The national curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:
• perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
• learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
• Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
• The design of the curriculum at St Michael’s aims to allow pupils should build on their previous knowledge and skills through performing, composing and listening. They should develop their vocal and/or instrumental fluency, accuracy and expressiveness; and understand musical structures, styles, genres and traditions, identifying the expressive use of musical dimensions.
• Musical learning at KS3 is built around main strands, which are interrelated and overlapping working in an ever increasing spiral of progression. These are: singing/ composing/improvising/ playing/ critical engagement/ social, moral, spiritual, and cultural/developing knowledge.(Swanick & tillman)
• The curriculum at St Michael’s aims to complete an appropriate POS for all KS3, 4 & 5 music students. In addition we aim to provide opportunities for students to extend their learning through the study and preparation for ABRSM, Rock school and Trinity performance and theory examinations.
• In order to access and achieve examination success numeracy and literacy is an on-going but discrete element of teaching and learning by its use of counting beats, learning key words and understanding how to respond appropriately for exams.
• All students at KS3 receive 1 music lesson per week. It is an option at KS4 with students receiving 2 hours, and 5 hours for the Vi form option.
• Knowledge organiser has been introduced to year 7 learning in 2018/19. It has been based on ABRSM Grade 1 so that pupils are ready to take the exam at the end of spring term. Knowledge organisers will be introduced in 2019/20 to year 8 to provide a broader knowledge base, such as historical periods, world and film music.
• A system of regular testing has been introduced to year 7 in 2019, this will be extended to year 8 in the forthcoming year. In addition regular testing has been used for GCSE cohorts and will be used in 2019/20 for year 11 Btec students.
• A range of other pedagogical approaches is used. Of our ten principles all ten do come in to use over time but in particular modelling success is a key feature of lessons, especially with the emphasis on practical music making in lessons. With this however comes the constant need to challenge pupils as we teach in mixed ability music classes and also the need to quickly develop effective pupil-teacher relationships.
• Cultural enrichment opportunities are available to students at all key stages. In addition to the varied and busy extra-curricular music programme pupils at all key stages have the opportunity to see live performance in addition to finding out about the cultural contexts that surround the music.
• Students are assessed regularly. Each half termly unit has an end of unit assessment. This can be either written or Assessment (details of assessment in the log term curriculum plan). Aswell as written evidence a bank of evidence of progression takes the form of video/audio recording at all key stages.(3 assessment points).
• Resources - all pupils use notebooks but also a range of practical instruments including voices, keyboards percussion instrument, ICT resources and any instruments that they are receiving lessons on.
• SLT and a link governor monitor the department.
• Reading and writing is a crucial area of learning. Pupils need to develop the understanding of key words so that they can articulate their ideas accurately. It is also a key area to ensure that students are able to achieve success in public examination particular in questions that we require detailed explanation. As such, time is spent in the curriculum developing this knowledge with the pupils.
• Pupils are taught in mixed ability groups. Staff follow the pupil passport suggestions to adapt their teaching to suit the learners. Where TA support is available staff are deployed accordingly. More able students are encouraged to take up the opportunity to play an instrument or join a musical ensemble. Also, the department undertakes an audit of extra-curricular uptake to ensure that all groups of learners are accessing musical opportunities. (Most recent is July 2019)
• Students continue to make good progress in music at all key stages.
• We believe that students are offered the appropriate progress ion routes, be it Btec level 2/gcse, Btec level 3/A level so that they can achieve success in the subject and are able to progress on to the next stage of their learning.
• The variety of learning opportunities and skills which are developed in our students ensures that they can all make the most of their talents and interests.
• The variety of experiences, be they in the classroom, in regular extra-curricular school activities or out of school opportunities mean that pupils can develop their musical skills at the same time as developing their cultural awareness.