In redesigning the music curriculum, we asked ourselves why do we teach music in our school. What experiences do our children need and what do we want our children to know? We have designed a curriculum to match these needs ensuring that it is strategically planned across the whole school.
As a school we considered the knowledge, skills and understanding in music that we wanted for our children based on the National Curriculum Key Stage 2 outcomes. Keeping this in mind and understanding the need for a rich music curriculum we set about planning the Great Barwell Music Adventure. The big question was ‘why bother teaching music to primary aged children?’ There is a wealth of research to support the idea that music is important to teach, not just for the acquisition of subject knowledge but also, and in some instances, more importantly, for many other wider benefits. Exploring both the musical and non-musical benefits of teaching music enabled us to develop a set of principles unto which our music curriculum could be attached. In this way we have ensured that our new curriculum has kept, at its core, what is important to us and our children.
Our Music Curriculum
Below is an overview of how our music curriculum is delivered across the school in every year group.
- Music Learning Journeys are no longer than half a term
- Each Music Learning Journey has a key composer and a focus piece of music. It starts with an ‘Immersion Activity’ about this composer and their works.
- The Immersion Activity introduces the composer and focus piece for the journey and children spend time learning about the composer and listening to / evaluating their music.
- Every Music Learning Journey has a Music Journey Map which details exactly what the children must know by the end of the Music Learning Journey
- Low stakes quizzing takes place weekly and at the end of each Music Learning Journey Low stakes testing may also feature within teaching
- Children produce a musical composition at the end of each Musical Learning Journey
- Some musical journeys culminate in a ‘Musical Showcase’ where parents are invited into special assemblies to listen to specific compositions.
Timeline for our Music Adventure
Our Music Maps
Inclusion in Music
We do not want to put a ceiling on our children’s learning. It is imperative that all children, especially those with special education needs or disabilities, access an ambitious, broad, challenging and inspiring curriculum. It should not be narrowed nor should the default position be to expect children not to be able to achieve. High expectations of all of our children are at the heart of our vision and this of course includes all children and all areas of the curriculum.