At Horsenden, we love music and we are lucky to have Mrs Bennett, a music specialist teacher, teaching all music lessons from Year 1 - Year 6. Music lessons are hands-on and exciting and we aim to develop musicians who:
- Appreciate a wide variety of global musical styles
- Know of, and can discuss various musicians from both current and past times
- Enjoy singing and know how to perform with understanding and expression
- Read and play basic music notation
- Are equipped with the technical skills and creativity to compose and perform
- Can confidently experiment with the creative process, creating and performing music
Our music curriculum provides an integrated, practical, exploratory approach to musical learning where the learning is the focus, not always the outcome. We understand that musical teaching is not always linear, so the strands of musical learning are repeated and built up over time, through a wide variety of engaging musical activities. This ensures a more secure and deeper learning of music and over time, mastery of musical skills. Our curriculum returns to key musical concepts over time, developing a depth of understanding in a spiral-based curriculum. Three key learning areas are developed as follows:
- Listening and appraising
- Musical activities – creating and exploring
- Singing, playing instruments and performing
The interrelated dimensions of music are woven through each year group to encourage the development of musical skills while learning and progressing through the key areas of music: listening and appraising, creating and exploring (through a wide variety of musical activities) and performing. This can be seen in the diagram below:
Within each musical unit, pupils listen to a variety of music styles and develop the vocabulary needed to discuss music with increasing aptitude. They use tuned and untuned instruments, encouraging confident performance, improvisation and composition.
Our whole school focus of developing talk in the classroom is seen throughout music lessons, where pupils listen to and appraise a wide variety of music repertoire, as well as their own performances. A progression of musical skills and understanding, alongside a progression of music vocabulary underpins all lessons (this document can be found below).
We have some very able young musicians at Horsenden Primary and we aim to recognise, foster and further develop individual talents within lessons, through various school performance opportunities and by supporting individual music examinations, where possible.
Whole School Science Curriculum Map:
Progression of Knowledge and Skills
Individual Year Group Skills and Progressions Documents (taken from the Whole School document above):
Throughout each school year we provide various performance opportunities for all pupils at Horsenden. These are in addition to the performances built into classroom music lessons, which form part of the National Curriculum. Additional opportunities include things such as:
- Class Assemblies
Each year all classes from Year 1 - Year 6 present a class assembly about their learning to both parents and other classes in their year group. Class assemblies are a joint creation by class teachers and their pupils, and always include at least 1 song as a group performance. In some cases pupils who have particular musical talents also perform, if they wish.
- Horsenden's Got Talent & The Horsenden X Factor
These are whole school competitions that alternate each year, and there is always a lot of buzz and excitement in the lead up to these events; they are certainly some of Horsenden's historic favourites! Horsenden's Got Talent is a traditional talent show, therefore we see many musical entries, as well as a full array of other acts. The Horsenden X Factor, like it's TV namesake, is a vocals-only competition, but with much tougher rules for entrants! For the past 2 years we have ensured these important competitions continued, so we've had online competitions. Last year's winning performance can be viewed below.
- Christmas Productions
Each December Horsenden pupils put on an array of Christmas productions for the school and wider community. This allows pupils to develop a variety of performance skills with different sizes and types of audiences over time. Nursery pupils have an in-class sing-a-long for parents and carers, Reception classes perform a joint Nativity show. Year 1 & 2 perform alternative Christmas/Winter productions and Years 3-6 work together to perform a Horsenden Christmas Songs & Carols show. We often also have various solo or small group performances by pupils who play instruments competently outside of school, or by those who are showing a particular talent within class music lessons.
- Year 6 Production
Pupils end their final school year by producing and performing a whole-year group production. The show changes every year and is always the much-anticipated end-of-year performance where pupils get to really shine in their chosen roles!
Extended Music Curriculum
Horsenden's Got Talent Winner - 2021:
Overall Winner - Chloe, Year 4