In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the children learn rhymes and songs in the classroom. The activities are planned to enable the children to experience activities and support achievement within the Early Learning Goals as stated in the Expressive Arts and Design element of the Early Years outcomes document. Children experience a range of activities including listening, singing, rhythm, exploring different sounds and playing percussion instruments. The Christian Vision drives and guides the musical experiences of the children. We want the children to shine and to flourish throughout their journey through primary school. As such, planning opportunities for children to achieve, succeed and shine in music means that activities are planned and songs are chosen that will develop not only musical skills but will enhance the children’s learning in other areas. For example, counting songs foster a child’s mathematical ability, and songs from different cultures increase a child’s knowledge and understanding of the world.
The Christian Vision drives the music curriculum through all the year groups because we want the children to achieve well and to shine, not only in music, but in the considerable non-musical benefits the music curriculum provides. By driving the music curriculum and being a fundamental part of it, the children will shine and flourish by developing musical skills but also vital skills and attributes to help them throughout their lives. Music encourages and assists thinking skills such as information processing, reasoning, enquiring and evaluation. Music offers opportunities to develop attitudes and attributes that enhance life skills and that can also support learning in other subject areas e.g. listening, the ability to concentrate, creativity, control, intuition, perseverance, self-confidence and empathy towards each other. In other words, the Christian Vision, in which the children live with compassion, honesty and integrity shines through all the additional non-musical opportunities our music curriculum offers.
Each half term and in each year group, music and works from different traditions, times, great composers and musicians, will provide the stimuli for the block of music teaching taking place as part of the topic in each class. The children will be taught the range of experiences detailed within the National Curriculum so that, over time, their ability in the different aspects of music, such as singing, playing, listening, composing, evaluating and appraising are developed.
As the Christian Vision is driving music, enabling the children to achieve and shine through the subject, Year 3 begin to learn the recorder and therefore traditional staff notation (from September 2019), through a class instrumental lesson each week. This will allow for a year of instrumental and traditional staff notation teaching and learning before the children have the Camden Music’s Wider Opportunities instrumental teaching throughout Year 4. The children will be taught by highly specialised music teachers who will build upon the children’s initial learning in Year 3.
In addition to the music lessons taught within each class, the recorder lessons in Year 3 and Camden Music’s Wider Opportunities programme in Year 4, the children from Year 3 onwards may join the School Choir which is involved in various initiative devised by the specialists at Camden music. The school choir seeks to take part in these events because of the musical and non-musical benefits to the children. In addition to the choir, children who have developed their instrumental playing and gaining from the skills and benefits (musical and non-musical) that learning an instrument provide, there is the opportunity to join the school orchestra. The orchestra rehearses repertoire and strives to shine at the annual orchestra day which is a day of music making and performance with another local school, culminating in a concert for parents.