Music has a power of forming the character and should therefore be introduced into the education of the young. - Aristotle
Music is an essential part of the life at Brackenbury. Singing is the core of our musical learning and it provides the means to express, create, convey and inspire our children. We develop the value of teamwork as well as the pupil’s own increasing responsibility for their own good musical outcomes. Our pupils are confident and enthusiastic performers who seize every opportunity they are given and thrive with it.
Our vision is to enable children from all backgrounds to have the opportunity to access music education, to make music with others, to learn to sing and to have the opportunity to progress within music and develop their creative talents. We believe the value of music as a subject resides in its contribution to enjoyment, self-esteem, self-confidence and enrichment for those who engage in music seriously as well as for fun. High quality music education enables lifelong participation in music, as well as underpinning excellence and professionalism for those who choose not to pursue a career in music.
Music teaching at Brackenbury starts in the Early Years and extends across all 6 primary years. It is led by a specialist teacher and musician (specialised in Singing and Choral Singing). Instrumental tuition is available (for a charge) and is provided by teachers from Pelican Music.
At Brackenbury, we celebrate our musical talents in many ways and occasions. Examples of these are our annual Christmas concert, our Arts Week performance – ‘Proms in the Playground’ (Summer term), our class assemblies, Year 6 leavers’ show (always a fun musical!), and several occasions throughout the year for instrumental players to showcase their progress in front of an audience. We also have a choir who rehearse weekly and are given chances to perform each term. We sing in class as part of our lessons as well as in our weekly singing assemblies.
We offer a curriculum which focuses on the following:
- To develop singing, improvisation and composing skills by learning and writing songs and using tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments as accompaniment as well as our Charanga tool.
- To listen to and appraise a wide range of high quality recordings from different backgrounds, traditions, genres and periods. To understand how this contributes to the diversity of musical styles.
- The ability to express opinions and give verbal and written explanations using musical terminology accurately and appropriately.
- The opportunity to put ideas into action, take risks, “have a go” and to perform in front of others, individually, in groups or as a whole class.
- An understanding that music learning takes time and practise. To be patient with one’s own learning and take small steps at a time in order to master our instrumental and vocal skills.
Music Implementation and Impact
Music is taught by a specialist music teacher (specialised in Singing and Choral Singing) on a weekly basis, as per class teachers’ PPA timetable. The music lessons last between 45 min to 60 min and take place in the music room, which is very well provisioned, full of instruments (tuned and un-tuned percussion as well as recorders, ukuleles and keyboards) with a big space to move around and sit in circle, groups of work, stations, etc.
Clear and comprehensive planning is in place across the Early Years and all 6 primary years in line with the National Curriculum and the newly released Model Music Curriculum (MMC). This is implemented through the Charanga scheme in its majority, and complemented by a wealth of resources, activities, games, warm-ups, chants and songs from other resource banks such as Sing Up, Musical Futures, Active Music Digital, London Rhymes (Early Years) or Musical Contexts. This variety ensures that music is not only fully in line with the National Curriculum, but the most enjoyable, engaging and of the highest quality.
Teaching and learning shows progression across all key stages within the four strands: Performing, Composing, Transcribing and Describing Music. Music is taught by a professional musician and specialist Music teacher. In addition to the core Music curriculum we extend and enrich further in the following ways;
- - Choir: our choir rehearse weekly every Monday at lunchtime. In it, we practise 2 or 3 songs each term that we will then perform at Hammersmith Christmas Festival, Brackenbury’s KS2 Christmas Show, International Day and Arts Week.
- - Instrumental Tuition: Instrumental tuition in piano, cello, violin and guitar is available for a charge and is provided by teachers from Pelican Music.
- - Singing Tuition: as well as instrumental tuition, singing tuition is led by the specialist music teacher for a charge for those children who wish to take individual lessons.
- - Performing opportunities: musical talents are celebrated in the following ways and occasions throughout the year:
- Class assemblies in which every class in our school will showcase a part of their recent learning in the form of a performance to parents.
- Annual Christmas concerts (Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 separate concerts).
- Arts Week performance ‘Proms in the Playground’ (Summer term).
- Arts Week morning assemblies, where our pupils who learn an instrument or are proven dancers or singers have a chance to perform for their classes and other children to celebrate the art of music.
- Year 6 leavers’ show (a musical with plenty of singing parts as solo and ensemble).
- Termly instrumental concerts by our Pelican pupils in which they showcase their progress in front of an audience.
- Termly choir performances.
- Termly Singing performances for the pupils who have weekly singing lessons
At Brackenbury Primary School, we ensure that our music curriculum is progressive and allows children to develop fundamental skills and apply them to a variety of activities. All children are provided with the necessary skills and given opportunities to demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best. We aspire for children to enjoy musical activities and develop a love of singing, playing and performing which becomes part of their future life outside of primary school. Children can represent the school at musical events such as local Christmas Festivals, external concerts with our instrumental tuition service (Pelican), Singing concerts and other opportunities. Alongside this, we share musical achievements both in and out of school, celebrating all levels of success.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Observing children in lessons, using specialist teacher’s judgement to record assessment.
- Images and videos of children completing music activities in line with the National Curriculum standards.
- Activities completed on music books in Years 5 and 6.
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum to parents
The music subject leader will continually monitor the impact music teaching is having on the children’s learning, through monitoring, to ensure the progress of knowledge and skills is being taught. They will also ensure the knowledge taught is retained by the children and continually revisited and that the learners are able to apply the skills they have been taught to a variety of different contexts, showing independence with their learning. Impact will also be measured through key questioning skills built into lessons, child-led assessment such as self-assessment at the end of each unit and peer assessment, and through end of term quizzes and exit cards.
Progression of skills and knowledge
Our ‘Music subject progression of skills and knowledge‘ document gives further information about what the children are taught in this subject by year group
Music progression of skills and knowledge
Music National Curriculum
If you would like to know more, please visit National Curriculum for Music.