Our Music curriculum is planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before. We recognise that new learning is fragile, so our approach is generative and sticky, enabling our pupils to make links between new and existing knowledge to aid long term retention. Learning is sequenced to ensure that there are opportunities for spaced learning and links between curriculum areas are explicit allowing children to build a detailed schema for across different musical genres. This is organised in our Music Progression of Skills.
Throughout school, Music is taught termly through 12 30 - 45 minute lessons. Additional opportunities are planned throughout the year for the enrichment of our curriculum.
Our progression maps shows the key knowledge and skills for each year group. These have then been planned to be taught through our long and medium term planning, which class teachers then use to plan progressive and engaging lessons. These are then planed for using Medium Term Planning to ensure that children gain musical knowledge and competencies over time. Developing understanding of musical genres across the year groups allow the children to have the building blocks to perform and compose in different styles of music.
Throughout year 1, children are taught basic general music knowledge and taught to use their voices with more control. Children are taught recorders in year 2, 3 and 4 and this is further developed into teaching children to play the clarinet in years 5 and 6. Children are encouraged to use this instrument in creative ways.
- Language development
Within Music, oracy opportunities are planned into the curriculum that allow children to develop the physical, linguistic, cognitive and social and emotional aspects of learning. Opportunities are planned that allow children to discuss and appraise music through listening.
Dialogic teaching empowers students to challenge each other’s views, expand ideas and build and evaluate arguments. We want the children to challenge each other’s views that will lead them to a deeper understanding of the topics we are teaching. Group work is planned in and central to our teaching of Music. This is particularly important in group performance and composition work.
Development of vocabulary in Music is vital in them closing the vocabulary gap that research shows exists between them and their peers from more affluent areas. Music is a vocabulary rich subject. Vocabulary is explicitly planned, taught and assessed, ensuring a thorough grasp of new language. New vocabulary is collected during a topic so that it can then be referred back to in subsequent lessons, promoting sticky learning and scaffolding all children in retaining key language and information.
Our approach throughout the curriculum is generative, enabling pupils to make links between new and existing knowledge to aid retention. Development of both disciplinary and substantive knowledge is well sequenced to ensure that children know and remember more. This is shown within our progression maps for Music.
New knowledge is organised in such a way that ensures cognitive strategies, such as spaced repetition, are well thought through and planned in. Following our whole school model for high quality teaching and learning (Appendix 1), we ensure that teaching strategies allow the children to learn more and remember more. The curriculum is organised to enable children to build webs of knowledge (schemas), with explicit links being drawn between new and existing knowledge. These links are highlighted within medium term plans to ensure that staff explicitly make these links when planning lessons.
Knowledge is chosen to ensure that during their time at Meadowside, the children gain competence in playing one instrument well. Children are taught recorders in year 2,3 and 4 and this is further developed into teaching children to play the clarinet in years 5 and 6. This ensures a secure knowledge of the one instrument and allows children to build the technical, constructive and expressive competencies.
When knowledge is secure and links have been made, children are encouraged to take this knowledge deeper and to use this more creatively in composition and performance. Assessments are made using open ended assessment tasks that allow children to take learning deeper, demonstrating their critical thinking skills.
Low stakes quizzes are planned into Medium Term planning and used regularly to ensure that knowledge is remembered and retained. These form part of our assessment for learning in Music.
While the teaching of disciplinary knowledge is key to progress to music. Children need to develop these skills in a generative way and then have the opportunities to apply these through composition and performance. Our Curriculum planning ensures that these opportunities are embedded for all children. Skills that are taught in Music are mapped out on our Music Progression Map.
- Attitudes and values
To develop the children’s growth mindset, rather than simply praising success, we praise effort and persistence. We believe learning should be a challenge and within Music, our children are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. In Music, we want learning to be challenging and encourage the children to take risks and ask and explore music and expression.
Local, Societal and Global
- As an Inclusion Quality Mark flagship school, inclusivity is key to our culture as a school. Within the curriculum, we aim to celebrate difference and diversity through a broad selection of music from different genres around the world. We encourage pupils to explore composers and musical genres from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
- Developing a love of Music
Throughout their time at Meadowside, children are encouraged to build an understanding of how we best learn and develop in playing a woodwind instrument.
Additional enrichment opportunities are planned to give the children the chance to perform in front of an audience throughout their time at Meadowside. Additional musical opportunities are used within school to experience and listen to music from a range of genres, time periods and cultures.
School choirs allow children to perform and sing and develop the technical aspects of singing in a choir.
The monitoring cycle is set out by the senior leadership team at the beginning of each academic year. Monitoring includes book looks, lesson visits, learning walks, pupil/staff voice surveys and guidance days. All monitoring undertaken serves to improve our practice, with the aim of bettering the outcomes for our pupils.
