Being a musician at Cubitt Town Primary School
At Cubitt Town Primary School, we recognise that music is one of the highest forms of creativity, and a universal language of self-expression. Music is a unique and powerful form of communication that can change the way people feel, think and act. It combines creativity with emotion, enabling personal expression, reflection and development. As well as creating a sense of group identity and togetherness, music enables personal expression, encourages emotional development, and can foster links with the wider world.
Using the EYFS Development Matters guidance and the national curriculum for music as our framework, we encourage pupils to:
- Develop musical skills and concepts through listening, appraising, performing and composing;
- Develop social skills through co-operation with others in the shared experience of music making;
- Develop an understanding of musical traditions and developments in a variety of periods and cultures;
- Be motivated to enjoy and succeed in music.
Our children are encouraged to perform, listen to, review, and evaluate a wide range of music from different genres. This is a key part of their primary experience as it supports the development of personal preferences, respect for the opinions of others and appreciation of the impact that music can have on mood.
We want our pupils to leave Cubitt Town with an appreciation of the importance of music and performance, as well as the skills to further build on their musical knowledge both at secondary school and throughout their lives.
However, over and above the music knowledge and skills we teach, we want the children to be curious about and explore music beyond the familiar. For many of our students, school will be the only place where they can freely access and enjoy music, so we aim to support this through exposure to a variety of high quality music excerpts, compositions, songs, and performances that will build their cultural capital.
As an oracy school we recognise that communication is key to understanding and articulating how music makes us feel and what it represents in terms of human history and culture.
As part of our core music curriculum high quality lessons are delivered in partnership with specialist music teachers from the Tower Hamlets Arts & Music Education Service (THAMES). THAMES teachers deliver weekly lessons that ensure our pupils have the general knowledge and skills required to flourish in music activities. In addition to the weekly music lesson, choral singing is enjoyed and celebrated in weekly singing assemblies, again led by THAMES specialists. Class teachers remain in class for the weekly music lesson, which ensures that they are aware of what is being taught and can reinforce and recap this over the year; this also acts as a form of CPD for our teachers, to develop their music pedagogical knowledge and skills.
Our music curriculum is progressive, building on prior learning, and regularly revisiting taught concepts and skills. Similarly our curriculum teaches instrumentation in a carefully sequenced manner so that pupils can build on skills learnt in previous years: In EYFS and Years 1-3 we learn through singing, movement and instruments, including body percussion. In Years 4-6 children learn drumming in Year 4, the ukulele in Year 6, and for those showing musical aptitude we offer individual and small group clarinet and saxophone tuition.
For some learners, music can be a medium to break down barriers that may exist in other curriculum subjects. The nature of the subject allows freedom and flexibility in musical expression, preferences and performance. This is beneficial, not only for musical development, but for the growth of self-confidence and for the fostering of creative flair in all learners.
Music can be an effective method of communication for our pupils, including those with SEND, so we include it as part of repetitive routines such as the attendance register, number and phonics learning in Early Years and Key Stage 1.
At times, whole class music lessons can create challenges for learners with sensory issues.
Although music-making opportunities, such as playing instruments together or singing, lend themselves to groups, some learners may benefit from working individually, with or without the support of an adult and/or ICT.
We have carefully selected the instruments children learn to ensure that our learners with additional needs can access this element of the curriculum and be successful at it. They will begin to develop the foundational knowledge and skills to enable them to explore sound. Correct terminology is used, but may be simplified, and pictorial or visual aids are used to support understanding. In Key Stage 2 musical notation may be represented in different ways to meet the needs of all learners.
We measure the impact of our music learning through the collection of video evidence, pupil interviews and observations