Miss A. Martin-Mills
My name is Miss Martin-Mills and I am the subject lead for Music at Shobnall Primary School. I have always had a love for music and it has played a fundamental roll within my life for as long as I can remember! I love inspiring others to be passionate about music and showing people how music can play a role in everything we do.
It was my vision to develop a music curriculum that allowed prior knowledge to be built upon and enable the children to have a varied and deep understanding of a variety of different genres of music. I believe that it is vital that our music curriculum not only teaches the children the fundamental music skills, but also allows them to understand the deeper meaning of music throughout the centuries.
We carefully planned the music curriculum at Shobnall Primary School and it now allows children to experience contrasting genres of music sequentially throughout the school year. We felt it was important for each genre/topic to be taught within the same term across the year groups to enhance collaborative opportunities across the school, as music is all about collaboration! We have taken the key content from the National Curriculum, as well as the Milestones and Threshold Concepts from the Essentials curriculum, to ensure that the children are being exposed to the four key elements of music (composition, transcription, performance and description) every term as well as developing a widening repertoire of music.
The curriculum teaches the genres sequentially across the whole school at the same time. This allows for a seamless progression of musical skills, terminology and repertoire of music to be developed as the children are able to return to their long term memory to recall what they already know about the genre. They are then able to build upon that prior knowledge year by year through the progression of skills and terminology that they are introduced to, resulting in a deepening of their understanding of that genre. It gives me a great sense of pride to see the children appreciating the same genre of music across of wide range of ages and the deepening of their understanding as they move through the academy.
At Shobnall Primary School, our vision is for our pupils to receive a high-quality music education which engages and inspires pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians. Our children will display an increase in their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. They will develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon. They have a passion for and commitment to a diverse range of musical activities!
Aims and Goals
These are the ‘Principles of Outstanding Music’ at Shobnall Primary School. They were devised and agreed by the children and staff in November 2019, informed by the way we feel that Music should be taught across the School.
Principle 1: Children are confident and enjoy performance and understand that music is created to be performed.
Principle 2: Children take joy in creating music. They appreciate, understand and implement the different techniques used when composing a piece of music using a variety of instruments.
Principle 3: Teachers ensure children have a rapidly widening repertoire which they use to create original, imaginative, fluent and distinctive composing and performance work.
Principle 4: Children confidently use varying forms of notation to transcribe melodies.
Principle 5: Children understand that compositions need to be understood by others and that there are techniques (transcription) and a language for communicating them.
Principle 6: Through the children’s appreciation of different genres of music they are able to appraise and describe music.
Principle 7: Teachers introduce children to a range of age-appropriate musical vocabulary and children use this confidently.
Principle 8: The progression of musical subject content and skills is carefully planned for and clearly evident.
At Shobnall Primary School, we deliver a music curriculum that is creative, engaging, challenging and progressive, all centered on expanding our children’s repertoire and love of music. We aim to facilitate opportunities for the children to become high quality musicians who appreciate multiple genres of music, and most importantly, enjoy all that music has to offer.
There are four key aspects of musical learning and development: Hearing and Listening; Vocalising and Singing; Moving and Dancing; Exploring and Playing. It can be seen within the four aspects how music threads through all areas of learning and development. Music can be a way of exploring, communicating and responding to experience. Making music with others can be a social experience, this interaction with others, whether this be with one other person or a group, is personal to each individual and is often an expression of feelings. All vocal communication is comprised of musical elements such as pitch, rhythm and timbre, demonstrating that musicality is an intrinsic part of being human. Music should be seen as a core component of children’s learning and should be shared with young children to ensure they have broad, balanced and rounded experiences in early childhood and beyond.
KS1 and KS2
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.
This is facilitated through our bespoke music scheme. As mentioned previously, the same topic is taught within all year groups within the same term. The topics are as follows:
Autumn 1: Where did it all begin? The voice and singing!
