Music Vision Statement
At St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School, our vision is to give children a music curriculum that ensures every child fulfils their musical potential. Music is embedded as a part of school life and our aspiration is that children have the opportunities to become real musicians. We provide a progressive and enjoyable curriculum that enables each pupil to grow and flourish musically at their own pace, to develop the ability to express ideas, thoughts and feelings through music and fosters a passion for music in children of all abilities. We also strive to offer a variety of opportunities for children to celebrate their talents, both within school and the community therefore deepening their participation and love for music in a wider context.
The teaching of music at St Elizabeth’s Primary School aims to enable all children to:
- perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
• learn to sing and use their voices
• create and compose music on their own and with others
• have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument
• use technology appropriately
• understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated
In teaching music at St Elizabeth’s Primary School, our objectives include:
- the encouragement and development of musical talent
• enabling all children to have access to music and to develop an enjoyment that will always be a part of their lives
• the development of a sense of group identity and togetherness through composing, rehearsing and performing music with others to an audience
The music curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient – like all curriculum areas.
We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the music National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. For example, at Christmas our KS2 choir were invited to sing in four community venues, including Aintree hospital, to spread Christmas cheer to people from different areas of our local community. The response to the children from local residents and patients was overwhelming and it was a wonderful way to start our festive period. We are committed to keeping music firmly on the map here at St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary.
We want our children to use the vibrancy of our great city to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing a strong SMSC curriculum, with British Values and our core values placed at the heart of everything we do. This often feeds into the music curriculum. For example, as part of our KS1 music provision, we offer a free after-school music club open to all pupils. Working with a music specialist, children sing and play traditional playground songs and rhymes, continuing a rich heritage of singing games handed down through generations. They also develop skills in rhythm, pulse and pitch using world instruments from a range of cultures. Each year, Year 5 complete a singing performance project with specialists from SKY Music Hub in the spring term, which celebrates music from a wide variety of backgrounds and influences.
We enrich their time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities which are normally out of reach – this piques their interests and passions. For example, in June each year, a large number of our pupils travel to Manchester Bridgewater Hall to play with the internationally-renowned Halle Orchestra. As part of their Wider Opportunities whole class brass lessons, Year 4 work with a specialist teacher to prepare instrumental performance pieces and songs for the concert, along with our large group of brass and woodwind instrumentalists in year 5 and 6. The event is always a resounding success and provides an incredible, memorable experience for all involved. We firmly believe that it is not just about what happens in the classroom, it is about the added value we offer to really inspire our children.
In Spring 2018, an audit of the music curriculum was conducted, and discussions took place with the lead teacher for music and an advisory teacher from Sky Music Hub. As a result of the findings from this audit, the music curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. At St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School we use a bespoke adaptation of the Charanga Musical School programme – which provides our teachers with studies of work for each year group in the school from ages 5-11. This scheme provides lesson plans, assessment, clear progression, and engaging and exciting whiteboard resources for every lesson. Our music scheme covers: Listening and Appraising; Musical Activities – creating and exploring; and Singing and Performing.
Music subject specific characteristics, which we expect the children to demonstrate, have been developed and shared with all stakeholders. These characteristics underpin all work in music and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. These characteristics are:
- A rapidly widening repertoire which they use to create original, imaginative, fluent and distinctive composing and performance work.
- A musical understanding underpinned by high levels of aural perception, internalisation and knowledge of music, including high or rapidly developing levels of technical expertise.
- Very good awareness and appreciation of different musical traditions and genres.
- An excellent understanding of how musical provenance – the historical, social and cultural origins of music – contributes to the diversity of musical styles.
- The ability to give precise written and verbal explanations, using musical terminology effectively, accurately and appropriately.
- A passion for and commitment to a diverse range of musical activities.
We empower our staff to organise their own year group curriculums under the guidance of our subject leaders. Teachers are best placed to make these judgements. Staff develop year group specific long-term curriculum maps which identify when the different subjects and topics will be taught across the academic year. The vast majority of subjects are taught discretely but staff make meaningful links across subjects. They link prior knowledge to new learning to deepen children’s learning. Our children are taught the right, connected knowledge.
Our short-term plans are produced on a weekly and daily basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives for each lesson, identifying engaging activities and resources which will be used to achieve them.
We encourage staff to teach a weekly music lesson, for at least half of each term. This, in addition to many accompanying specialist music projects undertaken throughout the school, helps to ensure sufficient time is allocated to music and that musical subject matter can be revisited frequently. We believe that by crafting our curriculum this way, we improve the potential for our children to retain what they have been taught, to alter their long-term memory and thus improve the rates of progress they make.
We use both formative and summative assessment information in music lessons. Staff use this information to inform their short-term planning and short-term interventions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils, including the more able. The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that skills in music are progressive and build year on year.
Our staff use music formative assessment grids to systematically assess children’s knowledge and skills as the topic progresses and inform their future planning. These formative assessment grids then inform summative assessment judgements for each topic.
Assessment information, such as audio and video clips, are collected for each topic and analysed as part of our monitoring cycle. This process, in addition to other assessment where appropriate, provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in music. An ongoing training and support cycle is developed at the beginning of each academic year. This identifies areas of need for training, support and specialist projects with outside agencies. The last music training took place in January 2020. Monitoring in music includes: video/audio recording scrutinies, lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil/parent and/or staff voice.
All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.
KS1 Music Makers
Year 1 and 2 took part in after school sessions with Mrs Hadwin, a Sefton music specialist.
They had fun learning new songs, working on pitch, rhythm, pulse and playing instruments.
Year 4 take part in whole class instrumental teaching at St Elizabeth’s.
The children learn to play either trumpet, trombone or baritone while engaging in fun and exciting music activities.
Parents and friends are invited at the end of term to attend a performance to show our enjoyment and progression in the subject.
James Brown – I Feel Good
Christmas with the Choir
Christmas is always a special time for musicians at St Elizabeth’s.
Our choir is in great demand to sing at local community venues where they spread plenty of joy and Christmas cheer.
Our children also benefit by engaging with the whole community and experiencing the gift of giving.
Choir at Bootle Resource Centre
Choir at Willow Gardens.
The Choir went to Willow Gardens to sing for the residents, who then surprised the Choir with a visit from Santa!
A great afternoon was had by everyone.