At Onslow Infant School our main aim is to provide each child with the opportunity and experiences to listen and enjoy different genres of music from all around the world. We strive to promote a love for listening, singing and playing music along with enabling all children to develop and explore musical skills. We aim to ensure that our teaching of music allows every child to have the skills and mindset to leave Onslow Infant School with the capabilities to be successful in their musical challenges as they enter junior school and beyond. We work alongside children and parents and encourage musical talent to be shared and celebrated with our whole school. We encourage children to describe how listening to and performing music makes them feel along with helping them to develop the way they perform their skills during performances. In addition, we teach children how to develop their abilities and how to evaluate their own success. We strive to establish a high profile of music throughout our school and celebrate the musical achievements of our pupils both in and out of school. We assess pupils’ learning, analyse and interpret the results to inform future planning and lessons.
These aims are embedded within our music curriculum and across wider school life. Through our ‘Charanga’ scheme of work, musical skills are introduced, revisited and embedded to enhance the ability of all our children. Charanga offers our children the opportunity to meet all the requirements of the national curriculum along with providing our staff and children with a clear progression of skills and engaging resources to support every lesson. At Onslow we believe teaching music is not linear, therefore we have chosen Charanga because it enables children to understand musical concepts through a repetition-based approach to learning. Learning about the same musical concept through different musical activities enables a more secure, deeper learning and mastery of musical skills. Our children have the opportunity to both develop new musical skills and concepts, and re-visit established musical skills and concepts. They learn key vocabulary and develop their skills using tuned and untuned instruments. Fundamental skills are developed within the EYFS and as children progress through our school, their skillset is fine tuned to provide them with strong foundations for their future musical lives.
Our children at Onslow have weekly music lessons with their class teachers along with opportunities to practise music through continuous provision. Key Stage 1 children participate in weekly singing assemblies and our Reception children join at the start of the Spring Term. Children are taught correct posture for singing and the importance of warming up their voices. In Year 2 each child has the opportunity to learn the recorder and is taught correct posture, hand position and how to read music.
We encourage the children to talk about how music makes them feel and move. We also listen to the opinions of our children through our pupil voice questionnaires and use these to help incorporate different genres and activities into our music sessions. Musical talent at school and at home is celebrated during our weekly achievement assembly. At Onslow we provide opportunities for the children to perform in front of an audience throughout their time here. This culminates in the leaver’s assembly in Year 2 which is an extremely proud moment for everyone.
At Onslow Infant School, we use many different ways to assess the children’s understanding of music. At the start of each lesson, prior learning and key vocabulary is recapped to find out what the children remember from previous sessions. We encourage the children to talk in pairs, small groups or through class discussion to share ideas and experiences. The children’s comments are handwritten or noted on Tapestry. We also select children to demonstrate during lessons and ask the children to explain why the demonstration is a good example of the learning objective. Music achievements are celebrated during our weekly ‘achievement assembly’ and pupil voices are recorded termly by the subject leader. In addition, we use Tapestry to record video and photographic evidence and link this evidence to the curriculum strands and key skills.
In Early Years we inform our planning from the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and the skills taught using Charanga to assess if children are working at or below the expected level. In KS1, the same applies in line with the National Curriculum for music and the skills taught through Charanga. Formative and summative assessments are recorded on Tapestry and children are then identified as working below, at a satisfactory standard, a good standard or exceeding for each objective.
Monitoring in Music includes lesson observations, scrutiny of planning, learning walks, pupil voice interviews/questionnaires. This information is then used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.