MUSIC AT NORTHWAY
At Northway, our aim is to make music an enjoyable learning experience for all children. Our music curriculum strives to engage and inspire children through a love of music and to embrace their developing talents as a musician. Throughout their time at Northway, we encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aspire to build up the confidence of all children and support their musical progression.
To support us to achieve this goal we follow the ‘Sing Up’ scheme of work. Sing Up provides a creative programme of high-quality resources that make the learning of music fun and engaging. Lessons are structured to meet the needs of the individual learner. As well as explicit units of work, pupils take part in performances every year and develop their skills of singing as well as building their self-confidence.
Music is organised over a two-year cycle to meet the needs of our mixed age classes. Specialist music teachers teach tuned instruments to all pupils in Key Stage Two, with strong links developed to learning in other subject areas e.g. children learn to play Samba drums when learning about Brazil in geography lessons, ensuring that they develop a cultural understanding of the music as well as learning to play the instruments.
Music learning is built into whole school assemblies and celebrations, with children taking part in a weekly singing assembly. Through our assemblies’ children have regular opportunities to listen and become familiar to music from a range of styles and genres.
Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing sounds. They explore instruments and create simple musical compositions of their own. Pupils begin to develop their performance skills and begin to express their own thoughts and feelings through music.
Throughout Key Stage 1, pupils use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs, speaking chants and rhymes and taking part in musical performances. They play tuned and untuned percussion and explore the different ways that instruments make sounds. They also listen with developing concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music, and, during their time in Key Stage 1, take part in a visit to watch the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra play, beginning to understand the different emotions that music can elicit and stories that music can tell.
During Key Stage 2, children play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, both in class and whole key stage performances, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression. Throughout Key Stage Two, pupils participate in whole class ensemble teaching in on a two-yearly cycle, where children are taught a specific musical instrument for a term, with teaching led by a specialist music teacher. These lessons incorporate teaching musical staff notation, developing more precise musical vocabulary, as well as learning to play an instrument. Pupils learn to organise and manipulate ideas within musical structures and reproduce sounds from aural memory. Children are taught to compose pieces of their own, developing their methods of recording and beginning to use standard musical notation, including using digital technologies. Opportunities are taken for children to perform in class, in whole school assemblies and also to parents and the wider community. Key Stage 2 pupils also visit the Liverpool Philharmonic hall to once again experience high-quality live music, watching the full orchestra perform. In preparation for this, children are taught about the music they will hear, developing a critical engagement with the pieces, allowing them to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon as well as developing an understanding and appreciation of the history and traditions of music by great composers.
Additional opportunities are offered in music, such as the choir which performs regularly in school and at events in the local community. Individual music tuition, again taught by specialists, is also available to pupils to continue to develop their skills and ability on a range of musical instrument throughout Key Stage 2. As well as a trip every other year to visit the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for children from Reception – Year 6.