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‘Where words fail, music speaks’  - Hans Christian Andersen

Music is a universal language that enables all children to succeed. At St. Bernadette’s, we provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music, to develop the skills to appreciate a wide variety of musical genres, and to begin to discuss elements of music enabling them to discuss pieces of music using this knowledge. 

Through our curriculum, we enable all children to: 

  • Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions.
  • Learn to sing and use their voices.
  • Have the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument 
  • Create and compose music on their own and with others 
  • Understand and explore how music is created.

We aim to make music an enjoyable learning experience and encourage children to participate in a variety of musical activities, including learning to play an instrument in Key Stage 2. We provide opportunities for all children to sing, listen to and appreciate different styles and genres of both recorded and live music in class teaching and collective worship. By teaching children to recognise and comment on pulse, pitch, rhythm, timbre, dynamics and texture in music, they are able to reflect and discuss their opinions about music and genres using appropriate vocabulary. We provide opportunities for children to collaboratively make music and begin to teach them some of the features of musical notation to record their compositions. 

Our Music curriculum is divided into key themes that are taught across the school. These themes organise our musical thinking and help to create links to prior learning. By organising our curriculum into themes, children revisit areas of learning each year to build their knowledge base as they move through school. Our themes are:

  • Performing - Focusing on developing students' musical abilities to perform on various instruments and in diverse styles, whilst also learning the necessary skills to play with confidence in front of an audience.

  • Appraising - learning how to identify and describe musical elements such as rhythm, melody, and harmony, whilst developing critical listening skills that enable an appreciation of music from a variety of genres and cultures.

  • Composing - expressing creativity, developing musical skills, and learning to problem-solve through composition and arrangement, students learn to structure ideas, experiment with sounds, and develop their unique style. This is essential for fostering musical development and personal growth.

  • Describing - using musical vocabulary to interpret and articulate ideas about music, building communication skills and confidence in expressing oneself clearly and concisely.

Music in Key Stage 1 is taught using the Charanga Musical School programme. 'Overcoming barriers to learning' is a music-led intervention for pupils in KS1. 

In Lower Key Stage 2, our music curriculum is delivered through the teaching of 3 x musical instruments: Ukulele, Recorder and Trumpet. This provides children with opportunities to experience 3 styles of instrument: stringed, woodwind and brass before moving to Upper Key stage 2 where the music curriculum is delivered through learning how to play a variety of instruments as part of an ensemble.  

Additionally, pupils in KS2 have the opportunity to have small group lessons in: 

  • clarinet
  • trombone
  • violin
  • cello
  • flute

Assessment: Children’s learning in music is assessed formatively by observing and making informal judgements throughout units of work.