Music is a colourful part of life at Grappenhall Heys, where children and staff embrace opportunities to communicate their ideas and feelings in a musical way. Access to a range of quality resources, from simple untuned percussion to descant recorders in KS2, ensures the children develop the musical vocabulary and skills that progresses their ability to compose and play music. Song choices across the year groups enable children to learn about the structure and organisation of music. Through listening and appraising,children are inspired by the work of musicians, from traditional classical composers through to modern day composers. Children are actively encouraged to develop connections with traditions in other cultures through experiences such as Samba Drumming in Year 4.
Music provides a strong source of inspiration across the curriculum to affirm ideas, which drive the children’s knowledge. An example is the understanding of beat and rhythm in KS1, which supports mathematical concepts and physical education such as time and movement expression. Exploring the work of Polish Composer Grazyna Bacewiczin Year 6 enables the children to develop knowledge of challenges and barriers in World War Two. The storytelling through music at our school and the richness of sounds the children experience in the school environment will develop an innate sense of confidence to be creative.
Music is a wonderful way to celebrate collectively as a school community by communicating important messages through songs and instruments. Within our community, there are musical role models that inspire: staff, children, parents and members of the local community are brought together through music. The talent show, the infant musical festival, St Matthew’s Christmas Tree Festival and Young Voices are examples in the school calendar where the children’s commitment and exceptional abilities are celebrated.
We believe that all children should...
In all year groups, Music will be taught through a variety or strategies:
- Exposition (demonstration, explanation and instruction) by the teacher to the class, groups or individuals
- Practical activity and related discussion
- Co-operative group work
- Consolidation and practice of fundamental skills
- Opportunity to discuss and reflect on their work through a plenary and self-evaluations
- Opportunity to display skills learned to the class/ whole school/ wider audience ( e.g. at performances such as the Primary Arts Network evening)
What do we do to make Music special?Our pupils and staff love Music and we work hard to promote Music at Grappenhall Heys. In addition to weekly music lessons with a music specialist, children are provided with ample opportunity to perform songs and musical compositions in class lessons and weekly assemblies, perform at special assemblies such as the Mothers' Day Assembly, take part in a larger scale productions, e.g. the annual summer show (KS2) or Nativity performance (EYFS/KS1), take part in performances with other schools, e.g. Infant Music Festival (KS1) or Young Voices (KS2) at the Manchester Arena and experience professional performances/workshops with professional musicians, e.g. Key Strings/Presto Music. There are also opportunities throughout the year to take part in after school clubs, such as Choir.
NATIONAL CURRICULUM OUTLINE
In Early Years, the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Curriculum and Development Matters document are used to plan and assess from. In the Foundation Stage, pupils experience a wide range of activities linked to Music. Activities are planned for children to play, explore, actively learn and develop their thinking skills in Music through focused, continuous and enhanced provision. The Early Learning Goal at the end of EYFS is for children to 'sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them.'
In Key Stage 1 and 2, in line with the National Curriculum, lessons are planned and taught to ensure coverage of the programme of study.
Pupils are taught all elements of the Music curriculum:
- To perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
- To learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
- To understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through their inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notationsChildren in KS2 are also taught to play the recorder and read music notation.
Parents also have the option to purchase individual or small group instrumental lessons for their child in guitar, keyboard, piano or drums through Halton & Warrington Music Support Service (HWMSS). For further details, please speak to the school office.
Why is Music so important?
We believe that Music is important because it can play a significant part in personal development, promoting citizenship alongside spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
We believe Music encourages the development of:
- Social and personal values (self-esteem, communication, co-operation)
- Intellectual and cognitive skills (critical awareness, discrimination, risk taking, reflection)
- Creative and use of imagination
fine motor skills, co-ordination and control
- An awareness and appreciation of a wider range of cultural traditions
Music is character building, teaching children the value of good choices, behaviours and attitudes through their learning!
How is my child assessed?
Assessment of pupils' attainment in Music is a continuous process and is integral to the teaching and learning cycle.
Alongside regular informal assessments, where teachers note children who are doing exceptionally well or requiring support to grasp learning objectives, teachers record pupils’ progress termly against year group specific Music targets at the end of a unit of work.
In the Early Years on-going assessment is used; children's progress is clearly marked and tracked through observations and in children’s individual trackers.
How does the school meet my child’s needs in Music?
All Music lessons are differentiated to take account of individual children's knowledge, skills and confidence in the subject, and support or challenge for children given as appropriate. For children who have already developed their musical skills to a high level, opportunities are provided to develop and apply knowledge and skills, e.g. children who are confident and able singers will be used to lead part-singing in class lessons and assemblies, children who are learning instruments will be encouraged to perform on their instrument to the class/whole school, children who are competent musicians will be used, for example, to lead or accompany groups or whole class performances.
How can I support my child at home?
We welcome parental support to secure musical knowledge and skills in our pupils, and it doesn't have to be difficult! Have music playing in the home - any and all music is fine. Try a variety of styles: classical, jazz, pop, the choice is endless... Play your favourite music, and encourage your child to select and listen to their favourite music too. Actively listen to the music and discuss it. Ask lots of questions: Do you like the music? Why? How does it make your feel? Why do you think that is? Talking about the music really develops an awareness of it. Sing and dance; it doesn't matter how well you sing or dance personally, just doing it together is a fun way for you and your child to spend time together whilst developing an awareness of beat and rhythm. If you play an instrument, play it for your child. It doesn't matter how well you do it, just showing them how you do it is a valuable experience.
Please contact Mrs Tyson through the school office if you have any questions.