Intent: At Hathersage St Michael’s, our aim is to provide a music curriculum which will enable each child to reach their full potential. Having the opportunity to study and explore music is not a privilege; it is a vital part of a broad and ambitious curriculum. We want our pupils to develop a lasting love of the subject by being exposed to different genres, composers and styles of music. At St Michael’s, we also hope to see children develop the skills to be confident communicators, to share ideas and to enable them to create music both independently and collaboratively.
Implementation: Music lessons start as soon as children enter Nursery and take place on a weekly basis throughout the school to develop our children’s knowledge, understanding and musicianship. Singing is at the heart of many of our lessons as is a focus on preparing for performances. Pupils who play musical instruments are encouraged to bring them to our class music lessons. Our school uses the Collins programme, Music Express Online, to support the learning of each strand of the music curriculum – performing, composing, listening and appraising. This scheme provides activities that are imaginative, inspiring and fun. SEND notes are also provided, aiming to give teachers suggestions for diversifying music activities with the purpose of improving inclusivity in the classroom. Our teachers can access lesson plans, assessment guidelines and clear progression, in addition to engaging and exciting resources for every lesson. Through this scheme, (supplemented by other resources such as the BBC’s Ten Pieces), the subject specific characteristics we promote are:
- A rapidly widening repertoire which pupils can 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 rapidly developing levels of technical expertise.
- Awareness and appreciation of different musical traditions and genres.
- A developing 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.
During KS2, the children are offered instrumental lessons on flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, recorder, trumpet, trombone and french horn. All ages are also given the opportunity to perform in special assemblies and presentations to parents and friends. Events in church – Harvest Festival, assemblies, Christmas concerts, nursery nativity and our Christmas productions of shows such as, ‘Are We Nearly There Yet?', ' Midwife Crisis' and ‘Born in a Barn' have also been enjoyed by enthusiastic audiences.
We offer a range of extra-curricular musical activities. This includes two choirs across the school - Junior Church Choir and our KS2 Choir – as well as an after-school Guitar Club. Our choirs sing at the local residential home, the village’s Lunch Club and festivals in church. The KS2 choir also sings with local adult choirs and has taken part in performances of a challenging repertoire. Instrumentalists and singers from our school also take part in events such as the annual Well Blessing as part of Hathersage’s Gala. Every Year 6 pupil, (supported by all Year 5 pupils), take part in our major production, the Leavers’ Musical, held at the end of the summer term.
Impact: In our school the children are able to enjoy music in as many ways as they choose – either as listener, creator or performer. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts. Music will also develop an understanding of culture and history and the opportunities to perform outside of school, within our local environment, is already allowing our children to understand the significance of music and its place within the wider world. This, in turn, is inspiring children’s thirst for knowledge and participation in this subject.
As the audit of our music provision continues, the subject leader is currently gathering and reviewing information drawn from observation, work scrutiny and pupil and staff voice. The Music Express formative assessment grids which systematically assess what the children know can then inform the class teacher’s future planning and enable them to make summative assessment judgements. This process gives us an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in music in our school. Further curriculum developments and provision can then be adapted accordingly and can incorporate inclusion of the rapidly expanding use of music technology in composition and performance.
At Hathersage St Michael’s we are striving to go further than demonstrate a set of skills, knowledge and understanding. The key aspect of music is ‘doing it’ – when acting musically we should embody the learning. In June, 2022, the Department for Education and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published a refreshed National Plan for Music Education: the power of music to change lives. The impact of our music curriculum can hopefully be measured by how we change the lives of our pupils.
For further information on the Music Ensembles, groups and events in The Peak District, click here: derbyshiremusichub
Our choir singing at Buxton Opera House