At Birchwood, we believe children should be able to experience a broad and balanced music curriculum to allow them to enjoy a range of musical styles and express themselves through music. Through engaging, relevant lessons children build their musical understanding and have frequent opportunities to build on their prior knowledge.
Our children have access to a clearly sequenced music curriculum which allows them to be creative and express themselves. Music also develops the children’s understanding of culture, history and mutual respect.
Music is everywhere and we hope to develop a lifelong love of music by providing rich opportunities and memorable experiences.
Throughout the curriculum we revisit singing, listening, composing and musicianship. Lessons are taught ‘little and often’ to allow skills and knowledge to become embedded as children journey through school.
Learning is sequenced to build substantive knowledge, disciplinary knowledge and vocabulary. Throughout units of work teachers encourage children to make links between past learning and new content. We recognise prior learning and build on it with memorable learning experiences and provide targeted support where necessary. The units address the requirements of the National Curriculum and all elements of the Model Music Curriculum.
Music at Birchwood is taught with the support of the ‘Sing Up’ curriculum. We have chosen this curriculum as it provides our teachers with engaging units of work linked to a range of composers, musical styles and instruments. There is also clear professional development for each unit so that teachers are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively deliver lessons. The units have been carefully chosen to make the curriculum bespoke for Birchwood children. The unit choices ensure that key knowledge is revisited and a broad range of musical styles are studied. We have also chosen for the children to learn percussion instruments for a whole term, every year from Year 2 upwards. This will allow them to revisit prior learning, make links with new learning and have significant time to develop skills on tuned percussion instruments. We believe that the ‘Sing Up’ curriculum, with units specifically chosen for our school, allows us to deliver an engaging and memorable curriculum.
Each unit of music develops knowledge and skills in singing, listening and responding, performing and evaluating and composing and improvising. These elements are woven into the curriculum and key knowledge and skills are revisited year on year to build upon prior learning. Children learn basic notation in different forms and they learn a variety of ways to record their compositions. Composing, improvising and learning to perform on a variety of instruments are embedded within learning.
The opportunity for children to be creative and express themselves go beyond the music lesson. Children enjoy weekly singing assemblies, they can join choir and they have the opportunity to perform at a range of events from our Summer Showcase to Young Voices at the NEC.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods: pupil discussions and interviews about their learning, lesson visits, teacher assessments and videos.
By the time children leave Birchwood they will perform in solo and ensemble contexts. They will use their voices and play musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression. Children will improvise and compose music for a range of purposes and listen with attention to detail. They will appreciate and understand a range of high-quality music drawn from different traditions and composers. Children will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills in music to be able to continue their musical journey in secondary school and beyond.