Research shows that quality musical education has a positive impact on social and cognitive development of children. And these effects are long lasting – better hearing, better motor skills, improved memory, better verbal and literacy skills.
– Alan Harvey, Musician and Neuroscientist (Source: Your Brain on Music | Alan Harvey)
Music is a powerful, unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. It transcends different cultures, abilities and generations – stimulating responses on both emotional and intellectual levels. It allows opportunity for personal expression and plays an important part in the personal development of an individual. At St Mark’s Primary School, our Music curriculum aims to promote the enthusiasm for, and the enjoyment of, music in all its forms. Our goal is for the children to develop musical skills and knowledge through effective teaching where children are fully engaged in their learning. By engaging children in musical experiences, we offer our children opportunities to develop skills, attitudes and attributes that can support learning in other curriculum areas as well as developing life skills such as listening, the ability to concentrate, creativity, self-confidence and a sensitivity towards others.
We believe that a high quality Music education should inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own musical pieces. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a greater understanding of Music. Our children will also be taught how music has shaped our history and contributed to the culture of our nation.
To ensure our pupils have the best opportunity to acquire and nurture their musical talents and awareness, we use ‘Charanga’, a program that teaches the children to listen and respond to a variety of musical genres, through the medium of singing, playing instruments, exploring form and composing their own musical creations. Our music teacher uses a carefully designed knowledge and skills map to ensure that our curriculum and its teaching is progressive, thorough and that adequate challenge is given to our pupils.
All pupils from Years 1 to 6 receive a weekly lesson of music, as a minimum. The works of national and international artists, past and present are explored to enhance the children’s learning. Children will have the opportunity to explore the different styles and techniques of a range of musicians. This is supplemented with enrichment projects such as additional singing lessons, choir performances, djembe drumming, trombone lessons, DJ and mixing sessions, to name but a few. Our pupils also participate in both performing and spectating musical events, both in and out of school.
We use a range of strategies to assess the development of the children’s knowledge and skills.
- The class teacher’s ongoing formative assessments and verbal feedback within the lesson
- Feedback from outside music specialists
- Feedback from peripatetic music teachers (where applicable)
- Lesson observation and feedback
- Pupil voice surveys
- Mini assessments at start and end of each unit
- Assessments which build on knowledge obtained in previous learning
- Assessments relating to subject specific skills (rag rated)