Here at The Avenue, we want to inspire and ignite a passion for all things musical, ensuring it is an integral part of school life. We engage children by exposing them to a vast, eclectic mix of genres. Music is incorporated and woven into all areas of our broad and balanced curriculum, allowing children to express themselves as an individual, through music. Our intention is to be sure our children gain a firm understanding of what the music is. This will be achieved through listening and appraising, singing, composing and performing music from across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions and cultures. We are committed to ensuring that every child understands the importance and value of music within their own life, across the wider community and around the world. Being able use their musical skills, knowledge and experiences to immerse themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.
Using a tailored curriculum, we want to inspire children by incorporating music into their everyday learning, with fun and engaging lessons. We ensure that there are progressive developments of music concepts, knowledge and skills across all key stages. These include reading musical notation, exploring and experimenting with different instruments, as well as opportunities to compose and perform to peers, the school and within the wider community.
We offer extra-curricular opportunities, including a school choir, with a view to expanding into peripatetic lessons. Children will have ample opportunities for exploring music throughout their time at The Avenue, experiencing the joy that music can bring.
We are very fortunate at the Avenue, to have a specialist music teacher who works with teachers and pupils in different areas across the school. Music teaching at The Avenue delivers the requirements of the National Curriculum through use of the Charanga scheme of work. We have chosen this scheme for our pupils because it provides both generalist and specialist music teachers with a range of high-quality digital programmes to support and enhance music lessons. Charanga has vast library of songs, resources and listening activities celebrating the world’s greatest music. In addition to this, many units of study include aspects of British music, past and present which links well to our commitment to promoting British values throughout the school. Teachers follow the suggested scheme of work, although adaptations can be made using the ‘freestyle’ element of the package to substitute units deemed to be more appropriate for thematic learning in other curriculum areas.
Music lessons are broken down into half-termly units and an emphasis is placed on musical vocabulary, allowing children to talk about pieces of music using the correct terminology. Each unit of work has an on-going musical learning focus and lessons usually follow a specific learning sequence:
- Listen and Appraise
- Musical Activities (including pulse and rhythm)
- Singing and Voice
- Playing instruments
- Improvisation / Composition
- Perform and Share
Our progression model also follows the same learning sequence to ensure all interrelated elements of music are embedded as the children journey through the school.
Within Early Years, music is an integral part of children’s learning journey. Rhyme and rhythm are utilised throughout the learning of phonics, handwriting and mathematics. Children learn a wide range of songs and rhymes and develop skills for performing together. Singing and music making opportunities are used frequently to embed learning, develop musical awareness and to demonstrate how music can be used to express feelings.
Performance is at the heart of our musical teaching and pupils participate in a range of performances during their school ‘career’. These include nativities (KS1), Easter performances (Years 3 – 5) and a Leavers performance (Year 6). Pupils also take part in Harvest, Christmas and weekly singing assemblies.
At The Avenue, we also recognise that staff have musical abilities that can be utilised to supplement our musical curriculum. Pupils in KS2 have had the opportunity to attend music clubs that are led by a member of staff. Pupils also have the opportunity to join the school choir and participate in various performances throughout the year including fayres, visiting residential homes and performing at concerts locally. Our school choir is open to KS2 children on a weekly basis, pupils in the school choir meet after school and focus on singing in unison, developing harmony, solo performances and having fun!
Our music Curriculum is planned to demonstrate progression and build-on and embed key skills. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills in the different musical components and teaching of vocabulary also forms part of the units of work. If children are achieving the knowledge and skills in lessons, then they are deemed to be making good progress. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Pupil discussions and interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Subject Leader monitoring of music lesson delivery.
- Photo and video evidence of the pupils practical learning.
- Level of uptake of our music extra-curricular sessions.
Upon leaving The Avenue, our children will have been exposed to and experienced a wide range of musical opportunities. This will allow them to progress into KS3 with a solid foundation of musical skills and above all, having enjoyed music during their time here.