Intent and rationale
The intention of the music curriculum at Devoran is for children to take an active part in music making in a variety of ways. They will hone practical skills in using their voices, as well as instruments and technology to create and perform music. We want to inspire an interest and
curiosity in a range of musical styles and traditions, and to use music as a way to learn about other cultures. Through exposure to and appraisal of a broad range of musical genres, we endeavour to inspire children to find music that moves them, that they will continue to take joy from throughout their lives, as their tastes change and mature. Children will also learn the fundamental elements, or interrelated dimension of music, recognise how different musicians use them to create different effects, and how they can use these themselves to perform, improvise and compose.
We will build the children’s knowledge and skills in music to enable them to take part in performances and appreciate different aspects of the music they hear as they get older. We will encourage them to form opinions about their tastes in music, alongside an awareness of different styles and traditions from different times and places.
At all stages of their primary education, children learn to apply their knowledge in practical music-making activities. In key stage two, children have whole class instrumental lessons with specialist teachers from Services for Education. These teachers integrate skills in playing, singing, listening, appraisal, reading notation, improvisation and composition through the teaching of their specific instrument. In all years, children learn the recorder and glockenspiel.
Colleen Covey continues with recorder lessons before school and at lunchtimes for Key Stages 1 and 2. We also offer peripatetic music teaching throughout the week, with Rock Steady Music School, recorders, guitar, keyboards and woodwind.
Skills in singing are developed from Years Foundation to Year 6 through weekly singing assemblies. Singing as part of a large group is beneficial for children’s wellbeing, but children also develop skills their listening skills, and develop the skill of reading music, during these sessions. Children who really love singing in years 3-6 also have the opportunity to take part in the school choir, taught by Jules Varnish. The choir takes part in several external performances throughout the year.
In other year groups, children continue to build on their skills in playing, singing, listening, appraisal, improvisation and composition through lessons taught using the Charanga units of work. Charanga is a scheme of work, which offers a topic-based approach to support children’s learning in music. A steady progression plan has been built into Charanga, both within each year and from one year to the next, ensuring consistent musical development.
By using Charanga as the basis of Music teaching at Devoran, we can ensure that they are fulfilling the aims for musical learning stated in the National Curriculum.
Charanga includes many examples of music styles and genres from different times and places.
These are explored through the language of music via active listening, performing and composing activities, which enable understanding of the context and genre. It provides exploration into music technology and also provides a classroom-based, participatory and inclusive approach to music learning. It has also provided some superb teaching during lockdown with it’s own home hub.
Throughout the scheme, children are actively involved in using and developing their singing voices, using body percussion and whole body actions, and learning to handle and play classroom instruments effectively to create and express their own and others’ music. Through a range of whole class, group and individual activities, children have opportunities to explore sounds, listen actively, compose and perform.
Progression through the units of work in Charanga reinforces knowledge and use of the interrelated dimensions of music, so that awareness of these is built upon each year as the children move up through the school.