The intention of the music curriculum at Flora Gardens is to introduce our pupils to the world of music and inspire them to take up an involvement in the subject, in a variety of different contexts. The National Curriculum starts by saying that “music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity”. At Flora Gardens, embracing this has never been more important. Our students speak many languages and we welcome many different cultural backgrounds, and yet music is accessible to all. We love giving our pupils the chance to experiment creatively, as this often leads to a spark igniting in their minds. Through the playing of musical instruments, singing, listening, composing and using body percussion, our aim is to imbed key skills and knowledge within the pupils, so that they leave Flora Gardens with a solid understanding of music. Our goal is to expose the children to different musical genres and a wide variety of historical periods, so that each child is given the chance to fall in love with the subject.
Not only do we ensure that music at Flora Gardens fully incorporates the National Curriculum objectives, we give the students the chance to individually express themselves and guide them to find their own voice. We do this by:
Giving sufficient time to teach music each week – 1 hour per class, where we learn a variety of different songs and vocal warm ups, where we practice music theory (including learning how to read and write using notations) and where we can personalise the music planning to the needs of our pupils. This is also where the children have access to musical instruments such as recorders, ukuleles and djembe drums.
Every Friday morning, we congregate in the hall for half-an-hour-long music assemblies. We learn old classics as well as modern songs, such as songs from the children’s favourite Disney films. We’ve found this helps our pupils to stay fully engaged. Recently, we performed a whole school song in Spanish, thus also building on their learnings from other subjects.
A choir is ran once a week with a smaller group of pupils. This gives our children the chance to find their own voice, by practising solos as well as group pieces.
The Year 6 production is held to a very high standard, and gives our older pupils the chance to be extremely proud of their musical and dramatic abilities. The EYFS and KS1 Nativity also gives our younger students this same opportunity. Other concerts, performances and festivals will be held throughout the year, so that the pupils can showcase everything they have been working on. This also allows our students to practise performing in front of a live audience, as we believe music can be a great tool to help a child find confidence within themselves.
We expose our children high standards of music by taking them on trips around London to watch professional theatre. This might be in the West End or at the English National Opera, or something more local (in the Hammersmith Lyric). Not only is this fun for our pupils, it can encourage them to take up music as a hobby or can get them excited about a future career in the arts.
At Flora Gardens, we are a part of the Tri-Borough Music Hub, which offers fantastic out-of-school opportunities. Here, the children can get private instrumental classes and join ensembles that practise their craft. We encourage our children to take advantage of this amazing resource.
The impact our music curriculum will have on our students is as follows:
The children will get children excited about the world of music and become curious about how they can incorporate it in their lives/as a hobby. Music is very much a fun, engaging and lively topic, and therefore our music curriculum will bring the children a lot of joy.
Pupils will increase their competency and develop their skills and vocabulary. They will leave primary school with a deeper understanding about the technical side of music, which in turn will help them appreciate everyday music more.
We will see an increase in children taking up participation in out-of-school musical groups, whether this is in a club or by taking private lessons or joining a choir.
A respect for different types and genres of music will be grown by the teaching of our music curriculum, which subsequently will inspire a greater respect for each other. Self-respect and self-confidence will also increase within the children.
Impact will be measured by assessing the children on Educater (age-appropriately) at the end of each term, and by having regular quizzes within each term. These will be in areas such as musical notation, vocabulary and genres/historical periods.
How Parents Can Help
Songs can be a great memory aid for learning and there are many nursery rhymes and educational songs you can sing with your child. Clapping rhythms or using body percussion is also a great way for children to learn and remember longer sequences, especially younger children.
If your child takes instrumental lessons out of school, please encourage them to practise regularly and make sure you and your child know how to look after the instrument carefully. We would also love to know about this, so we can support, encourage and showcase your child’s hard work in any way we can.
There are many opportunities for children to be involved in music within the community. If your child is interested in receiving alternative instrumental tuition or joining ensembles within the borough, please refer to this website for more details. www.triboroughmusichub.org