At Springfield, we value music as a universal language and believe that all children can achieve musical excellence. Our ambitious and rich music curriculum aims to engage and inspire pupils to develop both a love of music and their skills as musicians. 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
At Springfield, we follow the Kapow music scheme. We have carefully selected this high-quality resource because it is designed to rigorously ensure children make progress in the technical, constructive and expressive components of the National Curriculum for Music. The Kapow scheme provides teachers with week-by-week lesson guidance and resources for each year group in the school and robust assessment mechanisms to evaluate children’s progress and next steps. It supports all the requirements of the National Curriculum for Music.
In the Early Years, music and movement 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.
As the children progress into Key Stage 1 and throughout Key Stage 2, children have a weekly music lesson. Children regularly engage in structured listening exercises to develop their aural discrimination and memory. They are exposed to a range of carefully selected pieces of music from different genres, periods, traditions and styles and familiarised with the words of some great composers such as Mendelssohn and Brahms. They are taught to recognise and understand how music is constructed using notes, scales, chords and keys.
Children are guided to understand how music is created, produced and communicated both with instruments and technology. They are taught to recognise and read musical notation. Children are also taught to create and compose their own music both independently and collaboratively using their technical and constructive knowledge to give their composition expressive meaning. All children are taught to learn a musical instrument. At Springfield, we have selected the ukulele as it provides opportunities for tuning and for playing independently, in ensemble groups of different sizes. It also provides a meaningful context for exploring tablature as a contrasting system for notation from the stave.
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.
At our school we are 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.
How we evaluate learning in music
Class teachers regularly assess 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.
For more detailed information about music learning in each year group, take a look at our music subject overview here: Music at Springfield