Embracing Music at Cubbington C of E School
At Cubbington C. of E Primary School we aim to develop children’s interest, understanding and love of music that will last throughout their lives.
We provide an environment where lessons foster and develop the creative process, whilst providing a reference to what has been created by composers before.
We want children to know that the language of music has no geographical or time-related barriers, and that playing and singing music can bring together people of all races in a common activity. We introduce children to live and recorded music from a wide range of historical periods and cultures.
We encourage children to reflect on how music is structured, as well as how it can affect people’s moods, senses and spiritual quality of life.
We aim to give all children in the school opportunities to sing, compose and record their own music and to perform to audiences of fellow pupils, parents, friends and the wider community.
Elements of the music curriculum – Principles and Practice
Each musical project creates an opportunity to combine children’s understanding and skills, and to allow them to experience the elements of music ‘first hand’ in a practical way.
Through performing, listening and composing, we aim to develop children’s understanding and experience of the inter-related dimensions of music. For example:
· pitch and rhythm, using a variety of notation and patterns such as syncopation or ostinato;
· texture, through rounds or 2-part songs;
· dynamics and timbre, through composing multi-layered pieces and selecting appropriate instruments;
· and structure through listening and analysing and identifying building blocks of music, using the appropriate terminology.
We aim to encourage listening to the composition work of other children within the class or school and to encourage positive criticism. In listening to a wide range of recorded and live music wherever possible, we aim to widen children’s awareness of different instruments, styles and cultures. An extensive range of musical styles is played and introduced during assemblies.
Children are asked to actively listen for instrumentation, style, structure and purpose during music lessons, and they learn to describe these features using correct terminology. Links are also made between different genres.
Singing and Performing
We see singing as central to the music curriculum throughout the year. As a church school we celebrate the major Christian festivals of Christmas and Easter in song and also see these as community events where we are integral to the celebrations of the churches and local community.
Children have the opportunity to learn a range of instruments at Cubbington, sometimes performing in an ensemble setting such as our brass band or orchestra, or as part of an assembly. Children also have the opportunity to perform with their singing, during class assemblies, during shows and in KS2 there is an opportunity to take part in Young Voices.
Most importantly, we aim to see singing and performing as an enjoyable pastime that children may take through their lives both in formal or informal settings.
Composition is an integral part of the music curriculum, allowing children to try out and demonstrate some of the elements learned during the process of listening and performing.
At Cubbington, creating music is an opportunity to develop ideas within a small group, in which regular self-assessment and peer-assessment is a crucial part of the process. Starting from scratch and building up gradually is an immersive way of experiencing timbre, texture and structure in particular.
Where possible, this creative work is linked to a class topic, or it could be a short improvisation within a piece which the children are already learning.
We recognise that in all classes children have a wide range of musical abilities, and we ensure that we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child.
We continually assess the skills and knowledge of children through rehearsing, composing and performing activities, whether this happens in class, concerts or school productions. This is achieved through a combination of observation, recordings and written methods of formative assessment.
The Subject Leader is responsible for monitoring Music in line with their Action Plan which is drawn up and reviewed annually. This includes keeping up to date with current issues and developments in Music and informing colleagues and the Senior Leadership Team. The Action plan, and any other relevant infor-mation, is discussed with the SLT and supports the strategic direction for Music at Cubbington School.
At Cubbington School we have a dedicated Music room and the majority of resources are kept in here. These include a range of glockenspiels, a range of tuned and untuned percussion (including African drums and Samba kit), keyboards and headphones, recorders, a drum kit and steel pans.
Online resources, specifically the Charanga scheme of work, also allows music lessons to take place anywhere in the school.