Curriculum Intent

At St Joan of Arc Primary School our music teaching helps to develop creativity, confidence, imagination, listening skills and collaboration whilst giving children the opportunity and ability to express themselves artistically and personally.

Our music curriculum encompasses all learning outcomes outlined in the Department of Education’s new Model Music Curriculum. St Joan of Arc’s EYFS and KS1 music curriculum combines the Musical Dots Education scheme with the Voices Foundation Programme (which observes Kodaly technique and Solfege method), and Charanga Musical School scheme. Children explore voice work, rhyme, singing, listening and appreciation, improvising, composing, instrumental playing, and ensemble and solo performance. They also explore the interrelated dimensions of music, diverse musical genres and establish a foundational understanding of notation, providing them with secure foundations so they can thrive on their KS2 musical journey. Children work with a broad range of instruments, including percussion instruments, African drums, glockenspiels and keyboards.

During Key stage 2 we want children to continue developing the skills they have learnt in key stage 1 and to supplement this through the teaching of more formal musical understanding. Children learn about and explore: pitch, tempo, timbre and how these affect musical experiences. They also learn about and use formal notation, chords, time signatures and major and minor scales. Children apply this understanding as they learn how to play a range of instruments including recorders (year 3), ukuleles (year 5), keyboards and glockenspiels.

At St Joan of Arc we aim to instil a lifelong love of music and an intrinsic understanding of how music supports wellbeing; inspiring joy, connection, personal expression, and a sense of achievement through performance.

Curriculum Implementation

The teaching of music at St Joan of Arc is led by two expert and experienced musicians in Ms Gallagher (EYFS and KS1) and Mr Owen (KS2). Their expertise means that the children enjoy high-quality musical experiences and teaching on a weekly basis.

A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and foster their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence and creativity, benefitting them in all they pursue. As pupils progress, we help the children to develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen knowledgeably to a broad repertoire of music from the Western Classical tradition, the best popular music and music from around the world. The listening and appraising strand of music runs continuously from Nursery to the end of Year 6.

In the Early Years, music at St Joan Of Arc children explore using their voices and learn to embody music physically. They explore the multiple dimensions of music through chant, rhyme, song, percussion play and through circle games and musical play. We also harness group dynamic and listening skills. Our music teaching supports language development, memory, and coordination skills. Through replicating melody and rhythm, children establish their musicality, and performance skills blossom by participating in the Nativity and special assemblies open to parents. The Musical Dots underpin early years music teaching at St Joan of Arc, by imaginatively opening the door to a world of musical discovery and well-being support. The multi-genre music that we explore (chosen for the use of live instruments and relatable lyrics) harness the power of music to develop resilience and initiate class discussion.

In KS1 and 2 children develop their understanding and are equipped to be critical musicians able to: make musical judgements, apply their new learning, develop their aural memory, develop their notation reading skills, explore their personal musical preferences, express themselves physically, emotionally and through discussion and are able to share their own musical ideas. The children not only learn about music; they become musicians who are able to share and perform using their new skills.

Musical activities and games nurture musicianship by implementing the dimensions of music (pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo etc.) Through singing and playing instruments, listening and creating music, children receive a rich musical experience at St Joan of Arc. All learning is intrinsically linked through central songs or pieces, which are contextualised historically by exploring genre and the great singers and musicians who inspire us today. Children acquire a strong sense of how music serves their own happiness and are eager to participate. We have a fully equipped school hall with stage, lighting and sound equipment, enabling performance to take centre stage at St Joan of Arc. Performance opportunities, including shows, choirs, assemblies, Mass in St Joan of Arc church, a Year 6 Musical, and Summer Sounds at the school summer fayre. All of these opportunities facilitate children feeling ultimate pride in their abilities, enhancing their confidence across all areas of learning.

Curriculum Impact

Our music curriculum has a significant impact in manty ways. Children enjoy the opportunities to express themselves musically on both a personal and social level. They are presented with a wide- ranging musical offer which helps the children to:

  • Build on and embed musical skills, ensuring a lifetime of musical enjoyment and expression.
  • Our music curriculum ensures thorough musical enculturation, nurtures musicianship, and serves the wellbeing of every child in our school.
  • We focus on progression of knowledge and skills in the different musical components, inspiring peaked engagement, excitement and sense of achievement.
  • Teaching and developing music vocabulary forms part of all units of work.
  • Music develops an understanding of genre, culture and history, both in relation to children individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children enjoy music as a listener, creator and performer. Children are encouraged to share the music they enjoy in their homes with their peers.
  • Children are able to express and appraise musical preference enthusiastically.
  • Music provides a platform to harness group dynamic, working as a team to achieve the best results possible.
  • Our music lessons celebrate resilient thinking and growth mindset in a supportive and encouraging setting. Children learnt to offer constructive and positive feedback nurturing peer learning and collaborative skills.

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Use of the assessment tools provided within the Charanga and Musical Dots scheme
  • Ongoing formative assessment in each session
  • The impact of our music curriculum is also measured in the uptake of our music after school clubs and the uptake of additional extracurricular activities such as choir, and through regular performances.
  • All children enjoy the opportunity to participate in performance to an audience to create a lasting memory of musical achievement