Subject Leader: Mrs Blackburn
‘Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of all garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.’
Matthew 13 vs.31-32
Our entire curriculum, including Music, is underpinned by the ‘Parable of the Mustard Seed’ and summarised by our motto:
Together may we give our children: roots to grow and wings to fly.
We are dedicated to providing an enriching and comprehensive music education that instils a lifelong passion for music in our students. Our music curriculum is carefully crafted to foster creativity, nurture talent, and develop a deep understanding of music across various cultures and genres. We aim to empower every student to express themselves through music, building their confidence, teamwork, and self-expression.
Our intent is to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and cultural awareness necessary to appreciate and engage with music in a meaningful way. We aspire to cultivate well-rounded musicians who can sing, play, compose, and perform with proficiency and enthusiasm. Through our music curriculum, we seek to instil in our students a sense of curiosity, an appreciation for diverse musical traditions, and the ability to connect emotionally with music.
Aligned with the Development Matters and the Model Music Curriculum, our curriculum is designed to provide a sequential and coherent music education. It aims to ensure that every student, regardless of background or prior experience, has access to a rich and varied musical education. We believe that music is an essential part of a well-rounded education, contributing to students’ intellectual, emotional, and social development.
To realise our music curriculum’s intent, we have partnered with Sing Education, a specialist provider of music education. Our curriculum is thoughtfully structured with half-termly units, each building upon the foundation of prior learning while introducing new concepts and challenges. This scaffolded approach ensures a logical progression of skills and knowledge, enabling students to consolidate, expand, and refine their musical abilities. The Kodaly method, integral to our curriculum, ensures that musical concepts are presented systematically and aligned with students’ prior experiences. Our specialist music teachers facilitate lessons that are child-centred, inclusive, and foster a love for singing. These lessons are enriched with high-quality resources, instruments, and dedicated spaces for music within our school.
Regular performances and recordings at the end of each half term provide students with opportunities to showcase their musical growth and articulate their learning journey. We also offer extracurricular activities, such as after-school music clubs and singing assemblies, to further immerse students in the joy of music.
Through our comprehensive music curriculum, we aim to nurture confident, skilled, and culturally aware musicians who are well-prepared for a lifelong journey of musical exploration and expression. Our curriculum aligns with the Model Music Curriculum’s principles, ensuring that students receive a high-quality, balanced, and inclusive music education.
Singing skills– Children will be taught to sing a wide ranging variety of songs and to use their voices expressively. A singing culture is well established and nurtured within the school, children sing daily in collective worship and our KS2 children can join our school choir who perform regularly at special events such as Harvest, Christmas Services and Leavers Services. There are also opportunities to perform in the community with events such as carol singing at Middleton Lodge and attending the Big Sing at The Sage Gateshead.
Instrumental skills – Children have the opportunity to play both tuned and un-tuned instruments and rehearse and perform with others, with an awareness of audience. We have a ‘music ensemble’ after school activity which cultivates and nurtures instrumental skills further.
Composing skills– Children create musical patterns and are shown how to explore, select and organise musical ideas, recording these in a variety of ways, (e.g: pictorial score, by video or using notation).
Appraising skills– Children are given the opportunity to explore and explain their own ideas and feelings about music, using music, dance, expressive language and musical vocabulary. They analyse and compare sounds and are confident at suggesting improvements for their own work and that of others.
Listening and applying knowledge and understanding– Children are able to listen with concentration and to internalise and recall sounds. They will learn that time and place can influence the way music is created, performed and heard, that music is produced in different ways and recorded in a variety of ways too.
Children in Early Years experience music across the areas of learning. They are taught to see, hear, perform and participate in a variety of nursery rhymes, songs, music-making and dance through the ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ area of learning. In Reception, children are given opportunities to experiment with ways of changing sound and develop an understanding of pulse rhythm and pitch through the Charanga scheme of lessons.
We believe a love of and appreciation of music gained in childhood lasts a lifetime and that making music with others is a social, joyful and spiritual experience. We therefore, encourage children to understand and create music but above all, to find enjoyment within this particular curriculum area.
Children are encouraged to express themselves in creative ways. Drama and Music workshops are often used to support work in Literacy. Our school productions are memorable moments of the school year. Each year group has the opportunity to perform in these with: Nativity in EYFS and KS1; a Spring performance for Years 3 and 4 and the Summer musical for Years 5 and 6. We also have regular Musical concerts to showcase our music ensemble and choir. The essentials of performing to an audience are showcased in these performances and it is always wonderful to watch the children’s musical development during the rehearsals.
We also allow opportunities for children who wish to learn a musical instrument and have visiting peripatetic music teachers who come on site to teach piano, violin, guitar etc. They can choose individual or group lessons, which allow more children to access specialist teaching.
In order for music education to be accessible and inclusive for all, teaching need to anticipate potential barriers for individual learners and consider ways of minimising these to ensure participation. For some learners, music can be a medium to break down barriers that may exist in other curriculum subjects. The nature of the subject allows freedom and flexibility in musical expression, preferences and performance. For example in Key stage 1, carefully selecting instruments ensures that all learners can access this element of the curriculum and be successful at it. Also, correct terminology can be used, but there are ways of simplifying this, using pictorial or visual aids to support understanding. An environment which is inclusive and broad in its appreciation of different musical interests and skills should also be a place where there is freedom to take risks and make mistakes. By modelling creative processes and creating an atmosphere which celebrates participation over perfection, you can help learners of all abilities to understand that musical endeavour of all sorts should be appreciated and supported.
The impact of this Music curriculum will lead to good progress over time across key stages relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. Our Music curriculum will foster a love and increasing enthusiasm for the subject amongst our children, and a potential for life-long musical study.
For more information regarding our Music curriculum (including our curriculum map and key procedures), please click on the ‘Useful Documents’ links below.
Similarly, under ‘Useful Links’, you can find more information regarding supplementary resources and other useful websites.
BBC Ten Pieces – An excellent resource bank for listening and appraising activities.
Bring the Noise – Aimed at Early Years and Key Stage 1.