At AGPS, it is our intention that our Music curriculum ensures that the National Curriculum requirements are not only met, but children receive a broad and rich learning experience. Music is a universal language and one of the highest forms of creativity. It is our vision to equip our pupils with key skills, knowledge and vocabulary to enable them in their own creativity.
Our curriculum is based on the DfE’s Model Music Curriculum and supported by the use of Charanga. Our curriculum drivers (possibilities, diversity and community) are woven into our Music curriculum and are planned for through enrichment and child led learning opportunities, providing our pupils with a rich and broad cultural capital.
It is our aim for children to build upon skills and knowledge gained from foundation stage through to year 6 and to incorporate musicality through our curriculum as a part of our ‘Create’ project and also in half-termly blocks throughout the year.
Areas of Knowledge
We know that, in order to become successful musicians, pupils must use both their conscious and unconscious minds, with the latter being developed by learning and experience. Therefore, the following areas of knowledge have been considered in the design of our music curriculum:
Tacit knowledge refers to the knowledge gained through experience that is often difficult to put into words.
E.g. An awareness that the opening of Schubert’s ‘Erlkönig’ is tense and dramatic, even without understanding the text or knowing about minor keys and triplet rhythms.
Procedural knowledge is the knowledge exercised in the performance of a task.
E.g. Well-developed competence in creating drum grooves.
Declarative knowledge refers to facts or information stored in the memory.
Factual knowledge about eras, styles, composers or performers, as stated in a written essay about musical culture.
We also know that progress in music requires pupils to progress musically across 3 key concepts that interrelate in musicianship.
- Competence in controlling sound (instrumental, vocal or with music technology)
- Use of a communication system, such as staff notation or guitar tab
- Knowledge of the musical elements/interrelated dimensions of music
- Knowledge of the components of composition
- Musical quality
- Musical creativity
- Knowledge of musical meaning across the world and time
Equip – In-line with the Model Music Curriculum, we will equip children with the necessary skills to sing, play instruments, listen and appreciate music and create their own music. We will plan the contents of the music curriculum and resource accordingly to meet the needs of all children providing pupils with the skills and knowledge to fulfil their potential. Children will listen, perform, compose and learn about the history of music.
Embed – Through high-quality teaching supported by the Nottinghamshire Music Hub and as a part of our ‘Create’ projects, children will gain confidence embedding key basic skills and broadening their knowledge. Teachers know what has come before and what will come next and use this to recap and revisit key knowledge, vocabulary and skills to embed these in the children’s long-term memory.
Extend – We aim to ensure challenge for all through breadth of learning in Music. Aim High from starting points maximizing learning opportunities for all children.
Enrich – We are proud of our music enrichment program at Abbey Gates which is outlined below. Children have a wealth of opportunities to showcase talents through concerts and performances both within school and around the community.
At Abbey Gates we believe that nothing has been learnt until it is in your long-term memory and that memory is the residue of thought. All teaching staff have access to high quality resources needed and are able to provide children with music lessons that enables pupils to revisit previous skills and build upon their knowledge and understanding.
Sequences of lessons are planned using progression mapping within and across year groups from EYFS through to year 6 ensuring progression for all. In years 1 – 6, pupils receive weekly teaching through our Tuneful Tuesday sessions and music is also taught in half-termly blocks. We have an even stronger focus on the learning and application of Music during the ‘Create’ term. During their ‘Create’ project pupils are asked a ‘Big Question’ which will support them to broaden their thinking through questioning about The Arts including music. Fortnightly singing assemblies give opportunities to further embed music learning with the music lead.
Sequences of lessons are planned for using progression mapping within and across year groups (based on the Model Music Curriculum. Teachers plan for equipping children with sticky knowledge and key skills and Charanga is available as a tool to support this teaching. Opportunities for cross curricular music are also embedded – for example in PE, music is used in dance. Opportunities are provided to explore diversity through learning focusing on different cultures. Some of our music learning is not taught in specific lessons but rather it is repeatedly revisited across year groups. Examples of this type of longitudinal learning are: Listening & appraising and using voices expressively. Through our weekly ‘Tuneful Tuesday’ sessions, children are exposed to a variety of genres and music through history and then explore their opinions about the music.
Children at Abbey Gates have access to a wide range of enrichment opportunities. Every year, all children have the opportunity to perform in their phase when we present school performances to an audience. KS1 and FS perform in the autumn term and LKS2 in the spring term and UKS2 in the summer term. Children in KS2 have the opportunity to join the school choir and to peripatetic instrumental teaching provided by NMT. Children in KS1 have the opportunity to learn the recorder. Children in Y5 take part in a free term of instrumental tuition, enabling every pupil to have the opportunity to learn an instrument. There are many opportunities to perform in the community, for example, singing the Summer/Christmas Fayres, at the annual Remembrance Event and at the St Peter’s Nativity (along with many more).
Our own Y5/6 instrumentalists play in assemblies, giving children the opportunity to listen to live music weekly. Children also have opportunities to watch others perform and to perform with pupils from other schools, for example as part of the Joseph Whitaker family of schools Sing Up event.
The impact of our Music offer is measured through our monitoring cycle. This includes learning walks, pupil voice, planning scrutiny and curriculum intent reviews. Once reviewed the subject team feeds their findings into our action plan for improvement which teachers from each phase then take back to their teams for action. Through POP (Proof of Progress) tasks and giving each class the opportunity to perform termly in assembly, we assess and track Music against our sequencing documents, ensuring children maintain a good knowledge, skills and understanding. In assessing we are looking for sustained mastery, inspired learners and children who are fulfilling their potential whilst having a good sense of enjoyment and achievement.