At Keevil Church of England Academy, we believe that music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education engages and inspires pupils to develop a love of music. They acquire a knowledge and understanding that enables them to engage critically with a range of different musical genres, as well as apply these when composing and performing. Music will increase children’s self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
Our curriculum is organised as a progression which facilitates the re-visiting of learning through recurrent themes, such that knowledge and understanding becomes embedded in children’s long term memory. For details of this see the document below ‘Keevil CofE Academy Music Knowledge and Skills Progression’.
We ensure our Music Curriculum is rooted in the vision and ethos of the school, through ensuring that as well as delivering musical knowledge and skills lessons also develop the Keevil Characteristics:
Children need to work together as a team to produce and perform a variety of musical works. This requires good communication skills, as well as using music as a different means through which to share, express and communicate with others. Children show resilience to keep going even when it is tricky and diligence to produce a quality performance. They learn a variety of musical skills and techniques, and problem-solve how to use these to best effect when composing and performing.
Music is taught by Kirsty Fowler who is a specialist music teacher. Each class receives a weekly curriculum music lesson which gives the children the opportunity to learn about musical elements, composition, singing and performing. Cross-curricular links are developed within music lessons where appropriate.
Keevil school subscribes to ‘Sing Up’ which is an online resource containing thousands of songs. All teacher have access to this which allows them to find and incorporate songs into their teaching where appropriate. ‘Sing Up’ also offers a curriculum plan which is used in the school from reception to year 2. Each topic is based on a song and includes composing, improvising and performing while constantly reinforcing the fundamental building blocks of music.
Music is delivered through specific units of work, as well as through opportunities taken during other times of the school day and year. The ‘Keevil CofE Academy Music Curriculum Overview’ below, shows how these are carefully mapped to ensure that the National Curriculum is successfully delivered in a way that builds on prior knowledge and promotes long-term retention of learning.
Key stage 2 modules have been chosen from a variety of sources in order to cover a range of topics including world music, music history and music technology to name a few.
Throughout their music lessons, the children have access to a variety of instruments. Most frequently used is our trolly of untuned percussion which allows the children to select and create a huge plethora of sounds. We have a class set of glockenspiels which means KS2 children can fulfil the requirement that they should be able to play a pitched percussion instrument within an octave. We also have a set of Boomwhackers, a few larger drums and a class set of headphones which are used in music tech lessons.
Singing is included in Worship every morning. At the start of each term a plan is created to ensure a wide variety of songs are sung, including hymns. Each Friday we have a specific ‘singing worship’ in which Mrs Fowler introduces new songs and warm ups. These are then incorporated into the plan for the rest of term.
At Keevil school we have recently introduced a ‘piece of the term’. At the start of term, the music gets introduced and explained to the children. It is then used at the start and end of every worship throughout the term. These pieces are chosen to give the children a broad and balanced experience of music from different genres, styles and periods of history.
The school is committed to continuing the government policy that states every child in KS2 should have the opportunity to learn an instrument. Over the past few years we have taught whole class clarinet, recorder and Jsax. This has been really successful and everyone involved has really enjoyed the experience. Many children choose to begin one to one lessons at the end of this project and have then gone on to take several music exams.
Throughout their time at Keevil, children have several opportunities to perform in whole class productions. EYFS and KS1 produce a Nativity each Christmas which is performed in the local church. Years 3 and 4 perform a concert at Christmas which is also performed at the church and where possible, to residents in a local care home. At the end of each year, Years 5 and 6 put on a production in the local village hall. Recent shows include ‘Pirates of the Curry Bean’ and ‘Go For Goal’. For those children learning an instrument, there is an opportunity to perform in the Leavers’ church service at the end of each year. The children also have an opportunity to perform to each other in ‘Music Worship’ sessions which are dotted through the year. Each class prepares a song or performance and they take it in turns to perform to each other.
Whenever possible we try to bring in external musicians to perform. Recently we had a wonderful Christmas show brought to us by ‘Music for Miniatures’. As well as concerts we try to organise workshops for the children. These have included junk percussion with ‘Beat Goes On’, a clarinet workshop for Summer class with ‘Music for Miniatures’ and several singing sessions with Kate Courage, a local singer and workshop leader.
One to one and small group lessons are currently offered at Keevil school on the clarinet, saxophone, flute, recorder and guitar. These lessons are delivered during the school day.
All teaching in the school follows our Teaching and Learning non-negotiables and expectations to ensure a high standard of provision.
Through the delivery of our curriculum children learn a range of musical theory knowledge including pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations. They develop skills in using their own voices and playing a variety of musical instruments. They have opportunities to use and apply this knowledge and understanding through performance and composing. They listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of great composers and musicians. They come to understand the power of music as a universal means of communication and an avenue of self-expression. Children develop their love of the subject and their own talent.
In 2022, our commitment to high quality music education was recognised by Wiltshire Music Connect and we were chosen to become a Music Mark school. This gives us access to a wealth of resources and training. We are proud to have joined this network of leaders in music education.
The year 3 and 4 children have been singing their socks off to everyone who will listen. They have performed to the village, the school, their families and Blenheim House care home in Melksham. “The children were so good and the residents are still talking about it which is amazing!” A big thank you to Mrs Fowler, our music teacher, for all her efforts and organisation behind this.