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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.
At St Robert Bellarmine, we believe that 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.
In line with the aims of the National Curriculum, the music curriculum at St Robert Bellarmine inspires in pupils the ability to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of music that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We believe Music has the potential to make a significant contribution to children’s development: increasing confidence and self-esteem, developing leadership, team working, concentration and problem-solving skills, and developing identity and improving social cohesion within the school and wider community.
We want our children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which can and are used to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. It demonstrates how music both reflect and shape our history and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in Music, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. We work hard to ensure that learning is built upon each year, all children have the opportunity to engage with progressive music making activities using vocal, body percussion and pitched/unpitched instruments to give our children the opportunity to continually progress. This means that children need to have regular opportunities to explore, use and combine skills through a range of different tasks. Throughout these activities allowing them to explore whilst applying their Music knowledge at increasing levels of depth. In doing so they should be encouraged to develop an understanding of the interrelated dimensions of music and key music vocabulary.
Music at St Robert Bellarmine is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children can achieve mastery and depth in their learning. Teachers have identified the key skills of each theme and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group and across every child’s journey from EYFS to Year 6.
At the beginning of each topic, children have opportunities to engage in pre-learning activities to allow them to begin to develop their own curiosity surrounding a particular topic. They also have opportunities to discuss what they already know. This informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of children’s different starting points. All children have the opportunity to engage with progressive music activities; vocal, body percussion and pitched/unpitched instruments to ensure our children are pushed to reach their full potential. Knowledge organisers are a very important tool in helping children learn and remember new information and transfer this information to their long-term memory. Our children are provided with the knowledge they need at the beginning of a new topic and have opportunities to continually refer back to this throughout the year. Expectations are high and through our planning approach of basic, advancing and deep knowledge activities all children have opportunities to deepen their learning at an individual level.
At St Robert Bellarmine, we ensure that music has the same importance given to it as the core subjects, as we feel this is fundamental in enabling all children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences. Our staff are committed to ensuring they dedicate specific time each year to allow them to develop their own subject knowledge and become better musicians for the benefit of our children. We plan and implement our approaches to ensure children are getting the most from the subject.
Cross curricular outcomes in music are specifically planned for where they are relevant. Key subjects are linked and planned into the long-term curriculum for each year group to ensure topics provide our children with relevant links and context and a more meaningful understanding. Our music lessons involve giving children opportunities to engage in processes as well as celebrating our achievements. Our music lessons involve giving children opportunities to engage in processes as well as celebrating our performances. We engage in cross curricular activities and involve children in many larger scale projects, such as large scale regional choirs, when possible. At St Robert Bellarmine, class teachers are actively encouraged to always consider how to enrich the learning opportunity for pupils in other curriculum areas through music. A curriculum map and medium term plans are kept centrally for reference and monitoring.
At St Robert Bellarmine music learning is loved by teachers and pupils across school. Teachers have high expectations as well as children and they strive to reach their full potential with confidence. As children progress throughout the school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation of music and its place within the wider musical context. Music at St Robert Bellarmine extends children’s interest and knowledge beyond their immediate experiences, The Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic approach to teaching and learning is fundamental in all our curriculum provision.
Children will begin to make relevant links from music to other curriculum subjects, such as history and geography. They will develop the ability to be able to compare their work with pupil’s previous work, to be able to select appropriate materials, develop their organisational and collaborative skills, respond to the visual curriculum and be able to make judgements of their own and other’s development.
Assessment is crucial in improving learning. Formative assessment is used regularly to inform teachers of ongoing progress and allows adjustments to be made that reflect the learning needs of all children in our school. Feedback is continually given to children which leads to better outcomes in music. In line with our school assessment policy, summative assessment in the form of teacher assessment is carried out at the end of each topic to inform the overall progress made by each child on a yearly basis.
We want the children to have thoroughly enjoyed learning about music therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future and be able to understand the part they play in it. All children in the school will be able to communicate confidently about their music learning, skills and knowledge.