At St Ignatius Catholic Primary School, our music curriculum intends to inspire creativity, self-expression and to encourage our children on their musical journeys as well as giving them opportunities to connect with others. We hope to foster a life long love of music by exposing them to diverse musical experiences and igniting a passion for music. By listening and responding to different musical styles, finding their voices as singers, performers and as composers, all will enable them to become confident, reflective musicians.
Lessons are based on the Charanga Music School programme, developed in line with national curriculum. Charanga is a popular and enriching music curriculum which we use to teach music weekly across the school. It is our aim to ensure that we immerse children in a holistic approach to music teaching that combine the four key skills of performing, composing, listening and appraising and applying knowledge and understanding. This is why we use Charanga as it supports inclusive music and arts education in school and provides all year groups with a clear progression of skills. In addition, it enables staff music specialists and non-specialists to teach from a valuable tool of resources that will positively impact on their enjoyment to teach music.
The music curriculum ensures children sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom activities as well as the weekly singing assemblies, 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 St Ignatius Catholic Primary 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, singing assemblies and school productions. More recently this year we were involved in 'Disney musicals in Schools', and 60 of our pupils worked alongside musical theatre experts to produce a musical of the Lion King. This also meant the pupils got to perform in the West End and was an amazing experience for us all.
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.
Singing features heavily across the curriculum at St Ignatius, not just in music lessons but also in weekly singing assemblies.
The whole school take part in a weekly singing assembly with a music co-ordinator from the Haringey music service (KS1 and KS2). As a school we also sing regularly as part of our collective worship.
All children in Year 4 learn the trumpet and clarinet as a class and begin to play as an ensemble.
In year 5, children continue the learning of these instruments to further embed their skills and fluency. All lessons are integrated with learning of standard musical notation and musicianship skills.
Musician of the Month:
Each month we celebrate a 'Musician of the Month' in school. This enables children at St Ignatius to grow an appreciation and understanding towards a wider range of music from different eras, traditions and genres. By enabling this, we are also ensuring that our children have access to a wide range of music from varied composers and musicians.
The national curriculum states that children should develop an understanding of the history of music. With this in mind, we are thrilled to introduce ‘Composer week’ every July as a whole school celebration of the history of music. During this week, each year group will learn about a specific composer and a piece of music from an era in musical history. Each year, children will build on this knowledge so that by the time they leave year 6, they will have a firm understanding of 7 key composers throughout the history of music and how they fit in with historical and technological developments of the time.
Disney Musicals in Schools 2023:
At St Ignatius, we were very proud to be one of the 5 schools in London selected to take part in the Disney Musicals in Schools project. The club rehearsed twice a week, led by Disney teaching artists and school staff. This was a very exciting project to be involved with and we were really delighted to share our performance with you in the summer. As well as the performances in school we had an amazing time performing at the Lyceum theatre in London with the other schools.
At St Ignatius, we are very proud of our school choir, who rehearse once a week. In previous years the choir have performed at some very exciting and prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall and at an outdoor festival in Finsbury Park!
In year 6, children continue to develop their musicianship skills and have the opportunity to perform at the O2 arena as part of the Young Voices, the largest school choir concerts in the world!.