Chesham Bois CE School
At Chesham Bois CE School, we teach music as part of our CBS Curriculum. Wherever possible in our planning, we use cross curricular links so that music is used effectively to support learning in other areas of the curriculum as well as being a subject in its own right. Our teaching of music is designed to support children who are musically talented and provide equal opportunities for all children to experience and appreciate music of all styles and genres.
The aims of our music curriculum are:
• For children to access a broad and balanced, enriching curriculum where they can show progression in the development of skills and knowledge.
• To encourage awareness, enjoyment and appreciation of music in all its forms
• To develop and nurture imagination and creativity, enabling all children to become independent individuals
• To help children of all abilities develop positive attitudes towards music, an understanding of its role in society and to experience success and satisfaction in music
• To offer all children opportunities to sing, listen to, compose and perform music
Chesham Bois CE School uses the National Curriculum for music and the Model Music Curriculum as the basis for our curriculum planning. Opportunities are provided for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each teaching unit. The progression planned into our scheme of work means that our pupils are increasingly challenged as they move through the school. They are exposed to a wide range of genres and learn about the history of music. Music is taught discretely in every class for at least half an hour each week. Further opportunities for music teaching and learning are created within other areas of the CBS Curriculum so that teachers exploit music opportunities wherever possible in their weekly teaching. Examples include; playing music whilst children are writing to aid concentration and foster creativity, listening to and appraising music from different cultures and faiths in geography and RE teaching and building instruments in science (sound) lessons. Each unit develops the skills of listening to and describing music, therefore, children are taught to use rich and varied music vocabulary from the start of their music education. Music is taught within the EYFS under the “Expressive Arts and Design” area of learning and development. Children are encouraged to explore their thoughts, ideas and feelings about music which coincides with their child-led topic choices. Music is also used at this stage of learning as a tool to teach key concepts, including phonics.
At CBS, we have a collection of shared resources that include a range of tuned and untuned instruments available for teachers and children to utilise at all levels. Practical learning is key in good music teaching; therefore, this is incorporated into at least one lesson in each unit of work, developing children’s knowledge of how instruments from different musical families are played. They are taught to read graphic notation in a way appropriate to their year group. Children are also taught that their voices are instruments so we put singing at the heart of our music teaching. This is an instrument that all children have access to, enabling each child to understand the key components of musical dimensions in a practical way and to practise this at home if they wish. Weekly music assemblies are also used as an opportunity for additional teaching of key curriculum objectives and to reinforce vocabulary. These gatherings offer children the opportunity to learn about music together, consolidating learning for older children and introducing new concepts to younger ones.
At CBS, we make music an enjoyable learning experience for all in order to inspire and motivate our children. In line with our school initiative of the “CBS Child”, children participate in a variety of whole school musical experiences during their time with us. These include a range of world music workshops, offering children the opportunity to play and listen to instruments from cultures around the world that are not available within our school resources, also developing children’s understanding of British Values in a creative and engaging way. Children are exposed to traditional English music, with professional visiting orchestras coming in for interactive performances with the children (inviting those who play classical instruments to play with them). Annually, all pupils are taken out to the local theatre to experience a live performance and a musical theatre company comes in to school to perform for the children. This is, again, interactive as some pupils are chosen to be part of the performance and the whole school learns songs so that they can join in throughout. These experiences are used to provide all children with opportunities to develop their cultural capital. Children who learn a musical instrument are invited to play at our music evening and music morning events in the Summer term. Reception, KS1 and KS2 perform separate musicals for parents at Christmas and year 6 performs an end of year production in the Summer term.
We offer a wide range of musical opportunities for children who are keen musicians and work closely with the Buckinghamshire Music Trust to do this. Music teachers from the BMT provide weekly lessons for individuals and groups of children who want to learn a particular instrument. One of these teachers also leads our school orchestra once a week. The orchestra are invited to play at school events (e.g. Christmas fayre, Summer fayre etc.) as well as events in our local community. They have also been taught songs to play alongside our choir. Choir is open to any children from years 3-6 and is a very popular extra-curricular club. Children who participate also perform at school events, local community events (including singing for the elderly members of our Church community) and national events too.
Whilst at CBS, children have opportunities to learn about music in a varied and integrated way. They are able to explore music to develop an understanding of culture and history, both related to the student as an individual and societies across the world. Practical experiences, including live performances, help to build children’s cultural capital and appreciation of music in its many forms. Children can sing a melody, feel a pulse and create rhythms across a variety of genres. They can read graphic notation and use a rich bank of musical vocabulary to describe what they have heard and explain their thoughts and feelings about it. Children will leave CBS as confident listeners, composers and performers, ready for their next stage of education and continue to enjoy and embrace music in their lives.