Wardley is a school in which the talents of each child are taken into consideration and consistently nurtured as they progress up the school. We aim to provide children with a range of inclusive opportunities to discover and develop their musical or dramatic competencies, cultivate their cultural understanding and establish the foundations of essential life skills, such as expressing oneself clearly and confidently. By the time they leave Wardley, children have been equipped with this knowledge and understanding as well as having an appreciation of a breadth of musical forms.
The essential characteristics we look to develop through music are:
• A rapidly widening repertoire which they use to create original, imaginative, fluent and distinctive composing and performance work.
• A musical understanding underpinned by high levels of aural perception, internalisation and knowledge of music, including high or rapidly developing levels of technical expertise.
• Very good awareness and appreciation of different musical traditions and genres.
• An excellent understanding of how musical provenance - the historical, social and cultural origins of music - contributes to the diversity of musical styles.
• The ability to give precise written and verbal explanations, using musical terminology effectively, accurately and appropriately.
• A passion for and commitment to a diverse range of musical activities.
To see what music topics and skills are taught in each year group click on the teaching cycle tab.
Within each academic year, children will study a series of music topics from the Charanga music scheme produced by the Music and Performing Arts Service in Salford. Across the whole school, there are four key threshold concepts that the children will keep returning to in their music work. The children are assessed by the teacher during each unit against the age related expectations for these key threshold concepts. They are:
- To perform
- To compose
- To transcribe
- To describe music
In Foundation Stage music and movement is part of every-day learning. The children learn new songs and dances linked to the topics they are learning and over their time in Nursery and Reception build a repertoire of familiar songs and ways of dancing. Additionally, the children are encouraged to explore a range of percussion instruments, both with an adult and independently. By letting children explore how these instruments sound and how to alter the sounds, they are better able to access them in a more formal way in Key Stage 1.
Year 1 and 2
At this stage, it is important for children to learn to use their voices expressively and creatively, through songs and chants as well as to be able to experiment using both un-tuned and tuned instruments. In each lesson they are exposed to a range of music from different cultures and eras, giving them the opportunity to listen with concentration and developing their understanding of the musical elements. As their fine motor skills progress, the number of instruments that children have access to increases.
Year 3 and 4
Year 3 and 4 follow a scheme of work which is based on LAMDA principles and combines the skills of music and drama, culminating in a short annual internal examination for which the children are graded either a pass, merit or distinction. In year 3, the focus is primarily on performance skills. They begin by developing an understanding of beat in simple triple and quadruple time, a skill fundamental to both music and performance poetry. Using this knowledge, they then go on to use their voices and bodies percussively and start to apply rhythm and dynamics to spoken word. They consistently work on body language, projecting their voices, articulation and using their voices and bodies expressively and clearly. In the final term, they work in groups to produce an expressive poetry performance which forms the basis of their examination. When they move on to year 4, their creative development follows two routes; musically, they begin by learning to read note values and compose their own short rhythms before spending a term working on aural skills (identifying major / minor keys, recognising time signatures, recognising ostinato patterns, singing back given melodies); drama work revolves around public speaking finishing with each child writing a speech based on their role model which they learn how to present confidently and articulately. The year 4 examination therefore has two parts – aural skills and public speaking.
Year 5 and 6
In line with the new national curriculum, year 5 and 6 are learning the basics of music theory including recognising time signatures, reading music in the treble clef, and basic composition. At the end of their units there is opportunity to perform what they have composed using these skills.
There is extra-curricular support for music through a weekly club that is hosted by the school. This enables children to access music tuition delivered by expert music teachers.