We are Musicians
At Amesbury Primary School, children gain a deep understanding of music through: listening, evaluating, singing, playing instruments and composing. Children experience music from a range of genres, cultures and periods of time, giving them a firm understanding of the importance and value of music in their own lives and the lives of others. All children have access to music regardless of their academic ability, race, ethnicity, background and language. We aim to provide all children with the opportunity to progress to the next level of their creative excellence. Alongside everything we do, we continually embed our values of: kindness, dignity and endurance into the teaching of music.
What is the point of being a Musician?
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of
achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.
The aims of being a Musician are:
- perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
- learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
- understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
Where does it come from?
Being a Musician is integrated into our curriculum through Curious-city. An enquiry-led, local learning approach to the National Curriculum 2014. This approach recognises that the cognitive maturity of learners affects what and how they learn. It also encourages teachers to think of how they encourage learners to be a Musician instead of simply teaching them Music.
Within a Curious-city curriculum, there is no ‘skills or knowledge’ debate. It is seamless blend of both, and through every enquiry, learners are challenged to work independently to prove their understanding of being a Musician.
What is ‘covered’?
Essentially, a Curious-city curriculum uses the National Curriculum 2014 areas as a basic foundation of entitlement. However Curious-city is much more than that. It is localised, real-life and challenges learners to apply their learning in unique ways without the support of adults to prove what they have learnt. Local companies, charities, organisations, individuals and objects are used as foci to enhance and instil a sense of curiosity, pride and stewardship.
Throughout the children’s journey at Amesbury, their musical skills are built on every year, from singing nursery rhymes and action songs from memory as well as playing on some percussion instruments, progressing their skills and understanding in KS1, to further developing their skills and knowledge of the subject and confidently access music through the reading of musical notation. Throughout all of this the child’s enjoyment of music is a key element, running alongside the learning of musical skills and completion of objectives.
How is Being a Musician monitored and assessed?
Every term, the lead Musician reviews the children's learning. This helps to not only ensure coverage and ‘matching up’ progress throughout a year group in line with the whole school curriculum map, but also an opportunity to collect different voices.
Every two terms, staff meet as a team to discuss and share what they are seeing and hearing within their subject, and as working as a team, help to review the school’s curriculum and contribute to the development plan.
As there is no requirement to formally report attainment of Music, being a Musician is assessed through monitoring how a child responds to enquiries and whether they show a particular enthusiasm and disposition towards it, or, if they constantly needed support in order to access it. This information is recorded onto the enquiry sheets which are kept and used for report writing towards the end of the year.