At The Lea, we encourage every one of our children to become a musician, engage with and enjoy music. We provide a broad and enjoyable experience for children who learn to listen to, appreciate, perform, create, critique and evaluate a variety of pieces of music. Singing is a key vehicle to ensure that all children can engage in making music together. Children support each other and improve their own and others’ performances in smaller projects but also in larger musical productions; children experience being a part of something big and wonderful.
At The Lea we believe that music is for everyone and is an important part of our everyday lives. It should be an integral part of every child’s learning journey at school, playing a part in their overall creative and personal, social and emotional development.
We believe that the enjoyment of music is something which all children carry through with them into adulthood, whether as listeners and observers or at any level of participation. There are many cross-curriculum benefits, such as increased concentration, listening skills, self-confidence, and general co-ordination. Our aim is for our pupils to be able to express their feelings through music and to have the opportunity to use music to lead mentally healthy lives, both now in the future.
We aim to enable every child to experience a rich, varied and stimulating musical curriculum through active listening, composing and performing. Children are encouraged to enjoy, value and respect the music of others, regardless of style, historical period, genres or cultural origin; all music making is valued. We provide opportunities for progression in musical knowledge, skills and understanding based on the requirements of the Curriculum.
Music is mainly taught using the online scheme Charanga. This is supplemented further with units from the BBC Ten Pieces website to add more variety. We have chosen to follow the Charanga Music scheme of work because it offers a clear programme of study which meets our vision and enables pupils to meet the National Curriculum end of key stage attainment targets.
We enable children to understand musical concepts through a repetition-based approach to learning. Learning about the same musical concept through different musical activities enables a more secure, deeper learning and mastery of musical skills. Musical teaching and learning is not linear. The strands of musical learning are part of a learning spiral. Over time, children both develop new musical skills and concepts, and re-visit established musical skills and concepts with increasing complexity.
We also take part in the Hertfordshire Wider Opportunities scheme with all children learning to play the violin in year 3. After this, many children continue with individual or group violin lessons taught by the same teacher. We also provide piano and other instrumental lessons from peripatetic teachers. These are popular provisions and add to the music experience at The Lea.
Assembly times are used to support and extend the music curriculum both through singing and listening to music. KS1 and KS2 have weekly singing assemblies using a variety of secular and religious songs. The singing of nursery rhymes and listening to music is an integral part of the Early Years provision.
As part of our enrichment, we take part in various concerts including the Rotary Carol Concert, Spring Festival, and KS1 Music Festival as part of Harpenden Schools Music Association. We also participate in other large-scale concerts such as the Hertfordshire Royal Albert Hall Gala Concert and the Young Voices O2 concerts.
You can find more information about the BBC Ten Pieces in the following link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/ten-pieces
Musical elements are explained well with examples and activities at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zwxhfg8
The national curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:
- perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
- learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
- understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.