Subject Leader: Marcin Szymczyk
At St. Francis of Assisi, we want music sessions to be inspiring, engaging and fun. We aim to provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music In our school, music plays an important part in helping children feel part of a community. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build up the confidence of all children. Intent in our music curriculum is like a progression model: we have looked at what we are teaching, in what order and how is assessment facilitating that. We have established what we would want our year 6s, as developing musicians, to be able to do by the time they leave St Francis. Then, we created our curriculum working backwords from that. What skills and knowledge do they need to be able to attain in each year, building up in order to be that musician we would like to send from our school at the end of year 6.
The curriculum is the backbone of everything that is happening with music at St Francis. We have created our own music curriculum with a belief that a central purpose of good music education is for pupils to make more music, think more musically and consequently become more musical. To ensure that our curriculum reflects the breadth and ambition of the national curriculum we adapted two non-statutory documents: The Model Music Curriculum (March 2021) and A National Plan for Music Education ‘The power of music to change lives’ (July 2022).
Key stage 1 pupils are intended to:
- use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes.
- play tuned and untuned instruments musically.
- listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music.
- experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.
In Reception classes, pupils are encouraged to experiment with music using their voices, instruments and through movement and dance.
In Early Years and KS1 we use two musical concepts to work with our pupils: Dalcroze Eurythmics, where music is experienced through movement, and Kodaly Method, which develops musicianship through singing.
Key stage 2 pupils are intended to:
- sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control.
- develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.
- play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression.
- improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music.
- listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory.
- use and understand staff and other musical notations.
- appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians.
- develop an understanding of the history of music.
- use music technology to compose and digitally record their compositions.
- learn how to play keyboard.
Each year group at St Francis has one hour of music lessons every week, delivered by a music specialist.
We believe that music enriches the lives of people, and so we wish to involve as many children as possible in musical activities. We hold a KS2 Christmas Carol Service and a KS1 and Early Years Nativity in the Autumn term. In the Spring term Years 3 and 4 perform an Easter production. All the children in years 5 and 6 are involved in an end of the year production. There is also an annual music recital in the Summer Term, when children perform on stage in front of the whole school and parents. Our KS1 choir is open to pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. It takes place weekly and gives children the opportunity to learn a variety of songs and perform at various music festivals and community events, from the very beginning of their school life. We also have a very successful KS2 choir at St Francis. It is open to invited students in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. We sing regularly at school events and special occasions in the community. We also compete in music festivals. All children in KS2 are welcome to join a singing club where there are no auditions, all that is required is a love for singing and dedication.
Every year group in KS2 take part in a whole term of WCET (Whole Class Ensemble Teaching), where they learn how to play keyboard in our dedicated and newly refurbished music room.
Additional music teaching:
Children are offered the opportunity to study a musical instrument with peripatetic teachers. Peripatetic music teaching is provided by West Sussex Music, Love Music School and other visiting teachers. Children from years 2 – 6 wishing to learn a musical instrument can apply for individual or group lessons to learn one of a variety of instruments, such as the guitar (classical, electric or bass), keyboard, piano, drums or singing.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development:
Listening, creating or performing music can sometimes be a moving and even spiritual experience. We encourage children to reflect on the important effect that music has on people’s moods and senses. Children at St Francis of Assisi school have the opportunity to encounter music from many cultures and, through their growing knowledge and understanding of the music, they develop more positive attitudes towards other cultures and societies. We regularly celebrate Catholic faith with hymns in school and class liturgies, Masses and assemblies, which bring us together through the Gospel values and celebrates our sense of belonging.
Every child at St Francis has an opportunity to learn to sing, play an instrument and create music together with others, and have the opportunity to progress their musical interests and talents, including professionally. This means all children at our school:
- experience a broad musical culture in school setting, accessing high quality curricular and co-curricular music, and progressing into appropriate achievements like practical or performance grades.
- access the expertise, instruments, technology and facilities they need to learn, create and share their music.
- are able to enjoy music as listeners, composers and performers and will be given the opportunity to discuss and share their own thoughts, opinions and ideas.
- engage with a range of enrichment opportunities to play and sing, to perform, create and experience live music, and have their music heard.
- have opportunities to progress their musical interests and talents, and routes into a variety of music careers in the future.