At Dartford Primary Academy we want children to enjoy listening to, performing and evaluating music in order to develop an appreciation of what this can do for their own wellbeing alongside being able to compose for themselves and to be ambitious for careers in the music industry.
We intend that all pupils develop the knowledge and skills in order to be able to: perform, listen to, review and evaluate music; sing, create and compose music; and understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated.
At Dartford Primary Academy the intention is that children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, cultures, traditions and musical genres. We want our children to develop a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music. They will develop an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life. To develop their cultural understanding, we ensure they are exposed to music from diverse backgrounds, some which will already be familiar to them and others which will be completely new. We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.
The approaches of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme enable the implementation of a music curriculum that ensures students sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom activities as well as weekly singing assemblies, various concerts and performances and the learning of instruments with an outside specialist. The elements of music are taught in the classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language of music to dissect it and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. In the classroom, students learn how to play an instrument from all four main instrument groups of wind, strings, percussion and keyboards. In doing so they understand the different principle of each method of creating notes, as well as how to read basic music notation. The children will learn how to compose focussing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music. Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument.
We encourage staff to teach a weekly music lesson. This helps to ensure sufficient time is allocated to music and that musical subject matter can be revisited frequently. We believe that by crafting our curriculum this way, we improve the potential for our children to retain what they have been taught, to alter their long-term memory and thus improve the rates of progress they make.
Children have access to a varied programme, which allows students to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon. The integral nature of music and the learner creates an enormously rich palette from which a student may access fundamental abilities such as: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self reflection. Music will also develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to students individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children are able to enjoy music, in as many ways as they choose- either as listener, creator or performer. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts. They can sing and feel a pulse. They have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them.
We use both formative and summative assessment to help us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils, including the more able. The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that skills in music are progressive and build year on year. Pupils track their own progress on their unit assessment sheets in their inquiry journals. All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.