Music at St Mary's
At St. Mary’s CE Primary and Nursery School, music is considered an essential part of a broad and balanced curriculum. Music is a foundation subject of the National Curriculum and an art form that all children can participate in with enjoyment. We recognise that it can play an important role in children’s development. It can be integrated across the whole curriculum to add value to topics and themes. Musical experiences of various kinds will support and develop self-confidence and bring a sense of achievement. We know that music is a fantastic way to unite the school as well as to celebrate; it can also have positive health benefits by triggering the release of feel good chemicals into our bodies. Music is important to our school community and we believe it is essential to the growth, development and well-being of our children.
At St. Mary’s, we use the Charanga online teaching programme, enhanced with teachers’ own expertise and using instruments available in school. The musical elements are progressively introduced, discussed and understood. Our children are given opportunities to sing, use instruments and to listen and appraise music, including their own music, that of peers and that of recognised composers. All children are encouraged to respond to music in a variety of ways, including written work, dance and art. Where possible, music is used in a cross-curricular way to promote our creative curriculum.
Through our music curriculum, we hope to enrich the children’s learning and provide opportunities for participation in musical activities through the development of:
Self-esteem, self-confidence and self-discipline
Social skills, co-operation and sharing
Concentration, memory and listening skills
Musical vocabulary, appropriate to age
Physical co-ordination through breathing and posture
An understanding of musical traditions and appreciation of own and other’s cultures
The use of IT to capture and enhance creativity in composing and performing
The enjoyment of taking part in a shared experience
In addition to our core musical learning, all children are given opportunities to enhance their musical experience through performance. Assemblies, plays and concerts provide an important opportunity to share and enjoy music as a school; we also use music to enhance our worship both in school and in church. Once a week, the school joins together to enjoy a Praise Worship, where we focus on singing praise songs together, led by our Vocal Group and using untuned percussion.
In Foundation Stage, children will sing and perform to parents during National Nursery Rhyme week and both FS and KS1 perform through their Christmas Nativity concert. Children in KS2 are given the opportunity to join Vocal Group, a team of happy singers who regularly perform to parents and the community during school church services and on special occasions. Vocal Group take part in the massed choir event ‘Young Voices’ at Sheffield Arena each January. In KS2 children also have the opportunity to learn to play keyboard and/or guitar using peripatetic teachers from Doncaster Music Hub. Further experiences include our Y3 children taking part in the massed choir event ‘Sing Out’ at Doncaster Dome, all year groups performing on stage to parents and the community in Church and Y5&6 performing in a musical production towards the end of the summer term.
Whilst in school, children have access to a varied programme, which allows students to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon. The integral nature of music and the learner creates an enormously rich palette from which a student may access fundamental abilities such as: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self-reflection. Music will also develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to students individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. 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. They can sing and feel a pulse. They have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.
All children at St. Mary’s receive a broad and balanced curriculum regardless of year group or ability. Every child accesses all subjects on offer at our school. There is a clear progression of musical skills and knowledge, to ensure that all children access at an age-appropriate level. Children learn to work both independently and as part of a group, ensuring skills of resilience and teamwork are promoted in this subject. Our children are enthused and engaged by the wide variety of musical activities. Opportunities to perform outside of school, within our local community and further afield ensure our children understand the significance and place of music within the wider world and that these excite and inspire children’s thirst for knowledge and participation in this subject.