield, children develop an understanding of the history of music. They are also taught to use vocabulary associated with key musical concepts with precision and confidence. Vocabulary related to pitch, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure enables children to analyse and reflect on music they listen to and create. Children are taught to understand that these elements work together in an interrelated way to give musical expression.
Children receive access to high quality music resources and instruments to reinforce the ambitions of the curriculum. We are also committed to providing a range of musical experiences for our pupils. We have developed strong links with the Apollo Music Project, which brings live classical music to our children. During the project, our children experience the magic of live performance from classroom to a concert hall, culminating in the thrilling spectacle of a full orchestra in concert.
Music is made an integral part of school life through a variety of after school music clubs and regular singing assemblies.
In the EYFS, children begin to experience making music together in their weekly curricular music lessons. Through singing games, songs, rhymes and listening activities, children learn to recognise and recall songs, pitch-match and begin solo and small group singing. EYFS children begin learning ensemble skills with glockenspiel and other percussion instruments.
In the Early Years, music and movement also form a valued part of every-day learning. Listening opportunities are planned to develop children’s ability to listen attentively and to move to and talk about music. Through regular opportunities to listen to music, children are supported to notice and respond to a steady beat by singing, tapping, dancing or using instruments. Children are supported to express their feelings about music and to understand that their response is personal and valued. As they progress from Nursery to Reception, children are taught to discuss changes and patterns in music. Children learn a range of songs and develop their ability to match the pitch of another person to follow the melodic shape of the song. In Nursery and Reception, children are given opportunities to play instruments to express their feelings and ideas. They are encouraged to create their own songs using their own ideas and inspired by familiar songs. In both Nursery and Reception, children are exposed to music from across the world.
In KS1, weekly curricular music lessons allow pupils to learn about pitch, pulse and rhythm. The singing-led curriculum helps children to discover and develop their singing voice and ensemble skills on a range of instruments, through opportunities to create and perform their own compositions to the class. The Year 1 and 2 curriculum exposes children to a diverse variety of music from around the world and class assemblies encourage them to perform these to a wider audience.
KS2 music lessons build a strong musical foundation for all pupils. Children develop their appreciation for music and the key role it plays in shaping cultures all over the world. A good understanding of musical theory and notation are developed through exploring new genres of music (classical, pop, musical theatre, jazz and blues). Our KS2 school choir and class assemblies give children opportunities to share their singing skills with the wider school community and beyond.
How we evaluate learning in music
The specialist music teacher regularly assesses children’s progress in music through watching and listening to children’s performances, evaluating their technical, expressive and constructive knowledge. Children are also involved in peer and self-assessment opportunities against specific criteria and are taught to analyse their performances to draw out areas of strength and next steps.
Music lessons are monitored by subject and senior leaders and curriculum leads from Sing Education, using a variety of strategies such as lesson observations, staff discussion and regular ‘Pupil Voice’ surveys. Feedback is used to inform improvements in the implementation of music.
Recordings of the children are kept to monitor the progression of skills across the children’s academic career, giving pupils the chance to display their musicianship skills and understanding of the key musical elements through demonstration and discussion. Children are able to talk about what music means to them, culturally and individually. They understand with increasing confidence, the cultural impact of music on the world around them and the role that their own culture has contributed to this.
Children will go on to the next stage of education with detailed and foundational knowledge so that they are able to pursue music in the future.
For more detailed information about music learning in each year group, take a look at our music subject overview here: Music at Springfield.docx