Purpose of Study:
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose and to listen with discrimination.
Aims: The national curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils:
At Grange Junior School, music is taught as a subject in its own right designed to ensure all pupils (including disadvantaged and SEND) can follow a clear ambitious progression to ensure skills, knowledge and understanding are built upon and secured across the key stage meeting the aims of the national curriculum. Music is taught following a clear progression across the key stage (using Hampshire Music Service’s model – pathway To Musical Independence) to ensure the dimensions and skills essential to our children’s musical development are taught moving them on from reliant to independent musicians. Music is also used to support and enrich other areas of the curriculum leading to high quality outcomes. Through music, children develop good behaviours for learning whilst developing positive relationships and respect for others. They develop a sense of personal identity and a sense of achievement whilst developing an understanding of commitment and focus. Through the teaching of music (in both mainstream lessons and extra curricula activities) Grange children learn about and take part in key relevant local and community events, developing a sense of place and relationship with the world. Music fosters children’s creativity, developing their subject knowledge alongside promoting communication and teamwork skills.
The music long term plan ensures a coherent, broad and balanced curriculum is offered across the Key Stage enabling all pupils – including those with SEND - to achieve. Units of work (medium term plans with accompanying assessment documents) are planned by the subject manager, often linking to other curriculum areas. Each unit of work ensures that there is progression in the key skills of singing, playing, rehearsing & performing, notating, listening & responding, and describing & discussing across the course of the year and the entirity of the keystage. Within this, there will be a focus on either singing or playing. Units of work are also planned so that at least two of the following dimensions are taught each half term so that all of them are taught over the course of the year: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure.
As a Hampshire school, Grange Junior School’s planning follows the Pathways to Musical Independence (a HMS initiative) which provides year specific National Curriculum guidance from YR through to Y6. This ensures full curriculum coverage, progression and continuity throughout the year and key stage.
As a school, we understand that The Pathways to Musical Independence were written in response to the National Curriculum. Their title reflects the fact that students are constantly developing their musical independence, moving steadily from reliance (copying) to independent music making - drawing on an increasingly rich range of strategies and knowledge - and this is taken account of in the planning process which takes the format of explore, deepen then apply (see medium term plans).
Units of work also ensure that knowledge and understanding of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions are developed during the children’s learning journeys. Staff development, informed by monitoring, ensures that teachers have good understanding of the key skills to enable them to deliver high quality lessons, leading to high quality outcomes, supported by Hampshire Music Service (for 4) and the music manager if required. Trips and special events also serve to widen children’s musical experiences which are sometimes embedded into their musical learning journeys. A planned yearly arts’ week – combining music and art- provides opportunity for the whole school to work collaboratively on an arts based theme, enriching the children’s overall experience. Children also have the opportunity to perform within school, the local area and across the county during their time at Grange Junior School related to both mainstream performances and extra-curricular (such as choir, L2M and peripetic performances) should COVID guidance allow.
All pupils – including those with SEND – achieve the best possible outcome. Pupils are provided with oral feedback during music lessons, detailing strengths and areas for development against the learning objectives and key skills and knowledge for the piece/unit of work. Planning can then be adapted as necessary for groups/individuals. At the end of a unit of work, children are assessed against the key skills, using the school’s agreed assessment following The Pathways to Musical Independence documents. Children have planned opportunities to share and perform to their families – including a Christmas production for upper school, a lower school nativity performance in our local church for lower school and a local music festival in Portsmouth (if COVID allows) - and a written report is provided annually. In addition to this, the music subject manager carries out regular monitoring in the form of book scrutiny and pupil conferencing. This information is used to establish the effectiveness of planning, teaching and learning for that term and provides points for further professional development within the subject, either on an individual, cohort or whole school level.