Music is a unique way of communicating that can inspire and motivate children. It is a vehicle for personal expression and can also play an important part in helping children to feel part of a community. At West Rainton Primary School, we provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music, to develop skills and appreciate a wide variety of musical forms.
Leadership and intent of music at West Rainton
As the leader of music, my aim is to provide a high quality music education for all of our pupils that engages and inspires them to develop a love of music and nurtures their talent as musicians.
You can read my pen profile for my role as music lead here:
The content of our music curriculum has been mapped out carefully after subject leader training and consultations with staff. Whole-school music staff training was carried out earlier in 2020 to ensure that children’s learning in music is progressive and varied.
You can see the subject policy and curriculum mapping for music here:
How music is taught at West Rainton
At West Rainton Primary School, we aim to make music an enjoyable learning experience. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we endeavour to build up the confidence of all children. Children are given the opportunity to discover, explore and develop technical skills through practical music lessons.
Music lessons are timetabled for each class on a weekly basis. This involves both whole class and small group activities. Children are taught to make music together, to understand musical notation, and to compose pieces. They are also taught to sing and play in time, controlling the sound and pace. They are taught different ways to represent sounds graphically and symbolically. As children get older, they are expected to maintain their concentration for longer, and to listen to more extended pieces of music. Children will be enabled to develop descriptive skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent feelings and emotions. Children are also taught how to use technology as a tool for creating, manipulating and storing sounds e.g. using the Garageband App on iPads.
In Nursery and Reception musical learning is taught through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities.
In Year 2, children are provided with the opportunity to participate in a whole class instrumental teaching scheme which is provided by Durham Music Services. The lessons take place once per week for a term and last 45 minutes. These lessons help the children to further develop their skills in making music together and understanding pulse and rhythm.
From Year 3 upwards, children are given the opportunity to learn the recorder so that they can develop their confidence and skills with one instrument. The lessons take place once per week for a term. These lessons help the children to further develop their skills in making music together and understanding musical notation.
As part of our provision on offer, pupils with special educational needs are planned for very carefully in school. This is an important part of the music curriculum, as we strive to ensure that all of our pupils fully understand what they are being taught. This may involve more time spent on concepts, and simplified tasks to ensure that pupils with SEND gain as much as they can from the learning on offer. Our provision across the curriculum was highlighted when we were awarded the inclusive ‘Centre of Excellence’ award in late 2020. It is crucial for us that our pupils with SEND make progress, and move on from where they are in their learning journey. This provision may look very different to our other pupils, through differentiation and modification of the curriculum. Our decisions are made in consultation with the SENDCo, Mrs Firth, who advises and supports members of staff with their provision.
The impact of music at West Rainton
As a result of the music curriculum, children at West Rainton Primary School develop a love of music and increased understanding of the impact that music can have on their own and others’ lives. They are able to enjoy music, in a number of ways – as listener, creator and performer. Children demonstrate progression of knowledge and skills which they continuously build on and embed.
Through music, children also develop skills of self- confidence, curiosity, collaboration, communication, creativity, commitment and resilience all of which are important skills for their future life.