Our vision for music at Kingsmead Primary School is that all children should engage in a high-quality music education enabling them to develop a life-long love of music. In doing so we aim to increase children’s self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement through participation in a wealth of music-making activities including singing, performing, composing and listening. Singing and performing together in school assemblies and performances also helps to promote the importance of working with others towards a common goal and encourages an important sense of belonging and community. In addition, we recognise that music can also be beneficial in the development of cognitive skills across the curriculum and can support the development of literacy, numeracy and listening.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Plato

The National Curriculum for Music aims to ensure that all children:

KS1: “I love singing, learning about pieces of music and moving to music.”

“Every piece of music we’ve learnt about has got stuck in my head!”

In year 1 and year 2, children have a weekly 30 minute music lesson with a specialist music teacher.  In year 3, children learn to play the recorder, giving them the opportunity to master, develop and implement musical skills and knowledge learnt at Key Stage 1 e.g. music notation, rhythmic understanding and musical terminology. Years 4, 5 and 6 receive regular music lessons with their class teachers, following bespoke schemes of work developed by a specialist music teacher, to compliment their termly topics whilst further developing their musical skills and knowledge. In addition to this, all children in years 4, 5 and 6 are given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument (clarinet, brass, cello, violin or guitar) and are invited to join the recorder ensemble (to further develop skills learnt in year 3), school wind band and school string ensemble.

Key Stage 2 also take part in a weekly singing assembly which aims to develop vocal skills and confidence, awareness of pitch and supplements music curriculum lessons. 

Regular opportunities are available for all children to perform to an audience, through class assemblies, termly music performance assembly, end of term celebrations, Christmas performances and performances for the local community, fore example Kingsmead lights switch on, choir performance at Anderton Place residential home, Cheshire Show.

In EYFS children experiment with different ways of using their voice; speaking, singing, whispering and chanting. They clap short rhythmic patterns and experiment with ways of making sounds on a range of percussion instruments. They listen to a variety of music and can begin to describe the sounds (e.g. loud, quiet, fast, slow, high, low) and can express how the music makes them feel.

In KS1 children begin to sing in tune, within a limited pitch range, and can make a range of sounds with their voices. They perform rhythm patterns and actions with a good sense of pulse and play tuned and untuned percussion instruments with care and control, following directions for start, stop, crescendo and diminuendo. Pulse and rhythm is taught using the Dalcroze method which involves moving to sound.  They can distinguish between pulse and rhythm and are introduced to the rhythm symbols for crotchet (walk) quavers (jogging) and minim (stride). They listen to a variety of music and can describe it, commenting on features such as tempo, pitch, dynamics and musical instruments played.  Children are also introduced to graphic notation and are encouraged to link sound to symbols.  

In Lower Key Stage 2 children implement knowledge acquired in KS1 whilst learning to play tuned instruments such as recorders and glockenspiels and have opportunities to perform in front of others.  They increase their vocal range and control, singing songs with the range of an octave with some leaps in the melody.  They learn to sing or play in a round, and add simple second parts to introduce harmony.  Children learn to use music notation to create sequences of 2, 3 or 4 beat phrases, arranged into bars, and create music to convey a particular mood. They are given the opportunity to see a live orchestra in concert visiting the Liverpool Philharmonic to hear music performed linked to the scheme of work they follow in school. 

In Upper Key Stage 2, children sing a broad range of songs, with a sense of ensemble and performance- whilst observing rhythm, phrasing and accurate pitching.  They extend their knowledge of staff notation and can create 4 bar melodies using notes within an octave range.  Children can also play a melody from staff notation, whilst making decisions about dynamic range.  They are also encouraged to improvise melodic phrases with attention to pulse, rhythm and style.  

Children work regularly in small groups to compose and perform their own pieces of music, using appropriate musical characteristics to meet the brief given. 

LKS2: “I like learning new musical words….like today in Big Sing when you taught us what A cappella means.”

“I love learning to play and read new notes on the recorder and hope we learn loads more!”

UKS2: “I enjoy learning songs which have a fun tune and rhythm”

“I love using classroom percussion instruments to compose and improvise our own music”

If you were to walk into a music lesson at Kingsmead you would see: