At Bournville Primary School, music is more than just a National Curriculum subject, it is part of who we are as a school. We use music to help children maintain emotional and social well-being and celebrate culture and community in ways which involve entertaining or understanding themselves and making sense of the world around them.
Music begins in EYFS with children learning to keep a beat and copy a rhythm (often linked to literacy). They explore sounds and cause and effect using a variety instruments, including those from around the world. Music has strong links to Communication i.e.: fast / slow, loud / quiet and being able to follow instructions. Although not taught as an independent subject in EYFS, music is woven throughout the Early Learning Goals and used to support the learning of all subject areas.
From Reception to Year 6 a balanced music curriculum, delivered through Charanga, enables the children to develop their musical creativity through practical and exploratory opportunities to develop as performers, song makers, composers, improvisers and listeners. Through deliberate practice, children become fluent in their knowledge of music. As they move through school, the children should also develop an increasing understanding of the history of music, learning about music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians. Music promotes diversity and is used to express the children’s personal, emotional, social and cultural identity. Children not only learn about music but they will develop a love of music, becoming musicians who are able to share and perform using their new knowledge.
At Bournville, we use the music scheme, Charanga. This scheme allows for the interrelated dimensions of music to weave through musical units and encourage the development of musical knowledge and skills. Children build their knowledge and capabilities of listening and appraising, understanding different musical activities and performance. At the beginning of each unit, children have the opportunity to demonstrate prior knowledge including connected knowledge. We teach a balanced curriculum that is sequenced appropriately in order to build on and develop the knowledge and skills required to secure children’s ability and understanding of music. Children have opportunities to recall their musical knowledge and skills and demonstrate their abilities through performance.
Music is taught every term throughout the academic year, with one unit being covered each of these terms through weekly classes. In Key Stage 2, each year group spends two terms learning an instrument through the Prelude programme offered by North Somerset, in place of two Charanga Units.
Each Unit of Work comprises of the strands of musical learning which correspond with the national curriculum for music:
1. Listening and Appraising
2. Musical Activities:
- Warm-up Games
- Optional Flexible Games
- Playing instruments
Charanga Musical School Units of Work 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 neat or linear. The strands of musical learning, presented within the lesson plans and the on-screen resources, are part of the learning spiral. Over time, children can both develop new musical skills and concepts, and re-visit established musical skills and concepts. Repeating a musical skill doesn’t necessarily mean their progress is slowing down or their development is moving backwards! It's just shifting within the spiral. Mastery means both a deeper understanding of musical skills and concepts and learning something new.