The importance of Music in Minterne’s Learning For a Lifetime curriculum
At Minterne we believe in the transformational power that music brings to pupils, staff and parents alongside the wider whole school community. We believe that music has the potential to make a significant contribution to our children’s learning and development as young people. Participating in musical activities has been shown to increase confidence and self-esteem, develop leadership and team working skills, as well as concentration and problem-solving abilities. Through music lessons our pupils can develop their identities and gain life- long and life enhancing interest and enjoyment.
SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and cultural development) and British Values
Music supports and promotes the spiritual, moral social and cultural (SMSC) development of pupils in Minterne. Listening to and performing music can often be a ‘spiritual or emotional’ experience and pupils at Minterne are encouraged to reflect and respond to a wide variety of musical experiences. Group tasks build a sense of unity by combining individual pupils’ abilities and strengths. By using the Music Express scheme, pupils work with a rich variety of musical styles and genres from different times and places.
Music at Minterne supports British Values. As practical music making is at the centre of music lessons pupils develop ways of working democratically and that show mutual respect and tolerance. Respect and admiration for music and musicians from different cultures is also developed through listening, singing and playing.
How music is taught in lessons
At Minterne we want our pupils to firstly enjoy their music lessons. Emphasis is placed on practical music making, with elements of listening, singing and performing in each lesson. Music skills are taught within exciting music topics which change every term. Links are made where possible to year group termly topics – for example singing WWII songs for Year 6’s topic ‘Blitz and Pieces’. Music is taught in PPA time so that each class receives an hour’s music lesson in 2 out of every 3 weeks. The new revised Music Express scheme is used so that the National Curriculum programme of study for music is adhered to.
Kent Music Plus lessons
Children in Year 4 are given whole class instrumental tuition on the ukulele.
How is progression ensured in Music?
The Music Express scheme has been carefully put together to ensure that skills are developed and built on as pupils progress through the Key Stage.
How is Music assessed?
At the end of each term, based on their knowledge of pupil responses during lessons and through recordings of performances, the music PPA teacher will assess each pupil against year group expectations and assess pupils as emerging/expected/exceeding.
Each year group is given opportunities to showcase their learning throughout the year by performing to the rest of the school in assembly. This can be done as a year group or as a class at the discretion of the PPA music teacher. Each year group participates in putting together a Production once a year. This gives pupils the opportunity to demonstrate their ensemble singing skills as well as singing solos in front of an audience of parents.
Songs are sung everyday as part of each assembly with a special whole school singing assembly once a week. In the singing assembly we sing songs from different times and places and try to link songs with the school assembly plan or in response to school or world events. Songs are rehearsed to give a polished performance. Some songs are in parts and often have solo sections. Pupils are encouraged to volunteer for small group or solo singing, both boys and girls.
Extra curricular provision
At Minterne we offer pupils the following extra-curricular music clubs: Choir, String Club, Recorder Club and Ukulele Club. Pupils are given opportunities to take part in concerts to parents throughout the year as well as playing or singing in assemblies. All the clubs are free to attend, ensuring equal opportunity for all pupils. The String Club tutor is paid for by the school’s Kent Music fund and is open to pupils from other local primary schools.
Private peripatetic staff offer instrumental tuition on the following: guitar, violin and piano. The Music For Schools organisation offer tuition on woodwind and brass instruments. Socially disadvantaged pupils, who show an interest in music are given the opportunity, through Pupil Premium funds to access instrumental lessons. This has worked extremely well, with many pupils continuing to learn their chosen instruments in secondary school.
Links with the community
Minterne maintains strong links with the community through its music. The choir performs as part of the annual Minterne Christmas Fair and has sung carols to residents of Woodstock Home. As part of the Swale Music Hub, Minterne participates in combined primary and secondary music events, such as Tunstall School’s Choir competition, Highsted’s Christmas Concert and Fulston Manor’s Sounds of Swale. The String Club has members from several local primary schools and performs three times a year in the town as part of Sittingbourne’s ‘Encore’ music organisation. It is great to see so many ex-Minterne pupils at these events still singing, playing and enjoying music – Learning for a Lifetime in action!