Subject Leader: Mr Gray
The National Curriculum (2014) and the Model Music Curriculum (2021) sees Music as a fluid subject and can be incorporated across the curriculum and in whole school collaborative times. There are 4 elements to teaching music, these are: compose, describe, transcribe and perform. All 4 of these elements are taught through practical exploration and discussion in music lessons.
Music at Caedmon
Music at Caedmon is engaging and fun and the Gateshead Music Service supports us every week to teach musical instruments to our children. Furthermore, we have regular school productions and performances which provides pupils with plenty opportunities to perform in front of an audience.
The intent of Music at Caedmon is to provide children with opportunities to learn, develop and play a range of different instruments. Children use their voices and play musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression on a weekly basis every term. Children also develop their awareness of music composers, artists and the history of music through exploration of different cultural and traditional music styles.
Our children collectively perform on a regular basis as a school. Some of the collective performances include: singing assemblies, Christmas and end of year productions, year group class assemblies, harvest festivals and carol services. At Caedmon music is also embedded across our curriculum. We use music videos and lyrics in English lessons to develop empathy and story writing. In history we focus on topic related music and genre to explore invaders and settlers, Egyptians, Stone Age and many other different time periods. Music is used in PSHE assemblies; pupils sing as an ensemble a range of different music styles and then they can discuss what these lyrics might mean.
Caedmon works in collaboration with professionals in the industry from the Gateshead Music Service who provide excellent provision in instrument playing and vocal work. At Caedmon we try to create experiences for children to be surrounded by music outside of the classroom to so regular trips are booked by different year groups and we visit the pantomime on a yearly basis. The subject is consistently being enhanced through meetings with the music service to inspire children’s learning and focus on developing a musical school.
After discussions with Caedmon pupils about their views of music lessons students said that they enjoyed music lessons because they were fun and engaging. The pupils enjoyed the practical side of music and enjoyed the opportunity to develop their skills learning how to play a range of instruments. Pupils also expressed that they enjoyed listening and watching a range of performances that involved musical elements within them. They really enjoy visiting the theatre to see the yearly pantomime and they enjoy watching concerts and theatre shows. They expressed that they would like to visit more theatres and music venues to listen to a range of music.
“Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity.”
Music at Caedmon should be taught in a way to inspire and encourage all pupils to build upon their love of music, to enhance wellbeing and self-confidence and to enhance pupils’ musical abilities and talents.
Music National Curriculum Coverage
Key stage 1
Pupils should be taught to:
Key stage 2
Pupils should be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.
Pupils should be taught to:
Music lessons at Caedmon are split into four main sections: compose, describe, transcribe and perform. These are taught through exploration of instrumental tuition (provided by the Gateshead Music Service), music lessons (Charanga scheme of music – two units) and voice.
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 a scheme of work, we can ensure that they are fulfilling the aims for musical learning stated in the National Curriculum.
The expectation is that teachers provide two units of music lessons using the charanga musical school’s scheme. The scheme focuses on developing confidence in the four elements of music identified at Caedmon. Pupils are able to explore these through active listening opportunities, performance and composition. Charanga music lessons encourage kinaesthetic and auditory opportunities for children to describe, listen to and create a range of music with different styles and genres from different times and places. Charanga uses ICT to support teachers in implementing music lessons to a high standard. Teachers use their judgments to differentiate lessons using bronze, silver and gold progression steps within the scheme which supports an inclusive teaching practice and all pupils are able to receive a high-quality teaching experience.
At Caedmon we work closely with the Gateshead Music Service who help support schools in providing high quality music experiences for young people. These include the opportunity to sing, play musical instruments and contribute to outstanding choral and ensemble performances such as the Big Sing. The Gateshead Music Service work with a wide range of external partners including The Sage Gateshead and the local Music Education Hub. The service is enhanced through its strong links to School Improvement and other Education Support and Curriculum Services within the Local Authority. The service enhances music curriculum through a range of high-quality additional inputs including imaginative first access programmes in primary schools, a requirement of the National Plan for Music Education.
The music coordinator corresponds with the Gateshead Music Service regularly to enhance and develop the implementation of lessons. At Caedmon we mainly use the music service to help us provide pupils with instrumental tuition. Every year group receives a terms worth of instrumental tuition from a professional practitioner within the service. In key stage one pupils develop their musical talents in percussions, lower key stage two they develop their talents in the glockenspiel and in upper key stage two the pupils develop ukulele practice. All practical instrumental lessons develop all four areas of the Caedmon focus areas derived from the National Curriculum. Pupils within year 4 are also given small group tuition in ukulele in order to prepare for the demands of the music curriculum in upper key stage two.
At Caedmon pupils regularly are involved in voice work and performances throughout the year. This includes our school holiday performances and end of year class assemblies. Teachers encourage singing in music lessons and pupils are able to develop confidence and self-esteem when practicing singing. This enhances the school community and ensemble and solo performances.
Through the Gateshead Music Service pupils have access to enhance their musical abilities by accessing borough-wide ensembles and also are invited for small group tuition within school.
We have collaborated with GemArts who have delivered composition and performance workshops for our older pupils about race and diversity. Our years 2, 3, 4 and 5 classes also have weekly singing workshops with the Pimlico Opera.
Assessment at Caedmon takes form of a summative yearly assessment using a traffic light system grid for each child to identify children working towards, meeting and working at greater depth. Pupils are assessed using teacher judgement but with the support of the Gateshead Music Service and music coordinator. Teachers use the National Curriculum program of study in order to assist with judgments. Teachers also evidence music lessons using pictures and videos in order to monitor progression and to consolidate their own judgments. Pupils use the Charanga knowledge organisers to self-assess their own music knowledge which enables a holistic approach to assessment.
Music is monitored by the subject leader throughout all year groups with the support of our music service practitioner using a variety of strategies such as, lesson observations, staff discussions and pupil interviews.
Music enables children to develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to children individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children are able to enjoy music in as many ways as they choose – either as listener, creator or performer. Children have the opportunity to discuss and share their own thoughts, opinions and ideas, acknowledging and respecting that these may vary and that this is positive.
At Caedmon we want our children to acquire the skills and confidence in their own musical abilities which they can develop further as they transition into secondary school. Music and creativity allows pupils to express themselves in a positive way which develops mental health and wellbeing. Due to pupils developing a love of learning from a young age many go onto further education within the music industry and performing arts.