Music

What does music offer?

At Halstow School we believe that there are a range of activities that make up the full spectrum of musicianship.  It is not necessary to be skilled in all of them to be defined as musical.  We believe all children, regardless of their ability, can enjoy music.

Music is a language and by encouraging children to use it expressively as a means of communication, we can provide it with the relevance needed to motivate children and enable them to engage in their musical development.  In language the unprepared spoken word is the foremost method of communication, in music improvisation is the key to becoming a skilled communicator.

It is well documented that music offers many benefits for children’s development, but what are they?

Music…

  • Is accessible for all pupils
  • Can be created on your own or in a group
  • Is a mean of self expression
  • Boosts self esteem
  • Helps mental well being
  • Gives insights into other cultures and into the past
  • Transcends language
  • Aids creative thinking; gives various solutions to a problem; has no one right answer
  • Is a multi-sensory activity
  • Training helps develop brain areas involved in language and reasoning
  • Has a casual link with spatial intelligence (visualise various elements; logical thinking; solving advanced maths problems).
  • Enhances teamwork skills and self discipline
  • The study of it gives workplace skills-focus on doing; flexible/co-operative/multi dimensional.
  • The performance of it encourages pupils to conquer fear and take risks
  • It is spiritual, almost instinctive.

But most of all it is enjoyable!

 

The Music Curriculum

At KS1, pupils are taught to:

  • Use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
  • Play tuned and unturned instruments musically
  • Listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
  • Experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music

At KS2, pupils are taught to:

  • Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • Improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
  • Listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
  • Use and understand staff and other musical notations
  • Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
  • Develop an understanding of the history of music

Music lessons are also linked in with phase topics, for example The Tudors, World War II, Music Through Time, Space, Ancient Egypt, Dinosaurs, etc.
Pupils regularly practise, perform and record songs onto CD, which helps the evaluation process of their work.

Aims

Our aims in teaching music are that all children will build upon their natural responses to music in order to:

  • Find enjoyment in creating music through composing, performing, listening and appraising
  • Find a sense of purpose, achievement and fulfilment through musical expression
  • Develop their skills to use a wide range of instruments, (including voices) and techniques competently
  • Feel able to express their ideas and feelings through musical creation and learn to listen analytically to music
  • Develop an appropriate vocabulary to help them understand and discuss their own work and that of others
  • Understand the relationship between sound and symbol and develop a working knowledge of systems of notation for use in composing and performing
  • Appreciate and evaluate the work of a range of composers and musicians from their own and other cultures around the world
  • Enjoy the satisfaction and pleasure of collaborating with others to make music, and performing as a class or group for a variety of audiences

Assessment

Assessment is related to our music aims and the National Curriculum.  Assessment is not perceived as being dependent on extra tasks or tests, but as an integral part of the teaching and learning process.  This enables teachers to review and plan appropriately.  One piece of the children’s work is usually recorded at least once every half term and is used to support assessment and to create benchmarks for progression in music development.

Equal Opportunities

We believe that all children should be given the opportunity to develop their musical potential, and we do this through offering all pupils a musical curriculum that is relevant and differentiated.  Children should have the opportunity to acquire knowledge and understanding of the work of musicians from a range of cultures, traditions and periods.

Special Educational Needs

Music can be a powerful tool in the teaching and learning of children with special educational needs.  It can offer a way of communicating or expressing feelings and can develop confidence not evident in other areas of the curriculum.  All children need to be able to contribute at their level of development and ability and feel that they are making a valued contribution either individually or as part of a group.  Differentiation can be achieved through outcome and through task setting, with activities being broken down into smaller progressive steps to encourage the less able to achieve success.  Differentiation can also be achieved through choice and use of appropriate materials, responding to pupils’ diverse needs and overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment.  For the small proportion of children who may need more individual and specialised provision, teachers recognise that they need not necessarily attempt to teach rigidly within the programmes of study for each key stage.  Teachers should be aware of any pupil’s statement of educational needs and IEP, and select material and teaching strategies that enable inclusion.  Children placed within a designated special provision, may also be supported by a classroom assistant or nursery nurse, either to aid achievement or further differentiate tasks on an individual basis.

Musical provision at Halstow

Time Allocation

Reception up to year 4 have a weekly lesson with the music specialist for 30 minutes.  Year 5 and 6 have 1 hour.  KS1 & KS22 both have a weekly singing session lasting 30 minutes.  All members of Yr 5/6 are encouraged to join the school choir.

Individual instrumental tutor sessions are available on:
All Brass instruments, all stringed instruments, clarinet/saxophone, piano/keyboard, flute, drums/percussion & the guitar.
Ensembles available to pupils are:
Junior & Senior Violin Club                         Junior & Senior Keyboard Club
Junior & Senior Guitar Club                         Music Technology Club
S.E.N Drumming Group                               Theory Club
School Orchestra                                        School Choir            

We currently have approximately 165 pupils attending music clubs or having musical tuition at Halstow.   This includes pupils having their music lessons outside of school time.
A full list of clubs can be found at the bottom.

Performance opportunities

We strive to provide as many performance opportunities to our pupils as possible.  These include regular half termly music assemblies, performances at the O2 Arena, The Royal Festival Hall, The Barbican, Workshops with tutors from Trinity Laban, solos during class performances, the annual Christmas Celebration, participation in the Christmas shows, singing at the painted Chapel in Greenwich, joint collaborations and performances with Bannockburn School and Willowdene School, the Singing Spectacular and The Instrumental Gala at The Blackheath concert Halls to name a few.

Many of our pupils take part in the Animate Orchestra run by Trinity College during school holidays, and also regularly attend the Royal Greenwich Music School at Eltham Hill on Saturdays.

We have strong links with the Royal Greenwich Music Hub and use this to enhance our school’s reputation in the wider community.

Halstow school also hosts the Halstow Community Choir that rehearse weekly on Tuesdays during term time 8pm-9.15pm for adults 18 and above.

We hope you have found this information useful and if you have any questions regarding music at Halstow please contact Mr Eastwood via the school office.