National Curriculum Purpose of study

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.

“Music is life itself.” - Louis Armstrong, Jazz musician

At Highfields Primary School, we are dedicated to creating an enjoyable and engaging experience of music for all our children. We believe that accessible and inclusive music experiences are necessary to develop musicianship skills and support the skills of the wider curriculum and the ethos of the school. We give all children opportunities to listen to music from a variety of time periods, countries, cultures, and styles and develop a love and enjoyment of music. We also encourage children to appraise music, including performances by peers, through meaningful discussions about what they can hear using correct terminology. Singing is becoming an integral part of our school’s community and takes place in assemblies and in class. We aim to develop children’s confidence and enjoyment by providing them with opportunities to play tuned and un-tuned instruments independently or in an ensemble, to a backing track or in response to a piece of music.

Our Music curriculum provides a coherent, structured, spiral curriculum that leads to sustained mastery for all children. The curriculum has clear expectations for each year group, and it supports our children to progressively develop their knowledge and understanding of the elements of music; performance, composition, listening.

At Highfields, music begins in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Children develop their communication and language skills, physical development and explore the expressive arts through exposure to sounds, rhymes and songs. As the children move up through the school, music learning continues to be practical; our children are taught to understand and appreciate music through listening, singing, playing, performing and composing. Through regular, active and practical engagement in music learning, our children develop musical understanding and fluency. Throughout Key Stage 1, the children begin to explore and discover the structure of music, while also being exposed to and appreciating a widening collection of music. The children start to create their own pieces that use basic musical structure and a narrow field of instruments, which begin with body percussion and moves through to tuned and un-tuned percussion. As they progress through the school, the spiral curriculum enables the children to d, the objectives are progressively more difficult, the expectations are progressively more challenging, and the technical requirements (including instrument type and use) are progressively more demanding. When children leave, they have the tools to progress musically in secondary school and beyond. They have learnt to appreciate a diverse range of music, enjoy making and performing music, confidently use musical terminology and have the skills to access and enjoy music throughout their lives.

Learning an Instrument

Our music offer at Highfields enables all pupils to experience learning a musical instrument. As part of our curriculum, whole class instrument teaching begins in KS2. In Year 4, children have the opportunity to learn the recorder as part of their weekly lessons. During the autumn term, children receive a lesson per week, which is delivered by their class teacher. The lessons develop children’s musicianship skills as well as their confidence in playing and performing together. In spring term in Year 5, children are taught how to scratch using the turntables. The children continue to develop their musical skills and sense of rhythm and pulse. In Year 6, they continue to work upon their musicianship and performance skills when learning beatboxing. The year’s programme will culminate in assembly performances and an end of year performance to parents to celebrate progress. We also engage with a wide range of professional peripatetic music teachers and offer lessons including guitar and keyboard.

Co-curricular Music Offer

All children from year 3 to 6 have the opportunity to learn a range of instruments as part of the school’s co-curricular offer. Whole-class instrumental lessons are taught by the class teacher. We also engage with a wide range of professional peripatetic music teachers and offer lessons including guitar and keyboard. Lessons are delivered by independent specialist tutors and take place during the school day. Children can choose to learn the keyboard or the guitar.