Why do we teach what we teach? (Our intent)
We believe music is a vital aspect of the curriculum. As stated in the National Curriculum, music is a ‘universal language’ that inspires and nurtures creativity. As well as improving key music skills – for example, sense of pulse, understanding of rhythm and pitch – our lessons also help to develop self-confidence, communication and cooperation skills, perseverance, creativity and offer a chance to showcase the range of talents here at St Mary’s.
How do we teach it? (Our implementation)
In order to ensure consistency across the school, we follow a scheme called ‘Sing Up’. This covers all aspects of the music curriculum, including using voices and instruments to create and compose music, building an awareness of the inter-related dimensions of music (pitch, duration, tempo etc.), learning about notation and performing music to an audience. Year 4 pupils learn to play the guitar with a teacher from Slough Music. We also ensure we provide opportunities for listening to different styles of music, both live and recorded. In addition to music lessons, we offer a vast array of trips and events both in and out of school. These include running a weekly choir, which has performed in several local venues, a series of workshops leading to a performance at the prestigious Eton College and an in-school visit from ‘Toscana Strings’ – a professional string group.
What is the difference that this makes? (Our impact)
As a result of the music teaching and learning opportunities at St Mary’s, the children grow in confidence and are able to experience things that may not be a part of their home lives. They are able to work together and understand that making music is just as much about listening as it is about making sounds. The children are able to explore different ways of making sounds and use their creativity to adapt what they already know and to compose from scratch. It also develops the children’s understanding and knowledge in other curriculum areas, for example the use of rhythm and rhyme in poetry, of fractions in maths and of coordination in PE.