Music education at Thomas Fairchild aspires to provide children the opportunity to learn, experience and perform using a wide range of musical instruments and to evoke a love for the performing arts.
At Thomas Fairchild, it is our intention that pupils enjoy access to a multi-skilled, diverse and progressive music curriculum. This we believe will build upon existing knowledge and skills and develop them further so that pupils can engage with music confidently at school and throughout their lives. It will enable students to be creators, performers and listeners. We want our pupils to develop an understanding of how music enriches lives by expressing and reflecting the wide spectrum of human experiences.
To achieve this our music curriculum is separated into three different disciplines;
- Listening & Appraising Music
- Composing Music and Playing a range of musical instruments
- Performing Music
These three branches of Music are taught and developed together with the aim to build personal and social skills that pupils can draw upon to succeed, not only in music lessons but also beyond school life and in future employment. At Thomas Fairchild we have a wider aspiration to build on and further develop our in-school music tuition, leading to in-school ensembles with the potential, in the near future, to establish a school orchestra.
Our music curriculum is fully in line with the expectations set out in the National Curriculum. This is designed to build on the key knowledge and skills from EYFS and KS1 and feed into the overview for KS2.
Our music curriculum ensures pupils sing, listen, create, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in classroom activities and lessons as well as weekly singing assemblies, various concerts and performances, the learning of instruments and partnerships with outside agencies, including Hackney Music Service. Our lessons are planned in progressive sequences to provide children with the opportunities to review, remember, deepen and apply their understanding
Our instrumental programme consists of a 30 weeks programme and it is delivered for up to one hour per week per class by two Music Specialists. The programme offers a selection of instruments and is taught in whole class groups to children in KS2. Initially, the programme is provided as a taster opportunity to enable children to experience a variety of instruments, each over a 10-week term. From this the children will be able to make an informed choice and be able to use, with growing fluency, the language of music to dissect it and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. They will also learn how to compose, focusing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music.
During the specialist sessions pupils will learn how to play a range of instruments e.g recorder guitar and violin. In doing so they also grow to understand the different principles of each method of creating notes, as well as how to read basic music notation.
From Year 1, pupils will be taught to read and use basic musical notations through learning to play ocarina and xylophone. Skills are taught progressively but content and context are adaptable and are developed to suit the needs of individual groups of learners. Whole school delivery will include choir practice, celebrations, and school performances for parents and the local community.
Music will be taught as a subject in its own right but linked to cross-curricular topics. It will also be used to support learning in other areas of the curriculum. The headteacher, with support from the Curriculum leader for Music and Hackney music service, will be responsible for the coordination of the music curriculum across the school.
Music will be taught in all classes following skills coverage and progression plans. The aspects of music are built upon progressively throughout, and across, year groups following each class’s rolling programme to cater for the mixed-age nature of our classes.
Assessment is undertaken in a variety of ways:
- Through questioning in order to understand children’s musical understanding, i.e. open-ended questioning and using the outcomes to guide formative assessment.
- Sharing what has taken place during the lesson; which is also a great skill when working towards performing to an audience.
- Videos and voice recordings are also used by teachers to evaluate pupil progression.
- Termly performances linked to the skills taught during the sessions are undertaken by the classteacher in conjunction with the music teacher.