The school has a thriving music department, providing the children with opportunities to take part in a wide range of musical activities.
We believe that provision for music should be excellent, inclusive and lots of fun. Our committed music team strive to inspire and encourage all children in their musical enjoyment, participation and development.
We believe that music is accessible by everyone, regardless of any particular learning needs and we aim to ensure that everyone is included in the musical life of the school.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are integral to the music curriculum. Playing music, by its very nature, promotes social activity and collaboration. Listening to music is a direct route into experiencing and appreciating other cultures as well as people’s emotions and spirituality. Within this, we reinforce the importance of mutual respect and tolerance, not just of other faiths and cultures but also of other people’s opinions and creative ideas.
Music is essentially teamwork. Everyone has a role, however large or small and this inter-dependence helps build class or group cohesion. Children are also given the opportunity to perform outside of school, developing a sense of their part in the wider community
Organisation of Music Learning
Music is taught by two subject specialists and each class has a forty-five minute lesson each week.
The music curriculum concentrates on building knowledge and skills in four key areas: listening and appraisal; composing; singing and performing. All children also learn how to read and write music using conventional staff notation, and by the time they leave us in year six, they can perform on keyboards from written music.
Skills development in Music
Most topics are half termly, skills based units (such as notation or improvisation) and all lessons are underpinned by excellent listening opportunities. This allows the children to experience and enjoy as wide a variety of music as possible from different times and from all around the world. The skills taught in each year build on what has been taught previously, so children leave us with both breadth and depth of musical skills.
Assessing Music Learning
Music assessment is ongoing and informal in most lessons. We endeavour to make the music room somewhere children can be free from the pressure of ‘tests’. Assessment is recorded and tracked year on year. We also record which children are learning instruments and attend clubs. Whilst everyone is encouraged to take up these enrichment opportunities, we do try to make sure that any high achievers are celebrated and challenged in their musical journey.
We offer a great selection of extra-curricular clubs. We always have an orchestra, upper and lower school choirs, samba band and recorder groups, all of whom meet once a week and are open to everyone. We usually have other groups too which cater for our gifted and talented children. These groups vary year on year, depending on the talents of the children we have at any one time. These groups have included a rock band, brass band, string group, guitar group and chamber choir.
Children also have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument with one of our peripatetic music teachers. We currently offer lessons on; flute, clarinet, saxophone, brass instruments, violin, cello, guitar, drum kit, piano and keyboard, as well as singing lessons.
Children also have the opportunity to perform to parents and in the community. The choirs and samba band in particular perform in various local venues and for local charities, including the Worthing Children’s Parade and Broadwater Carnival. The highlight of the year is a concert showcasing all of our groups at the Assembly Hall in Worthing, which involves nearly 200 children.
Music lessons take place in a dedicated room and there are also two practice rooms for individual instrument lessons.
The music room is well resourced, with sixteen electronic keyboards, several guitars, a class set of ukuleles and of recorders as well as a wide variety of percussion instruments including glockenspiels and two full drum kits.
The music department is also developing its own website (link below), so pupils can access from home many of the listening resources and some sheet music used in lessons.
Each year our older children can apply to become 'Music Leaders'. This is a wonderful opportunity for those children who have a passion for music to share it with the younger children in our school. Some will be involved with helping out in class lessons in Years 3 and 4; some will be take a lead in helping out in extra-curricular clubs; some will be part of a small group or individual coaching programme to give younger children lessons on their instrument; some will perform regularly in assemblies to inspire new children to take up an instrument; and others will be involved in conducting choirs and the orchestra.