What is music and why do we teach it?
We all experience music every day; music lessons at Brompton Hall aim to help learners enjoy and understand this better by composing their own pieces, learning to perform the music of others and responding to the music they listen to during lessons.
Just as a school aims to foster a love of reading as much as teaching key reading skills, so the music curriculum aims to nurture a love of music, in addition to teaching skills. We aim to offer high quality, musical experiences that enable learners to engage with a range of styles, activities and musicians.
Music lessons take learners back in time and around the world in order to find out about the nuts and bolts of music using acoustic and electronic instruments and ICT. Learners join in singing activities and learn to read simple music notation. Lessons encourage British Values such as respect for different cultures, admiration for the work of musical heroes past and present and valuing the achievements of each other and themselves. These are attributes at the heart of being British that can become truly life-long.
- To deliver the current National Curriculum for Music to all KS 2, KS 3 and KS 4 learners.
- To create a broad range of inspiring, musical experiences for all learners within the key areas of performing, composing and listening.
- To deliver a differentiated curriculum that enables each student to access every task and make progress from that point of access.
- To identify and encourage skills such as collaboration, respect for others, how to practice and overcome a difficult task and participation in group as well as individual success.
- To monitor and record the progress of each student, delivering units of work that enable each boy to understand how he can progress and that ensure he does so.
The department is developing its resources, the most recent being a set of ukuleles. These enhance a full set of keyboards, a range of percussion instruments plus a small selection of orchestral instruments and guitars that are available for individual learners to learn and currently used to illustrate teaching on topics such as pitch or the orchestra.
The recorded music that learners listen to as part of their lessons is carefully selected so that they hear the best performers available.
It is also developing a range of resources and activities to help learners develop literacy, numeracy and working memory such as ‘bingo’ to help memorise the names of notes.
Teaching & Assessment
Music is taught to every class at Brompton Hall School so that all our learners in Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 receive weekly lessons from a Music specialist. Learners in Key Stage 2 follow the new Programme of Study, those in Key Stage 3 follow this Programme of Study and year 10 and 11 learners develop skills and experiences that extend from the Key Stage 3 Programme of Study.
A typical music lesson includes a starter activity, one or two main, differentiated activities and a plenary or summary task. Starters often focus on promoting literacy, numeracy or memory. All main activities are differentiated, usually using a familiar ‘Must Do’, ‘Try to’ and Go for it’ challenge for written and practical tasks.
Most tasks are completed individually but there are planned opportunities for group-work which encourage learners to reflect on aspects such as leadership or how they made decisions as well as musical skills.
The teacher works closely with an Advanced Skills Teaching Assistant, who is also involved in the planning of lessons and preparation of resources and displays.
Music Club runs once a week after school for a small number of learners from any year group to extend his musical experiences and learning.
Following the removal of levels, the Music Department has developed a system of statements to show progress against the new Programme of Study. This was implemented for all year groups in September 2016. Verbal and written feedback is given to all learners during lessons and a range of experiences recorded using 2 Build a Profile. The Progress Tracker for Music is regularly updated to record the progress of learners measured against subject targets.
Learners are also given regular opportunities to reflect on their own work and that of their peers, usually using the WWW (what went well) and EBI (even better if) format but also using a range of methods to encourage meaningful engagement with these activities.
Marking follows the whole school marking policy. For practical tasks lasting more than one lesson, comments are made in books and dated in order to show progress across lessons.