Formative assessment is an integral part of daily lessons and is first and foremost the essence of helping making our pupils make instant progress in their musical knowledge and skill. This is done through a mixture of high-level questioning, discussion, performances and observation of group tasks.
We use live marking and feedback to enable teachers to target next steps for pupils effectively. Opportunities for children to review and improve their learning are embedded into each lesson. Children are given the opportunity to evaluate their own work, and that of their peers. During and on completion of a piece of work, the teacher responds, identifying areas for development.
At the end of each term, a written report is given to parents that show whether a child is achieving the required standard in Music, and these are discussed with parents with strategies to move learning forward being discussed.
Tracking of key groups allows for a better structure to learning and allows the Curriculum coordinator to adapt the curriculum where needed.
Where there is a specific area of learning that a significant group needs reinforcing, this will be done in the “Catch up week” on the timetable.
SEND and Inclusion
At Meadowside we have high expectations of all our pupils. However, we recognise that for some pupils, additional support is needed to ensure they can access tasks and so that they can retain key learning. Tasks are adapted or scaffolded in such a was so as to ensure that they are provide suitable challenges that focus on the musical skills and knowledge any barriers for learning that stop learning in Music. Teachers use their pupil passports and appropriate assessments to help inform their planning. This way, a person-centered approach ensures progress is made and makes their learning a personalised experience.
At Meadowside, we want all learning to support independence wherever possible. Teachers will plan lessons so that pupils with SEND are able to successfully access the key content of the Music curriculum and ensure that no ceiling is placed on their learning and what they can achieve. Promoting independence, we allow the children to feel a sense of equality and belonging in their classroom environment.
Where appropriate, the following strategies could be used for pupils with SEND:
- Using fewer notes where appropriate
- Use of a different instrument if there is a specific problem that doesn’t allow a child to play the recorder orclarinet.
- Pictorial models of notes
- Support in reading music and applying this to learning
- Support for group tasks from peers or staff
- Additional modelling of tasks.
Additional strategies for pupils will be highlighted as a part of the SEND strategy meetings and in consultation with other professionals. These form part of a child’s pupil passport and support teachers in removing barriers for learning.
Where a child struggles with key aspects of learning, it is crucial that we highlight what is key knowledge for a child to move on with their learning. Progression maps highlight which knowledge is the basis for other knowledge later on within the Music curriculum. Staff therefore provide time for overlearning of this key knowledge where it is deemed appropriate for these children. Support and CPD is given to staff to ensure they have a good understanding of what learning is key to move on. These children are discussed regularly with the SENCo.
Opportunities for higher attainers to take learning deeper are planned throughout the curriculum. Open ended tasks and high quality first teaching ensure that learning is taken deeper through creative compositions. Enrichment opportunities are planned throughout the year that allow our pupils to perform in front of wider audiences (such as TCAT Music Concerts). Visiting speakers, particularly those from similar backgrounds to our pupils are encouraged to come in and support classes in delivering key areas of Music.
CPD for staff
CPD is planned for staff throughout the year and opportunities are planned into our yearly training in line with our school development plan. Staff are encouraged to also complete their own research. Where appropriate, staff will also find this out by asking questions to staff.
Monitoring of Music
The monitoring cycle is set out by the senior leadership team at the beginning of each academic year. Monitoring includes lesson visits, learning walks, pupil/staff voice surveys and guidance days. All monitoring undertaken serves to improve our practice, with the aim of bettering the outcomes for our pupils.
Transition to KS3
At Meadowside, we work closely with our feeder secondary schools to ensure a quality of provision that gives our pupils firm foundations for year 6. Pupils in Year 5 and 6 regularly access Music transition lessons at the high school that allow them to show the knowledge that they have learnt and to ensure that learning in KS3 successfully builds on the foundations laid at KS2. We work closely with them to provide additional opportunities for more able pupils.
At Meadowside, we ensure that all students are exposed to rich learning experiences that:
- Encourage them to be more musical and think more musically
- Give them the skills to express themselves musically through composition and performance
- Enable all of our pupils to make good progress across all areas of the Music curriculum, from whatever the individual’s starting point may have been. We define progress as knowing more and remembering more. It is the widening and deepening of knowledge, skills, understanding and behaviours.
- To provide pupils with a language rich musical experience, giving them the skills required to grow into independent and confident citizens, who can express their opinions on different genres of Music.
- For pupils leaving us to be well prepared for the next stage in their lives, particularly for the further study of Music at KS3.
- For pupils to be self-assured, confident in their creative skills.
- For all pupils to feel inspired that they can use their musical skills to make a positive difference in their own lives, within society and to the world around them.