We recognise that the Curriculum reaches far wider than the learning that happens in formal lessons in each classroom. It includes everything that a child experiences in their time at our school and develops the very person they are becoming, with their talents, their needs and their aspirations for the future. Each experience provides a learning opportunity to develop and prepare our children for life in modern Britain as global citizens through the lens of Catholic life.
At St Gregory's, we are inclusive and recognise that everyone has their own unique God-given talents. Our curriculum is progressive and builds on prior knowledge, understanding and skills so that we develop our whole school community academically, spiritually, emotionally, morally and socially. This enables our children to develop cultural capital and become righteous citizens who give to society. We provide creative and engaging opportunities that inspire and motivate our children to become lifelong learners and have aspirations to be the very best they can be.
In Music, we aim for all of our children to see themselves as musicians. We endeavour to inspire a sense of curiosity in our children and develop their enthusiasm for music, recognising that the skills and knowledge they learn through music can be used to have a positive impact on God’s world around them.
To be able to be a musician, children will need to build up the skills, knowledge and understanding of the inter-related dimensions of music. They will need to understand and use the language of music and apply these musical skills and knowledge across the curriculum, making connections both within music and across other subjects too.
To be a musician, children should have access to a high quality music education which both engages and inspires them to develop a love of music and develop their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.
The aims of the National Curriculum (2014) for music are:
The National Curriculum is the part of the St Gregory’s curriculum that maps out the knowledge and skills that we want our children to learn and experience in each subject. The wider curriculum includes a number of vehicles to develop the whole child and includes:
These aspects are expanded further in our teaching and learning policy.
How we plan for progression in Music at St Gregory’s:
The St Gregory’s Curriculum is designed around year group themes. Each has been structured and sequenced in order to engage pupils in purposeful learning by building on prior knowledge and helping connect knowledge, understanding and skills year-on-year both within Music and across other subjects too.
In Music, lessons are planned and delivered by a Specialist Music Teacher and therefore progression and the coverage of the Inter-related musical dimensions is consistently built upon across the phases. Lessons are based, where appropriate, around year group themes (to provide meaningful links) and the inter-related musical dimensions are woven through this.
Children in EYFS and Year 1 receive music lessons from the Specialist Music Teacher for thirty minutes a week. Years 2-6 receive lessons for sixty minutes a fortnight. In addition to these lessons, the Specialist Music Teacher leads hymn practise for 25 minutes a week for each key stage giving additional opportunities to teach singing and link this through to the Liturgical Year. Singing and musical opportunities are also provided by class teachers throughout each week.
Each child has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument during their time at St Gregory’s and this is through whole class tuition which is led by the Specialist Music Teacher. We are mindful that this should be a musical instrument that is easily accessible for all and so we have chosen to teach children the ukulele so that they have the best chance possible of continuing these skills if they so wish once their in-school lessons have finished.
We recognise that foundations for becoming a musician are laid in the Early Years Foundation Stage through all seven strands of the Early Year Framework and to be ready for the next stage in their education, the starting point that we strive for every child to have upon entry to Y1 and working towards the aims of the National Curriculum is:
Once children enter Y1, they work progressively towards the aims of the National Curriculum. To ensure progression, the teaching team worked together to plan out curriculum coverage and then the subject leader identified the progression of skills and vocabulary required at each stage of learning to prepare children for the next stage in their learning.
Music Curriculum Coverage
Coverage is based on the National Curriculum 2014 PoS with objectives allocated across phases and year groups, to ensure a progression of knowledge, skills and understanding. For example, in Year 1, children begin to read and notate rhythms using graphic representation, leading on to recognising and using traditional rhythm notation by Year 2 and extending this by Year 6 to combining both rhythm and stave notation to create their own music.
Music Progression of skills
The Skills Progression documents interrogate the skills, knowledge and techniques required in each phase, considering age appropriate development and ensures progression is enabled through careful and informed planning.
Music Progression of Vocabulary
Vocabulary, at an age appropriate level, is paramount to the children’s understanding and ability to articulate their intent and enable questioning. It is, therefore, a key consideration in Music planning. Key subject vocabulary is introduced at the appropriate time, linking to specific topics and concepts and building on prior knowledge. e.g.
See Music Vision and Intent 2022 for more information.