At St Bartholomew’s, our aim is, through a diverse music curriculum, that all our pupils are inspired to develop a life-long love of music enhanced through a variety of engaging and rich musical experiences both inside and beyond the classroom. Through the provision of our aspirational curriculum, we intend to empower all children to become active and creative musicians. The ability to recognise the interrelated dimensions of music underpins our curriculum and, through this, all children will develop the musical knowledge needed to gain a rich understanding of what music is; understanding the interrelated dimensions of music will ensure children discuss music using these terms. Encompassed throughout our music curriculum is the strands of musical learning to enable all learners to listen and appraise a wide variety of musical genres as well as use their voices and instruments to sing, compose, improvise and perform music/. A strong appreciation of music will be encouraged through the expression of thoughts and feelings, which will – in turn - develop the unique musical identity of each pupil and promote our pupils’ ability to use music as an opportunity to express themselves and connect with others. Throughout their musical journey at St Bartholomew’s, our children will become increasingly confident, talented and reflective musicians, whose ignited passion and enjoyment of music will provide the springboard for them to flourish musically not only at secondary school but throughout their life.
Our detailed progression document encompasses each component of our music curriculum and is closely aligned with Charanga – the scheme we have chosen to support teaching and learning of music. Musical knowledge and skills are built upon each year through a repetitive, sequenced curriculum of musical activities which focus on the strands of musical learning: listening, appraising, composing, improvising and performing. This embeds children’s understanding of these key components of our music curriculum.
Within the spiral of musical learning, progression throughout each unit of work reinforces the interrelated dimensions of music across all year groups: this builds upon the foundations of pulse, rhythm and pitch before children explore further dimensions as they progress throughout each unit. Over their time at St Bartholomew’s, children, therefore, revisit and consistently deepen musical knowledge and skills; they use their progressive knowledge of interrelated dimensions to talk about different musical genres.
In years 3 and 4, the children have access to Wider Opportunities provided by Wolverhampton Music Service. Within these lessons, children learn the following skills:
- how to play an instrument, such as the ukulele, recorder or violin,
- read notation from a musical stave
- compose music with notes provided
- perform the songs they have learnt in a concert to the rest of the school.
In all other year groups, Charanga is used by teachers, including non-music specialists, to deliver high quality music lessons. Through a dedicated music session each week, pupils will have access to a class set of glockenspiels to play which will enable them to practically apply their knowledge of the interrelated dimensions of music. Use of the glockenspiel will also embed knowledge and skills needed to improvise, compose and connect sound with symbol through notation.
Every session builds upon the last, contributing towards the purposeful outcome at the end of each half term: all children will develop a composition including style indicators of the particular musical genre they have studied during the half term and perform this to an audience. The Charanga scheme is therefore synonymous with the speaking and listening aims of the English National Curriculum as children are encouraged to listen and appraise music, discussing and justifying their opinions to one another, whilst listening respectfully to the views of others. To ensure music is integrated within the rest of the curriculum, children are also encouraged to learn French language through use of songs and develop as a digital musician in computing.
Beyond the classroom, the musical experience of our children is further enriched through daily worship in which children listen and appraise a range of musical styles and develop an ability to sing hymns musically, understand the meaning of lyrics and show awareness of an audience when performing. During concerts, in which the orchestra from the Wolverhampton Music Service perform, children listen to a variety of instruments and appraise a range of musical styles.
Children are encouraged to develop a passion for singing and performing in many ways. Through our links with St Bart’s church, pupils have the opportunity to attend choirs both in school and at the church, which is led by a trained musician. Children are empowered to sing at events, such as massed choir concerts at St Bart’s church and Young Voices in Birmingham. Our key stage 2 musicians are also given the opportunity to express their musical identity and talents in termly musical showcases. Within this, children are nominated by their peers to present a vocal or instrument-based performance to the rest of the key stage which endeavours to empower others to develop their passion for music, their desire to sing and play an instrument.
Our music curriculum ensures that all children leave St Bartholomew’s equipped with the necessary skills of a musician. Through our all-encompassing musical curriculum, children will have a plethora of opportunities to develop fundamental skills.
Having been exposed to a diverse range of music from different genres and periods in history, pupils will have developed a musical identity with an understanding of culture and history which is ever-evolving. Within this, they will have developed transferable skills of self-reflection, interacting with and respect for others, showing an appreciation of music by listening to and appraise musical pieces; children will confidently express and converse with others about their own thoughts on different pieces of music and respecting that other opinions may differ from their own.
Having explored the strands of musical learning throughout their education at St Bartholomew’s, children have access to the enjoyment of music in many of its forms, namely as a listener, composer or performer. As children will leave St Bartholomew’s with secure knowledge of interrelated musical dimensions, they will be able to appreciate musical pieces and further their understanding musical dimensions beyond primary school to continue embracing music into their lives.
At the end of their primary journey at St Bart’s, children will have sung, played instruments and composed melodies revealing knowledge of interrelated musical dimensions. We are passionate for our children to feel that they are valued members of society: children will recognise music as a platform for self-expression, both for their voice to be heard and emotions to be shared.
Children will have been developed as musical performers throughout their St Bart’s education. Being given regular opportunities to express their musical identity and being heard in this way will ensure pupils feel a sense of achievement, thus developing their self-confidence to present in front of others.
Our students will be able to discuss, reflect and appreciate the impact music has on their learning, development and well-being because pupils, who can think musically, are better equipped to value music as integral to their self-expression and interaction with the wider world.