The intention of the St Aidan’s Primary music scheme is first and foremost to help children to feel that they are musical, and to develop a life-long love of music. We focus on developing the skills, knowledge and understanding that children need in order to become confident performers, composers, and listeners. Our curriculum introduces children to music from all around the world and across generations, teaching children to respect and appreciate the music of all traditions and communities.
Children will develop the musical skills of singing, playing tuned and untuned instruments, improvising and composing music, and listening and responding to music. They will develop an understanding of the history and cultural context of the music that they listen to and learn how music can be written down. Through music, our curriculum helps children develop transferable skills such as team-working, leadership, creative thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, and presentation and performance skills. These skills are vital to children’s development as learners and have a wider application in their general lives outside and beyond school.
St Aidan’s Primary Music scheme of work enables pupils to meet the end of key stage attainment targets outlined in the national curriculum and the aims of the scheme align with those in the national curriculum.
St Aidan’s Primary Music scheme takes a holistic approach to music, in which the individual strands below are woven together to create engaging and enriching learning experiences:
- The history of music
- The inter-related dimensions of music
Each five-lesson unit combines these strands designed to capture pupils’ imagination and encourage them to explore music enthusiastically. Over the course of the scheme, children will be taught how to sing fluently and expressively, and play tuned and untuned instruments accurately and with control.
They will learn to recognise and name the interrelated dimensions of music - pitch, duration, tempo, timbre, structure, texture and dynamics - and use these expressively in their own improvisations and compositions.
Our Curriculum mapping document shows which of our units cover each of the national curriculum attainment targets as well as each of these strands within it. Our Progression of skiills and knowledge document shows the skills that are taught within each year group and how these skills develop year on year to ensure attainment targets are securely met by the end of each key stage.
The St Aidan’s Primary scheme follows the spiral curriculum model where previous skills and knowledge are returned to and built upon. Children progress in terms of tackling more complex tasks and doing more simple tasks better, as well as developing understanding and knowledge of the history of music, staff, and other musical notations, as well as the interrelated dimensions of music and more.
In each lesson, pupils will actively participate in musical activities drawn from a range of styles and traditions, developing their musical skills and their understanding of how music works. Lessons incorporate a range of teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired and group work as well as improvisation and teacher-led performances. Lessons are ‘hands-on’ and incorporate movement and dance elements, as well as making cross curricular links with other areas of learning.
Differentiated guidance is available for every lesson to ensure that lessons can be accessed by all pupils and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are available when required.
Strong subject knowledge is vital for staff to be able to deliver a highly effective and robust music curriculum. Each unit of lessons includes multiple teacher videos to develop subject knowledge and support ongoing CPD, aiding teachers in their own acquisition of musical skills and knowledge. Further CPD opportunities can also be found via webinars with music subject specialists. Our curriculum has been created with the understanding that many teachers do not feel confident delivering the music curriculum and every effort has been made to ensure that they feel supported to deliver lessons of a high standard that ensure pupil progression.
At St Aidan’s Primary School, all children have the opportunity to access extra private music lessons with the ‘Happy Hands’ piano teacher. Also, children from Year 3 are offered the opportunity to have private brass instrument lessons led by the St Helen’s music service. Children have Ukelele lessons in Year 4 as part of the ‘wider opportunities’ offer from St Helen’s Music Service. The children in Years 3-6 have opportunity to join the Beacon Singers, who perform in church at our monthly Beacon service and at other venues in our community. The Junior children also have opportunity to sing in a Young Voices Choir in preparation for a stadium performance. We also have weekly singing assemblies where children get the opportunity to sing in parts and rounds as a whole school sing. We encourage all budding musicians to engage in the St Helen’s Music service ensembles and the local Billinge Music group. A piece of music for each day is available for class teachers to use and for children to appraise with a set of prompts about the composer, the history and incorporating inter-related musical dimensions used within the piece - the questions prompts for this are available to view in the file list below entitled "Apparaise and Appreciate Questions".
Children will have access to a Knowledge Organiser which shows them the content of what they will be studying over the unit of work - it contains key musical vocabulary, skills and knowledge that we want them to learn. These key statements form our assessment in the subject, which is saved and tracked in our Insight Tracking system.
Each objective is assessed through quizzes, classwork and unit assessment tests and each child is rated for each objective covered on a 1-3 system. 1 - some evidence, but not yet secure; 2 - objective is secured; 3 - working at greater depth.
Each child is then given a score from 0 - 6 for the subject at the end of each term throughout the year. 0 - below age related expectations; 1 - emerging, 2 developing (working towards the age related expectation); 3 - progressing, 4 - secure (working at the age related expectation); 5 - exceeding, 6 exceeding with greater depth (working beyond the age related expectation). The aim is for every child to achieve 3 or 4 in every subject at the end of the year.
To ensure, as much as possible, that the knowledge delivered in lesson embeds with each child the class, with their teacher, will produce a “Floor Map’ book. This book shows examples of the work produced during the unit and more importantly a set of key questions and facts that need to be recovered at later dates in the years to ensure full understanding. These books are then passed through the school to produce a map of their learning through their entire school journey.
The impact St Aidan’s Primary scheme can be constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Each lesson includes guidance to support teachers in assessing pupils against the learning objectives and at the end of each unit there is often a performance element where teachers can make a summative assessment of pupils’ learning. Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils by providing a highly visual record of the key learning from the unit, encouraging recall of practical skills, key knowledge and vocabulary.
After the implementation of St Aidan’s Primary Music, pupils should leave primary school equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education and to be able to enjoy and appreciate music throughout their lives.
The expected impact of following the St Aidan’s Primary Music scheme of work is that children will:
- Be confident performers, composers and listeners and will be able to express themselves musically at and beyond
- Show an appreciation and respect for a wide range of musical styles from around the world and will understand how music is influenced by the wider cultural, social, and historical contexts in which it is
- Understand the ways in which music can be written down to support performing and composing
- Demonstrate and articulate an enthusiasm for music and be able to identify their own personal musical preferences.
- Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the national curriculum for Music.