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Musical education at Whipton Barton Federation encompasses many different forms, each of which gives children knowledge and understanding of the subject in order to become more competent, confident and motivated in musical exploration. Music is so much a part of children’s lives, that they often do not even notice it. The curriculum is designed to not only build awareness, but also to raise aspirations and open the children up to not only the potential of music in their lives as a way of enjoyment, but also as a valid career that they might wish to take on later in life.

Children in Early Years develop knowledge of sound, songs, music and instruments from the very beginning of nursery and throughout their time in the EYFS. They have continual access to musical instruments where they can explore and distinguish the different sounds (timbre) that musical instruments make and how they can be played differently to create a new sound or dynamic. They use songs, music and dance as a way of expressing themselves freely during their independent learning time but equally teachers use music throughout the curriculum. For example, the use of musical instruments in Maths lessons supports children’s understanding of pattern and children learn dance as part of their PE lessons in Reception. In the Autumn term, Reception children learn to perform a range of songs and dances as part of their Nativity play.

Success in music takes different forms. This might take place during Friday’s Celebration Assembly, held in front of the whole school, through Head teacher prizes, dojo points or having successes shared through social media. They could have performed in front of third parties, such as the local community, members of community choirs or as part of a local event.

Peripatetic Music and Clubs

Music clubs are ongoing during the year, with choir being open to all year groups, and a Year 5/6 ‘Band in a Term’ club that takes place in the summer term. Peripatetic music is taught four days a week in school, with the children learning Piano / Keyboard, Brass, Drums, Ukulele, Recorder and Guitar. These activities are designed to be focussed, fun and engaging for all who attend, contributing to children’s learning in school, wellbeing and mental health.

Special events take place regularly during the year. These take place in all year groups and are designed to foster an inclusive, group approach, so that all children share the joy of taking part in – and making – music. All children have opportunities to attend Music events at different times throughout the year and can represent the school in different ways, whether it is through assembly, during concert events or Christmas Carol concerts.

The curriculum is designed to be both progressive and cumulative, allowing children to not only re-visit skills taught previously as they progress through the school, but also to improve upon them and feel a sense of achievement as they do so. As the children move through the school, so their lessons change and adapt to reflect their growth. Skill based work extends into exploration of World music, which in turn develops their ear for melody and rhythm, thereby giving them confidence to begin analysing music they hear with the correct language and terms. This ground up approach allows children to feel a sense of success, and the differentiation built into the lessons ensures all can take part.