Music at Harlyn
Music is a universal language that allows pupils to develop their creativity and communicate their ideas in an inspiring way. Music is a valuable form of communication that is accessible to all and provides children with an opportunity to work collaboratively on a shared vision.
At Harlyn Primary School, we aim to provide a music curriculum that not only develops our pupils’ knowledge and musical skills but also encourages them to develop a love of music, increase their confidence and realise their own musical potential. Throughout their time at Harlyn, pupils will develop skills in the key areas of music: singing, playing, composing and improvisation. Our curriculum is designed to:
Whilst pupils develop key musical skills within their lessons, they are also able to develop their musicality through weekly singing assemblies, in which they will work on singing with an awareness of pitch and tempo whilst also exploring a range of musical techniques and genres.
Within their lessons, pupils at Harlyn partake in a range of musical activities and also benefit from whole class ensemble tuition in Years 2, 4 and 6, learning how to play the Djembe drums, recorder and the ukulele respectively. Some of our pupils also take advantage of the peripatetic lessons provided by Hillingdon Music Hub. We are fortunate to be able to offer a range of music-based clubs, including Song Squad, Choir, Ensemble and Music Technology Club. The children involved in our singing groups and ensemble are able to display their talents regularly both within school and at events within the wider community.
We aim to provide all pupils with a range of opportunities to perform, through participation in assemblies and key stage performances. We encourage visits from external companies where applicable, with the view of promoting a love of music.
Our curriculum is designed to ensure that all children are able to access music lessons. All activities are inclusive and planned in order to encourage full and active participation and enjoyment. The resources we have available allow us to support or extend our pupils as appropriate and children will often work in mixed ability groups, allowing them to support one another. Pupils currently receive 45 minutes to 1 hour of music each week, as well as participating in weekly singing assemblies.
The curriculum is planned in order for children to develop the key musical skills of:
They will also develop their understanding of musical notation and the interrelated dimensions of music. Our lesson plans and progression documents are designed to ensure that the children’s musical skills and understanding of notation are developed year on year.
During their time at Harlyn, the children will be introduced to music from a variety of genres, cultures and time periods. We foster a cross-curricular approach to our lessons, with many of our half-termly units linking to a particular theme.
All children have the opportunity to perform in productions and class assemblies. Where appropriate, further opportunities for pupils to explore music are arranged. For example, we have previously celebrated World Music Day with cross-curricular learning activities and external workshops, allowing pupils to explore music from other cultures.
Those children with a particular interest or aptitude in Music are given the opportunity to extend their education in a variety of ways. They may be encouraged to join the choir, which is open to all pupils, or invited to join our ensemble. They will have opportunities to perform in concerts and assemblies within school or at external venues. Hillingdon Music Service offer peripatetic lessons within school and many of their pupils are invited to join our ensemble. They are also given opportunities to perform in assembly and at school events.
For some of our pupils, accessing the National Curriculum alongside their peers can be challenging due to their additional needs. We are fortunate to be able to offer 1:1 or small group music interventions for these children. These sessions are tailored to their needs and ability; allowing them to access and enjoy music at an appropriate level. These sessions will also incorporate some of their personal targets, such as those relating to social skills.
Our music curriculum is designed to allow for the progression of skills and acquisition of knowledge. The children are deemed to be at or above age-related expectations if they are able to demonstrate their musical skills, share their knowledge and utilise musical vocabulary within lessons. Pupils are regularly assessed and progress is measured through the following means:
We also consider the uptake of peripatetic lessons within school and the number of pupils enrolled in our extra-curricular activities.
However, music teaching is not solely about developing creativity and it is hoped that the impact it has can be seen beyond the music classroom. Through working in groups to create compositions and performing in an ensemble, we encourage communication and collaboration, allowing pupils to develop an understanding of democracy and mutual respect. They learn the importance of listening attentively, appreciating and valuing everyone’s ideas and contributions.
Singing and playing music allows pupils to develop their self-esteem and increase confidence. Music can be an excellent form of expression for many who find it difficult to communicate their ideas verbally or through their writing. Listening to music can invoke a powerful personal response and give us an understanding of emotions, as well as helping us gain an understanding of a range of cultures and religions. Music can even go some way towards helping pupils understand some of the key events within social history.
Music is key in the development of coordination, fine-motor and auditory skills. It has also been seen to improve memory and develop discipline.
These aspects are difficult to measure through written assessments, but can be noted through observations and pupil voice activities.