Music at Colden
Intent: what are we trying to achieve with our curriculum?
Our high-quality Music education seeks to engage and inspire children to develop a love of music, foster their creativity, develop their confidence to be able to perform, improvise and compose as well as improving their critical listening skills. Our Music curriculum not only provides children with the requisite cultural capital to prepare them for the next phase of their education, but also to support them in leading a fulfilling life. As well as bringing joy to people’s lives, it has been shown through evidence-based research that Music can have a profoundly positive impact on people’s cognitive abilities and their emotional and mental wellbeing.
Our Music curriculum reflects the National Curriculum as well as the needs of our local school community. By the end of their time at Colden, our Musicians will be able to:
· 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 interrelated dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notation.
Colden is an inclusive school. For those children with SEND and/or deemed ‘vulnerable’, adjustments are made based upon individual needs. These may be to the curriculum itself or to access arrangements. At the same time, the importance of fostering independence and developing the confidence and ability to meet appropriate challenges is understood and promoted.
Implementation: how do we deliver our curriculum?
We use the Charanga scheme of work as the basis for our curriculum. This has been carefully structured and sequenced so that the threads of the interrelated dimensions of music weave through the units to encourage the development of musical skills as the learning progresses through listening and appraising, differing musical activities (including creating and exploring) and performing. Colden takes an integrated, practical, exploratory and child-led approach to musical learning. Whilst all staff responsible for teaching Music at Colden are confident in this, the Charanga scheme supports specialists and non-specialists and so is a useful resource for all.
Due to our mixed age classes, the curriculum is structured in 2-yearly cycles in a spiral approach which allows for constant opportunities to recap on prior learning.
Teachers use the progression documents to ensure their planning and assessing is pitched so that an appropriate depth of learning takes place through school.
A range of untuned and tuned instruments are used in lessons. In Years 3-6, glockenspiels and recorders are used for whole class lessons during which children begin to learn about musical notation as well as practising how to improvise and compose.
Colden Musicians (when appropriate according to Government guidance) regularly perform at school and community events such as the Blackshaw Head Chapel Carol Service, the Y5-6 Summer Show and inter-school singing events. School-based concerts are also organised to allow children to share their achievements and progress with parents as well as giving them valuable experience of performing live.
In addition, the Calderdale Music Trust provide small group brass tuition to Year 5 children. Brass-playing has been a long-standing tradition at Colden. Following this opportunity to learn an instrument at no cost, children can then go on to join local brass bands and orchestras.
The Music Trust also provides lessons (on a private basis with parents) for a range of instruments at Colden, including violin, piano, flute and guitar.
As well as in Music lessons, music is also used throughout school to support children’s wellbeing – whether it is during mindfulness exercises, as a way of energising children or as a backdrop to children calmly walking into assemblies. This also increases the opportunities to open up the diverse world of music to children, from the Great Composers through to Polynesian flutes!
Colden recognises that some children in some areas, are operating at a significantly higher level than others in their class. Conversely, there are some children who will require adaptations in order for them to access the learning (for example some children with SEND). Teachers ensure that the correct level of challenge and adaptations are in place so that regardless of ability, all can achieve, make progress and enjoy their Music lessons.
Impact: what difference is our curriculum making to pupils?
Teachers use a ‘plan-do-check-review’ approach to assessing the impact of their lessons. They make use of the comprehensive support materials produced by Charanga to help them ensure that children are making appropriate progress and being effectively supported and challenged.
Leaders moderate teachers’ judgements to ensure that the Intent of our curriculum is having the desired Impact and that they have all they require in order to deliver a high quality Music education to the children at Colden.
The school is committed to providing equal opportunities for all, regardless of race, faith, gender or capability in all aspects of school. We promote self and mutual respect and a caring and non-judgmental attitude throughout the school.
Written January 2022
To be reviewed January 2024