At Northside Primary School we want to ensure that each child has the opportunity to develop musical skills, knowledge and understanding which will foster in them a lifelong love of listening to, talking about and creating music. Learning about music is valued as an important aspect of every child’s development and it supports important features of their holistic attitude to learning generally. Pupils should all have the opportunity to explore the sounds of instruments. Singing is the most natural way of making music and the young child’s musical ability will develop when they have regular opportunities to learn a repertoire of rhymes and songs and listen to a range of music. It is so important for children to listen to a variety of music in order to improve their listening skills and through moving to music where appropriate, their co-ordination will improve. Music teaching at Northside follows the principles of our Teaching and Learning Policy. It seeks to meet the needs of children with different learning styles. Music has a particularly positive role to play, in that it is enjoyable and engaging for all children, and can support children with different needs very readily. All activities are carefully organised with reference to current Health and Safety procedures.
Northside pupils in Key Stage 1 and 2 have weekly Music lessons with our specialist Music teacher. We use Charanga Musical School as an online resource to support learning in music lessons in an interactive and engaging way. In Key Stage 1 the children experiment with, create, select and combine sounds covering the key elements of music:- pulse, rythym, pitch, tempo, and structure. Charanga provides a huge library of music covering an extensive range of composers and musicians, which we use in lessons to support ‘listening with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music’. Children are encouraged to use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and learning to play tuned and untuned instruments musically. In addition, in Key Stage 2, pupils learn the additional elements of music - dynamics, texture, and timbre and be able to discuss how these elements feature in a variety of songs. They will develop their skills to sing and play musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression, develop an understanding of musical improvisation and composition, and play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts.
In addition to music lessons, we incorporate music in many areas of the children’s learning, as part of our commitment to a creative curriculum. Pupils attend weekly music assemblies where they learn a range of songs. In addition, children listen to a different piece of music in every assembly. At lunch times, KS2 pupils can attend the Northside choir and take part in djembe (African drum) club. Year 3 pupils also learn to play the djembe for one term with a specialist teacher from BEAT (Barnet Education Arts Trust). The choir visit a Care Home at Christmas to sing to residents, attend Voice in A Million choral concert at Wembley SSE Arena, and sing to shoppers on the high street, as well as at the Northside Winter and Summer fairs. Visiting music tutors from BEAT teach pupils piano, acoustic guitar, djembe and singing – ten lessons per term for an additional fee. KS1 classes attend BEAT’s Barnet Music Festival and Infant Music Festivals. Musical performances play an important role at Northside Primary School - Christmas and end of term shows, class assemblies and the annual Northside Music Festival. We arrange for musicians and dancers to visit the school and work with the children, including percussion experts and dancer, Don Rae.
At Northside Primary we know that all children are musical and we ensure that the children have equal access to the music curriculum so they can all reach their potential. Provision and organisation of resources in the music room and hall have been imperative for the school and promote equal access. We are lucky to have a wide range of music resources, which have a hugely positive impact on the children learning music. We have pitched and unpitched percussion instruments from a range of different cultures including xylophones and glockenspiels, electronic keyboards, ukuleles, African djembe drums, two pianos, a Public Address system and overhead projectors. There are also a number of resources appropriate to the age range, kept in the Nursery and Reception Class areas.
We aim to represent the work of performers and composers throughout history, from different cultures, races and sexes to promote positive role models and balanced perspectives about music and musicians for all children. Pupils with particular aptitudes in music are encouraged to enhance and extend their abilities by taking part in music clubs, choir, instrumental lessons, and groups formed for concerts and performances in school and within Barnet.
By the end of Key Stage 2 pupils should be able to: