At St Theresa’s, we believe that all children should be inspired by music and that every pupil has the right to an outstanding music education. We recognise that good quality music education contributes considerable musical and non-musical benefits to pupils, parents and wider communities. We aim for children to develop a love of music, developing intrinsic musical skill, knowledge and understanding.
In addition, music encourages and assists thinking skills such as information processing, reasoning, enquiring and evaluation. Music offers opportunities to develop attitudes and attributes that enhance life skills and that can also support learning in other subject areas e.g. listening, the ability to concentrate, creativity, intuition, aesthetic sensitivity, perseverance, self-confidence and empathy towards each other.
At St Theresa’s Catholic Primary School, we make music an enjoyable learning experience. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build up the confidence of all children. Singing lies at the heart of good music teaching. Our teaching focuses on developing the children’s ability to sing in tune and with other people. Through singing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music. We teach them to listen to and appreciate different forms of music. As children get older, we expect them to maintain their concentration for longer, and to listen to more extended pieces of music. Children develop descriptive skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent feelings and emotions. We teach them the disciplined skills of recognising pulse and pitch. We often teach these together. We also teach children to make music together, to understand musical notation, and to compose pieces.
We recognise that in all classes, children have a wide range of musical ability, and so we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this in a variety of ways:
- setting tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses;
- setting tasks of increasing difficulty (not all children complete all tasks);
- grouping children by ability in the room and setting different tasks to each ability group;
- providing resources of different complexity, depending on the ability of the child;
- using classroom assistants to support the work of individuals or groups of children;
- providing specialist support where individual children have particular gifts or talents.
Children demonstrate their ability in music in a variety of different ways. Teachers will assess children’s work in music by making informal judgements as they observe them during lessons. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher assesses the work and gives oral or written feedback, as necessary, to inform future progress. Older pupils are encouraged to make judgements about how they can improve their own work. At the end of a unit of work, the teacher makes a summary judgement about the work of each pupil in relation to the National Curriculum attainment, and records these achievements. We use this as the basis for assessing the progress of the child, and we pass this information on to the next teacher at the end of the year.