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What Music Looks like at Rosa Street Primary School

At Rosa Street Primary school, we want to foster a love of music and spark a life-long enjoyment of music. Music plays such a significant role in society and cultures around the world and has always been a creative form of expression. We believe that music can play an important role in our lives and can develop our pupils’ creativity. Through our music curriculum we will promote our school values of; passion, teamwork, determination, honesty, respect and self-belief. We believe that all pupils at Rosa Street have the right to rich, deep learning experiences that balance all aspects of music. To do this, our teaching of music is not limited to music lessons but is used across the curriculum from learning a song in geography that teaches the names of the 7 continents to learning the password rap in computing which teaches how to create a strong password. At Rosa Street we have a carefully sequenced, progressive curriculum to enable children to develop knowledge of a range of genres and musical styles in line with the National Curriculum. We have also carefully thought out the musical vocabulary that children should use and understand in different year groups; this too is progressive across the school. We also feel that it is important to share the background to these styles of music and allow the children time to share their own musical views and ideas with others.

A high-quality music education equips pupils to use creativity to understand and change the world. Music has deep links within cultures all across the world and is an ingrained part of our society. We have clear endpoints for each of our units to allow our pupils to demonstrate their knowledge within music. We also cross-reference our planning documents with Ofsted subject reviews, to make sure that our curriculum is in line with the latest guidance. We have developed knowledge organisers for each genre; containing an overview of the sequence of learning, the ‘golden threads,’ relating to the skills and concepts, and key vocabulary. The organisers are available in each lesson, to help children throughout their learning, and give them independence to define and consolidate key vocabulary and information.

At Rosa Street Primary School, we are ‘learning together’ and in music, our pupils enjoy listening, playing, singing and composing as individuals and together. All of our children are given opportunities to play instruments and we hope that children will aspire to play instruments both for fun and to a graded level, creating a skill for life. At Rosa Street, those pupils who have shown a love or a talent for instruments are given the opportunity to work alongside the Durham Music Service to play woodwind instruments in KS2. Children that enjoy singing are given the opportunity to join singing club. Here children sing for fun and are given opportunities to perform at seasonal events in the community if they wish. This helps to build team skills as well as developing an individual’s confidence.

We have woven our awards through our curriculum, and we have made clear links on our cohesion plan to Rights Respecting Schools. We aim to empower our children by teaching them to learn how to learn, so they can make their own informed choices. Within lessons staff make reference to Educate and Celebrate links such as how certain genres of music have their roots in particular races and religions and how, throughout history, music has been and is still used as a powerful tool for empowerment. We have also created links to our Eco School status too, for example, sharing our work on recycling and climate change through songs and class assembly performances to help raise awareness not just with our pupils but within our local community.

At Rosa Street, we have a high percentage of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, so raising aspirations is a key focus when making curriculum links. We encourage our students to pursue the career path that interests them and some of our children may aspire to have a career in music or use music as a tool to express themselves throughout their lifetime. So, through our teaching, we aim to equip our children with the necessary skills and knowledge to start them on their musical journey. Children will also be encouraged to have respect for the role music plays in society and for the influence that music has on culture over time. Children will challenge themselves to appreciate different types of music and for this to impact positively in their own lives including their mental health.

Children’s understanding will predominantly be evidenced through photographs and videos of performances. The endpoints for each sequence of learning are clear to allow staff to confidently assess the children’s musical ability. There will be an expectation of the accurate use of the musical vocabulary that has been taught.

As children reach the end of their time with us at Rosa Street, they will have a deep understanding of musical skills and concepts and will have developed a sound musical vocabulary. They will be able to talk about the different genres of music that they have studied, improvise along with songs using instruments and create their own music. We have developed a curriculum that will help children to become musicians, and to develop ‘sticky’ knowledge that can be taken on into their next steps of learning. Our children will know more, do more, so they will remember more.