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CofE VA Primary School

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Music at Radwinter CofE Primary School


Why do we teach music?

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon (National Curriculum in England).


What will children learn?

At Radwinter CofE Primary School, we follow the specification of the National Curriculum; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum and ensuring the progressive development of musical concepts, knowledge and skills.  We believe that music plays an integral role in helping children to feel part of a community and therefore provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music both in class and with an audience.  Through our whole school assemblies and group performances, children showcase their talents and their understanding of performing with awareness of others.  


Our lessons enable children to develop their skills, appreciate a wide variety of music and begin to appraise a range of musical genres.  Children leave our school with happy and rich memories; inspired to develop a love of music and increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.    


At our school, all children will:

  • Study music for at least 30 minutes per week. 
  • Learn about the structure and organisation of music by singing songs individually, in groups and as a school community.
  • Develop self-confidence and teamwork skills through performance.
  • Learn to play a variety of musical instruments – recorder, glockenspiel and brass.
  • Learn to read and write staff notation, increasing their understanding of rhythmic and melodic notation.
  • Listen to, review and evaluate a range of music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including contemporary music and the works of the great composers and musicians.
  • Use subject specific vocabulary relating to the musical elements; instrumentation, metre, rhythm, pitch, dynamics, tempo, texture, structure and melody. 
  • Use music technology to compose simple rhythms and melodies.


Opportunities exist for children of all ages to experience learning beyond the classroom to enrich their knowledge.  Examples include:

  • Attending performances by professional musicians.
  • Participating in school productions such as our end of year show.
  • Visits to concerts and performances.
  • Meeting musicians with professional musicians visiting schools to work with pupils.
  • Musicians from other schools sharing their expertise with staff and children.
  • Performing in events in the community such as i-SingPop Concert, village events, Church services and more.


How will children be taught?

Music teaching at Radwinter CofE Primary School delivers the requirements of the National Curriculum through use of the Charanga scheme of work.  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 comprises the of strands of musical learning which correspond with the National Curriculum for Music:


  1. Listening and Appraising
  2. Musical Activities

a. Warm-up Games

b. Optional Flexible Games

c. Singing

d. Playing instruments

e. Improvisation

f. Composition

  1. Performing


Our progression model also follows the same learning sequence to ensure all interrelated elements of music are covered and implemented.  Charanga Musical School Units of Work enable children to understand musical concepts through a repetition-based approach to learning.  Learning about the same musical concept through different musical activities enables a more secure, deeper learning and mastery of musical skills.  Musical teaching and learning is not neat or linear. The strands of musical learning are part of the learning spiral.  Over time, children can both develop new musical skills and concepts, and re-visit established musical skills and concepts.  Repeating a musical skill doesn’t necessarily mean their progress is slowing down or their development is moving backwards!  It's just shifting within the spiral.  Mastery means both a deeper understanding of musical skills and concepts and learning something new.


Within the EYFS setting, 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 musical teaching and our children participate in a range of performances during their school ‘career’.  These include nativities and other church services, singing assemblies, class assemblies, Band on the Run, the annual whole school production and more!  Pupils who are confident are encouraged to perform in solo performances.  Parents and the wider school community are invited and welcomed to watch all of these performances.


Alongside our curriculum provision for music, pupils also have the opportunity to participate in additional 1:1 music teaching with our peripatetic teachers.  As part of our offer for PPG children, all pupils in receipt of pupil premium funding are entitled to £5 per week towards the cost of music tuition.  


What will the outcomes for children be?

Our Music curriculum is planned to demonstrate progression and build on / embed current skills.  We focus on progression of knowledge and skills in the different musical components and ensure the teaching of teaching of musical vocabulary.  If children are achieving the knowledge and skills in lessons, then they are deemed to be making good or better progress.  


We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Pupil discussions and interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
  • Governor monitoring with our subject music link governor.
  • Annual reporting and tracking of standards across the curriculum.
  • Photo and video evidence of the pupils’ practical learning.
  • Use of the assessment tools provided within the Charanga scheme.
  • Dedicated music leader time.
  • Measuring the uptake of additional music 1:1 teaching.