Autumn 2: Classical
Spring 1: Jazz and Blue
Spring 2: World Music
Summer 1: Soundtrack, stage and screen.
Summer 2: Popular/ Where is music going?
Within each topic, each year group focuses on a different aspect of that genre. The skills learnt from the previous year are built upon, so that by Year 6 the children have a comprehensive understanding of 6 of the key genres of music.
The lessons are designed to be interactive, engaging and allow opportunities for the four key elements to be explored within every genre (composition, transcription, performance and description). Our bespoke music scheme enables the children to see the progress they are making and allows them to take ownership and pride of their learning.
At Shobnall Primary School we all agree that the effective assessment of children’s learning helps us to ensure that each child makes good or better progress so that ‘Together We Achieve Our Best.’ This section therefore outlines the various assessment methods and practices that we use to monitor pupil progress and attainment in music at Shobnall Primary School, and also ensure that the activities that we plan for our children are suitably matched to their ability and level of development.
Formative Assessment (AfL): At the beginning of each project, a piece of music from the genre the children are exploring is played. From this the children complete a KWL exercise as a class to ascertain what prior knowledge they already have, and what they would like to learn. This information is used by class teachers to support the planning and teaching within each new genre. The piece of music is then played again at the end of the project to ascertain how much new knowledge and vocabulary each child has learnt.
In every lesson, the children are also given feedback to help them achieve their best. This may be in the form of written marking or through discussions with members of staff. What’s more, each term the children have the opportunity to partake in a one-to-one conference with their teacher, during which they are able to talk in detail about progress and attainment in all aspects of the curriculum.
Summative Assessment: By the end of each genre, all of the children at Shobnall Primary School should show an improved understanding of the National Curriculum content that has been taught and learned. This is often showcased in a classroom performance of a piece of music they have created related to the genre they are learning about.
Music is a versatile subject, which can be used to enhance all areas of the curriculum. From the very beginning of a child’s education, music is used to learn nursery rhymes and the alphabet, as we move through the school, a ‘King George – Horrible Histories’ song enables children to have a deeper understanding of the characteristics of the different King Georges that ruled the United Kingdom. At Shobnall Primary School we aim to create engaging and exciting curriculums across all subjects, and the use of music is one way that we facilitate this, to make the childrens learning as exciting and memorable as possible.
Visits and Enrichment
At Shobnall Primary School we place great importance on visits and enrichment experiences to support the children’s understanding of and love from music. These visits and visitors, which provide valuable opportunities for learning through first-hand experience, are therefore an integral part of the curriculum and allow our children to make valuable connections between what they have learned in class and their first hand experiences in the real-world.
Examples of some of the fantastic musical opportunities we provide for our children include:
- Trips to the pantomime
- Participation in the Young Voices concert (and club)
- Participation in seasonal concerts (i.e. Christmas Concerts)
- Live music assemblies
- Peripatetic music teachers
- Weekly singing assemblies
- Talent Shows
- KS2 participation in Brewhouse Musical Performances
- EYFS/ KS1 Nativities
- Year Group Class Assemblies
At Shobnall Primary School we believe that the view of every pupil is important to ensure that we provide the best education possible. Here is a selection of pupil voice collected during the 2019/20 academic year, and in some cases, what we are doing / have done to improve the music education that we provide.
Nursery… “I sang Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star in the Nativity”
Reception… “We made robot music – it was funny!”
Year 1… “Singing assemblies are my favourite”
Year 2…“I love using all the instruments in school to make music”
Year 3… “I am excited by music lessons because I get to learn new things”
Year 4… “When Mrs Harding came in and showed us all of the musical instruments – it was amazing”
Year 5…“Young Voices is my favourite time of year!”
Year 6… “I enjoy music because I can express myself”
Documents and Useful Links
Please see below a selection of documents that relate to the intent, implementation, and impact of music teaching and learning at Shobnall Primary School. If you require any additional information relating to this subject, then please contact the subject leader, Miss Martin-Mills, via the school office. Click on the links below for useful resources too!