Spring Meadow Infant and Nursery
At Spring Meadow Infant and Nursery School, our music curriculum is first and foremost to help children feel included as developing musicians and develop a life-long enjoyment of music. We aim to equip children with the skills, knowledge, language and understanding that they will need in order to become confident performers, creative composers and kind listeners. Through a knowledge-rich curriculum, children will be introduced to music from around the world and across generations. They will learn to respect and appreciate the music from a wide range of traditions and communities. They will begin to build their knowledge of the history and cultural context of the music they listen to and learn how music can be written down.
Our school values of KIND, INDEPENDENT, INCLUSIVE, CREATIVE AND KNOWLEDGEABLE are interwoven and developed through our music programme. Through quality teaching and learning opportunities in music children will develop personal qualities of teamwork, leadership, creative thinking, problem-solving, decision making and self-esteem. They will be encouraged to explore musical ideas and try out new skills in order to develop resilience and independent thought, vital to their journey as learners, both in school and in their lives beyond the classroom. Good listening skills will foster kindness and inclusivity as children learn to encourage one another’s music making as well as giving thoughtful responses to the music they hear from professional musicians from a range of genres and cultures.
We value the importance of music for pleasure, for mental health and well-being. Through opportunities to listen and enjoy a wide range of music, children will learn that music can support their emotional well-being and nurture their mental health.
Music is taught weekly throughout the year. Through the use of Charanga Music and our own music plans from Nursery to Year 2 we aim to inspire children to create, experience and participate in great arts and culture. Our Nursery follows a bespoke long term plan based on the Development Matters for 3-4years. Starting from each child’s needs, experience and interests in music from birth, the Nursery provides the foundation for later learning in Reception and Key Stage 1. Reception and Key Stage 1 builds on previous knowledge and skills, following the Charanga Music scheme of work, a holistic approach in which individual strands of Performing, Listening, Composing and The inter-related dimensions of music are woven together to create engaging and enriching learning experiences.
Each six step unit combines the strands within a cross curricular topic designed to capture children’s imagination and encourage them to explore music with enthusiasm and enjoyment. Over the course of the scheme, children are taught how to sing fluently and expressively, and play tuned and untuned instruments with increasing control and accuracy. They will be introduced to and gradually learn to recognise and name the interrelated dimensions of music – pitch, duration, tempo, structure, texture, and dynamics – and start to use these expressively in their own improvisations and compositions. Charanga Music offers CPD for teachers to support the teaching of each unit of work.
The Charanga Music scheme and our own music plans follow a spiral curriculum model where previous skills and knowledge and returned to and built upon. Children will be given lots of opportunities to practise and improve their skills and revisit their knowledge, through active participation in musical activities. Lessons incorporate a range of teaching styles including independent, paired and group work as well are improvisation time and teacher guided activities. The emphasis is on listening and taking part – the lessons are ‘hands-on’ and incorporate movement and dance elements as well as making curricular links with other areas of learning.
In Early Years music is organised to include some group adult led activities such as daily singing of Nursery rhymes and songs in Nursery, plus a range of opportunities for independent and adult supported musical activities within the continuous provision both indoors and outside. Enhancements are added throughout the year as appropriate such as recorded music and scarves for Indian dancing or party music and props for birthday party games.
In Key Stage 1 regular opportunities will be taken to encourage children to practise and perform songs and rhymes or musical games they have been learning in the weekly lessons in order to build confidence, independence and a secure knowledge base.
Alongside Music lessons and Music in the Continuous Provision, singing and music appreciation takes place in assemblies, through visits and visitors. We are committed to giving children regular musical experiences from the community, local schools and professional groups. When opportunities arise children have been encouraged to be involved in local music events such as the Ely Schools Music Festival, singing at local residential homes and singing at local churches.
The key knowledge, skills and language are revisited throughout children’s learning using formative assessments (observations, self-assessment, peer assessment, question, discussion and tasks) to allow teachers to be responsive to the children’s learning. At the end of a unit of work in KS1, the children’s accumulated music skills and knowledge are assessed through an end of unit task. In Early Years the staff gather ongoing assessment information through observations and interactions in the provision and in adult led music sessions. The music subject leader monitors the teaching and learning of music throughout the year through learning walks, scrutinising and evaluating class performance films and engaging in discussions with children from across the school to find out what they enjoy, know about and can do in music. This evaluation of the teaching and learning of music within the school informs the subject leader of next steps to be taken in further raising standards in music.
Our children leave our school confident in their knowledge of many aspects of music, as well as a range of musical skills. The knowledge, skills and language they have learnt will prepare them for the content of the Key Stage 2 Charanga Music curriculum. We want our children to develop a life-long appreciation and enjoyment of a wide range of music, as well as confidence to develop and practise their musical skills.