At Houghton Conquest Lower School, 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, traditions, and musical genres. We are committed to developing a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life. We aim to provide children with the opportunity to progress to the next level of their creative excellence.
The music curriculum ensures children sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom activities, various concerts and performances and the learning of instruments. Through the musical program Charanga, teachers are able to produce inclusive lessons for all children to access the musical curriculum in a fun and engaging way, further promoting a love of learning. Teachers deliver music following the Charanga programme, designed specifically for the teaching of music in primary schools. Charanga lessons are planned in sequences to provide children with the opportunities to review, remember, deepen and apply their understanding.
The elements of music are taught in 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 children learn how to play the recorder and a variety of percussion instruments. Playing various instruments enables children to use a range of methods to create notes, as well as how to read basic music notation. They also learn how to compose, focusing 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.
Music enables children to develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to children 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. Children have the opportunity to discuss and share their own thoughts, opinions and ideas, acknowledging and respecting that these may vary and that this is positive. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts. They can sing and feel a pulse. At Houghton Conquest Lower School children are provided with opportunities beyond the National Curriculum to further and support their understanding. These include having visitors with a musical talent, visiting concerts and school productions. External interests and talents are also encouraged and showcased in class and assembly, ensuring that everyone is challenged regardless of previous musical experience. Children have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.
We recognise that music can contribute greatly to the neighbouring community and the community can also contribute to the enrichment of music within the school. The children will experience performing to different audiences in different venues, they will have to consider the needs of their differing audiences, they can enjoy giving pleasure and they can experience a sense of achievement. In return their music education will be enriched by experiencing live music performed by different groups/instrumentalists from the immediate and wider community. The children sing weekly in assemblies. We produce a Harvest, Christmas and class musical productions each year. We run extracurricular clubs including piano tuition and guitar tuition during school time.
Houghton’s Programme of Study
Knowledge & Skills – Reception
Knowledge & Skills – Year 1
Knowledge & Skills – Year 2
Knowledge & Skills – Year 3
Knowledge & Skills – Year 4
Vocabulary Years 1 – 6
Developing Early Musical Skills