The Music Curriculum at St Thomas'
At St Thomas’, we deliver an ambitious, rigorous and enriching music curriculum which enables pupils to apply their musical knowledge creatively. High-quality music education engages and inspires pupils to develop an appreciation of music and also increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. In addition, musical learning builds from foundations set in Key Stage 1 and using prior knowledge expands to a more practical approach in Key Stage 2.
Through learning basic musical concepts in Key Stage 1, children then go on to learn two musical instruments (guitar and drums) to apply their knowledge practically.
Through effective teaching, pupils will develop the knowledge, skills and understanding in music and will maintain their curiosity, interest and enjoyment. The school offers instrumental tuition during school time as well as musical after-school clubs including choirs. Throughout their time at St Thomas’, children are involved in the musical life of school by being involved in various productions and assemblies. Performance opportunities are offered during musical mornings.
How is Music taught at St Thomas?
In Key Stage 1 we use a scheme of work, Charanga, which follows the National Curriculum. The activities and games included in the scheme cover the musical dimensions, (pulse, rhythm, pitch etc) through singing and playing instruments, listening and creating music – all intrinsically linked through a central song or piece. Each class will follow two units of their choice in addition to the ‘Reflect, Rewind and Replay’ unit.
Structure of lesson:
The teacher will introduce the children to the new vocabulary, including an action to help with recall. Teachers may use the toolkit within the Charanga scheme to explain new vocabulary using video clips.
Every lesson will conclude with a mini performance. This will develop the pupils’ confidence as performers whilst at the same time celebrate their developing musical achievements. At the end of each unit, the class will perform for an audience, for example in STAR assembly, or within the wider community.
- Sefton Music Service- In Key Stage 2, pupils are taught guitar or drums by music specialists. These lessons are carefully sequenced to ensure progression in musical skills and knowledge. In addition to this, parents can fund extra music tuition within school.
- Composers- each half term, a focus composer will be played during lunchtimes. This will be indicated through a poster in the hall. Each class will also use the music of this composer as their ‘quiet music’ in class. This will broaden pupils’ knowledge of music over history and expose them to a range of composers.
- Evidence – Each performance will be recorded and saved onto the teacher’s shared drive. This will evidence progression and can also be used as a teaching tool with the pupils in the subsequent lesson.
- Choir- All pupils in Key Stage 2 have an opportunity to join the school choir. Each half term new joining letters are distributed. Pupils learn a variety of songs, chosen by the children. There will be opportunities for the children to perform both inside and outside of school throughout the year.
- Online Platform- All our pupils will have access to the online platform ‘Yumu’ provided by Charanga. Each class will have a shared username and password with access to the class’ current unit of work. This can be accessed in school, or out of school. Whilst is not compulsory for all pupils to access this at home, a link to this website should be included on all class webpages, under the sub-page ‘Home Learning’. This can also give pupils the opportunity to learn a new instrument through self-study.
By the end of Key Stage 1, our pupils will:
- use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
- play tuned and untuned instruments musically
- listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
- experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.
By the end of Key Stage 2, our pupils will:
- play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
- improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
- listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
- use and understand staff and other musical notations
- appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
- develop an understanding of the history of music.