The Music curriculum at Alston aims to provide our children with a range of musical skills. The children are taught Music through the Charanga Scheme, which is used throughout school. The children are taught to listen and appraise different pieces of music from across a range of genres. They learn about rhythm and tempo though a range of games.
The children sing songs from a range of different genres and have the opportunity to play different instruments. They improvise, compose and finally perform and share their music.
Our Year 4 children have the opportunity to take part in weekly ukulele lessons, taught by a music specialist, where all the children have the opportunity to learn to play simple chords and basic strumming patterns. The instrument that the Year 4 children learn to play, are chosen by the children themselves. At the end of Year 3, each class vote for the instrument that they would like to learn in Year 4 and the instrument with the most votes is booked for them.
In addition to this, children in Years 5 and 6 are provided with the opportunity to take part in Dhol drum lessons, as an extra-curricular activity. These lessons take place weekly, led by a music specialist.
Through the school’s Composer of the Month, our children are exposed to a wide variety of composers, both past and present. They listen to a range of tracks from the composer and learn interesting facts about them and the instruments they have played.
In Nursery and Reception, the children take part in the unit of work, called ‘Little Voices’, which is run by Standing Ovation. The children learn a variety of songs and learn to use their three voices, their talking voice, whisper voice and singing voice. In addition to this, they all learn a new WOW word each week, such as confidence and practise how to use and apply that word in their speaking, listening and writing activities.
The school has a ‘Standing Ovation’ choir, who work with Anthony Daulphin. The choir meet weekly to practise songs. They perform in school for peers and parents, in the local community and at organised ‘Standing Ovation’ concerts. We encourage cross-curricular links where possible, allowing children to see where else music can fit in with their learning. Each class has a themed class assembly each year, which they perform for peers and parents. Music and songs are integral parts of these assemblies, allowing the children to put a musical element to their theme.
The children are assessed half-termly, on the Charanga assessment grids, at the end of each unit. The assessment data is collected to highlight groups of children who may need additional support during the next unit of work.
The subject leader for Music completes a ‘Pupil Voice’ with a select group of children, to gain views on the music curriculum. The children feedback on what is going well, what they are learning, what they enjoy and they have a chance to share anything they may like to do differently.
During the year, the Year 4 children and the Dhol drum players from Years 5 and 6, have the opportunity to perform. Performances are open to parents and other year groups from across the school. The impact of the specialist teaching from the music teachers is apparent in the children’s confidence and ability to play their instruments.