Music is a unique way of communicating that can inspire and motivate children. It is a vehicle for personal expression and can play an important part in the personal development of people. Music reflects the culture and society we live in, and so the teaching and learning of music enables children to better understand the world they live in and can help them to feel part of a community.
What we believe for our curriculum :
At Holbrook Primary School we strive to provide numerous opportunities for all pupils to create, play, perform and enjoy music, irrespective of gender, ability or age. We want children to develop the skills to appreciate a wide variety of musical forms, and for them to begin to independently make judgements about the quality of music. We recognise that children learn best when the curriculum is well sequenced to enable the revisiting of core knowledge, skills and in order to apply their learning across all areas of the curriculum. The Progression of Skills document for Music at Holbrook outlines how the key skills are developed, revisited, assessed and built upon from EYFS to Year 6.
How we put our aims into daily practice:
Music is taught weekly from EYFS to Year 6 by either our visiting Suffolk Music Hub specialist or the class teacher. Pupils have the opportunity to learn how to sing correctly and develop their knowledge of theory of music. They are given the chance to play a range of tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments whilst developing their performing, composing and improvisation skills. During Lower Key Stage 2 the children are given the opportunity to spend a year learning the ukulele and then the violin. Children listen to music from a wide variety of traditions, cultures and historical eras, learning about great composers and increasing their knowledge of the different styles of music. Pupils are offered the opportunity to learn an instrument with one of our experienced peripatetic music teachers. Currently, they are able to learn the violin, viola, cello, guitar or ukulele. We are extremely fortunate that the Royal Hospital School invests their time and expertise into our extra-curricular music. This involves their Director of Music assisting us with the choir and offering performance opportunities for the children at RHS. The children can also join our choir and band from Year 4 onwards. As well as RHS supporting us, we are please that the Early Music Shop has provided us with 40 recorders to use and that the Suffolk Music Hub have recommend us to Music Mark as a music mark school. We are also proud to be a Sing Up school.
We are successful because:
Teachers assess children through observations made during weekly music lessons whilst children are singing, performing, listening to and appraising music. Pupils use an increasing musical vocabulary to discuss the music they hear as they progress through the school. They are constantly encouraged to evaluate their own and others’ work, to suggest areas of weakness and ways to improve. Children are assessed by their teacher once a term using the subject leader’s bespoke assessment tool. Each child should be secure in their year group band by the end of the summer term. Through the annual subject leader cycle, the data is analysed and this informs teachers planning and improves the development of the curriculum with the support of the subject lead.
The organisation of performing opportunities involving the wider community enables the music curriculum to become a real-life learning experience. Here are just a few examples that show how our pupils have benefited from these experiences :
- Every December, EYFS and Key Stage 1 pupils stage a Christmas musical for their families and friends, showcasing their musical skills in singing and performing.
- Key Stage 2 pupils traditionally end the Autumn Term with a Christmas Carol Service at All Saints Church in Holbrook to which families and friends are invited. Every class performs a song that has been rehearsed during class music lessons. The band and choir are also given an opportunity to perform.
- Members of the Key Stage 2 choir often take part in a singing workshop run by Dominic Ellis Peckham (Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Chamber Choir of London) at the Royal Hospital School. They are taught different techniques in order to improve their accuracy in singing.
- Years 5 and 6 have been treated to a performance by a blind veteran’s choir, which coincided with their work on World War 2. The pupils had the opportunity to talk to the veterans about their experiences and how their love of music evolved.
- In February 2020, members of the Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra performed an interactive assembly to the whole school. Our pupils learnt about the different instruments being played and were able to ask questions to the professional musicians.
- On March 4th 2020, the Key Stage 2 choir travelled to Snape Maltings to take part in Celebration 2020 where they performed a medley of sea shanties before joining children from other schools to perform a finale song which was conducted and rehearsed by the composer. During the day, the pupils also took part in a cello workshop, where many of them experienced playing a musical instrument for the very first time.
- Pupils who learn musical instruments are given the opportunity to showcase their talents by performing in our Tuesday music assemblies. We have enjoyed listening to performances from several pupils on instruments including the piano, violin, cello, guitar and drums.
Calendar of performances/workshops :
February 26th - Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra assembly
March 4th - Choir and Band perform in Celebration 2020 at Snape Maltings
December 16th - EYFS Nativity Performance
June - Year 6 Midsummers Night Dream performance
December - EYFS Nativity Performance
December - KS1 Nativity Performance
December 15th - KS2 Carol Concert at Holbrook Church
July - Guitar and Ukulele Music Assembly
October 9th - KS2 choir sang with the RHS choir at Royal Hospital School's Harvest Festival Service
November 9th - Sing Up at Royal Hospital School
Singing Assembly in The Hall- January 2022
In October 2022, we were proud to open a new music hub. We celebrated its completion with an outdoor performance organised by Mrs Kerr, our specialist music teacher, and the Year 5 school councillors cut the the ceremonial ribbon. We are looking forward to building up our peripatetic music teaching schedule, thus increasing the range of instruments that can be learnt by the children of Holbrook Primary School.
Try practising your rhythm skills with these fun tasks!