Children’s wellbeing and mental health are at the heart of our school ethos; we believe that music lifts the spirits and allows children to express themselves in exciting ways, improving their confidence and allowing them to make a positive impression on the audiences they perform to. Our music curriculum is inclusive, enabling all to take part, though particularly appealing to auditory learners. Children are also able to access different musical genres and cultures, and they can practise valuable life skills such as teamwork, listening skills and having the confidence to present in front of others, contributing to their cultural capital.
Music has historically always been a core part of the identity of Creswell Junior School. Our children have always been praised for their energetic musical performances. We use a mixture of class teaching and external tuition to enable our children to access a wide variety of musical instruction. All pupils have the opportunity to learn an instrument, take part in a Young Voices concert and perform as a whole school twice a year in concerts, as well as opting to join the school choir and perform in concerts and competitions as part of a smaller group.
Our music curriculum draws on a range of sources and musical genres, including music from different cultures, to allow children to build on their knowledge and skills year on year. The use of musical vocabulary throughout the year groups also reinforces children’s musical understanding. Children’s performances progress from classrooms, to the hall, to a stadium seating thousands of people! This allows children who excel in music to shine and also take advantage of solo performance opportunities either in class or as part of wider school performances.
In order to implement our intent, we use the Charanga website to deliver the music curriculum. Charanga is a scheme of work which works in line with the National Curriculum, offering a topic-based approach to support children’s learning in music. The scheme follows progression plan both within each individual year group, and throughout Years 3-6, which ensures progressive knowledge of performing, understanding and appreciating music. Charanga uses many music styles from a variety of historical periods and countries of origin. Lessons are based on listening and appraisal activities, pulse, pitch and rhythm games, singing, playing instruments, composing, improvisation and performing. Children learn to sing and use instruments in their performances, including using glockenspiels to play along to musical notation. Lessons are differentiated through content, delivery and outcome, so that the needs of all pupils are able to be met. Teachers make informal judgements as they observe pupils during lessons and give oral feedback as necessary to inform future progress. Children are also encouraged to make judgements about how they can improve their own work through appraisal activities.
Alongside the Charanga scheme, our children have opportunities for whole school and class enrichment, such as participation in the Young Voices concerts and whole school productions. We offer specialist instrument tuition in Year 4 (ukulele) and are able to offer peripatetic music lessons through the Derbyshire Music Hub. A love of music performing and appreciating music is encouraged and promoted throughout the school. We offer children the opportunity to take part in a musical theatre club weekly, after school. Each week, pupils take part in a whole school singing assembly. A variety of different genres are sung, and children are given an opportunity to sing and perform together.
The impact of our Music curriculum is that children will be given the tools to discover the areas of music learning that they feel are personal strengths, such as listening, composing or performing, and will also be able to decide on areas that they would like to improve upon. They will be able to decide upon and share their thoughts, opinions and ideas about a variety of musical styles. They will also develop a greater understanding of music from different cultures and historical periods. Children will progress along their own path of musical knowledge and skills, relative to their individual starting point and progression within each year group. The opportunities that we provide beyond our Charanga Music curriculum, such as Young Voices concerts, instrumental tuition, school performances and after school clubs, mean that those with a particular interest in, or aptitude for music, will be able to extend their education and acquire knowledge and skills that they can continue to develop through their lives.