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St. John's CE (VA) J&I School

Prepare the way of the Lord

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Music is an integral part of life at St. John's. We want the music lessons to be fun and inspiring, engaging the children with songs, lyrics and movement. We want the children to feel able and reflective and expressive, developing their own appreciation of music with the opportunities we provide as a school. All children are actively encouraged and given the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument, from standard classroom instruments to individual instrumental lessons with the visiting peripatetic staff.

Music is planned in-line with the statements laid out in the National Curriculum. Music is planned with cross-curricular links where possible with Charanga being used to supplement and provide extra support and resources to enhance music teaching. Charanga provides many examples of music styles and genres from different times and places. These are explored through the language of music via active listening, performing and composing activities, which enable understanding of the context and genre.

Through our music lessons, children are actively involved in a wide range of musical opportunities. Children develop their singing voices, using body percussion and whole body actions and learning to handle and play classroom instruments effectively to create and express their own and others’ music. Through a range of whole class, group and individual activities, children have opportunities to explore sounds, listen actively, compose and perform.


What do we teach? What does this look like?

  • Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability, additional needs, to flourish to become the very best version of themselves they can possibly be.
  • We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children.
  • All teaching of Music should allow all children to participate.
  • All lessons should include a singing element.
  • In each key stage there should be opportunities to explore a range of instruments.
  • Children should be encouraged to memorise simple untuned and tuned ostinato rhythms.
  • Children should be given opportunities to compose and improvise their own music including simple rhythms and tunes building on from picture rhythms, non-standard notation to standard music notation)
  • When composing and/or improvising, children should be given a choice of instruments.
  • Music lessons should link to cross-curricular topics wherever possible.
  • Music topics, songs and music styles should enable pupils to think about and express thoughts and feelings about their own life and the world around them.
  • To evaluate, children should be able to evaluate their own and others’ performances according to the musical elements and to be encouraged to use musical vocabulary (e.g. pulse, rhythm, tempo, pitch, dynamics, expression)
  • Music should be taught to a high standard, using Charanga as a platform for teaching and learning to ensure the progression of music through school.
  • All children are given the opportunity to learn to play an instrument in school including vocal, brass and piano.  They will also learn the ocarina, recorder, how to sing in unison and in harmony and the ukulele.
  • There should be opportunities for children to perform music as groups and individuals.
  • The key skills we teach the children are:
     · vocal skills
    · the inter-related dimensions of music including: pulse and rhythm, timbre and texture, dynamics and expression.
     · composing and improvising
    · playing a range of instruments
  • Ability to appraise a wide variety of musical genres from different eras, traditions and cultures.
  • Each year group follows learning provided by Charanga. 
  •  Music lessons may stand alone or link to other curriculum areas.
  •  Every year, children perform and take part in school concerts, church services and The Big Sing with Wakefield Music Service


What will this look like?

By the time children leave our school they will:

  • Have an excellent attitude to learning and independent working.
  • Confidence in their ability to try new ideas and know there are different ways to achieve a good result.
  • Had the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and have an understanding of musical notation.
  • Listen well to others and respect others’ opinions.
  • Understand how participating in musical activities can help to promote positive mental and emotional wellbeing.
  • A passion for the subject.