Intent
The Music Curriculum at Gastrells aims to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum for Music, which aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • perform, listen to, review and evaluate music
  • be taught to sing, create and compose music
  • understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated.

Through the teaching of Music at Gastrells, we aim for every child not only to have the experience of playing a tuned instrument and reading and composing with music notation, but also to enjoy music as integral part of their journey at the school. Children regularly participate in singing as a means of collective expression and celebration, and learn experience music as a unique articulation of ideas and emotion.

Pupils will have a broad and positive experience of music at Gastrells, with a range of music related activities threaded throughout the year. Alongside discrete music lessons in their respective classes, a variety of high quality and inclusive enrichment activities involving music are offered to pupils:

  • annual performance of a musical playscript by each class, involving every child on stage;
  • KS2 Christmas Concert, with class songs and opportunity for solo instrumentalists to perform;
  • Gastrells’ Got Talent, in which talented musicians can choose to perform;
  • Young Voices, culminating in a collective singing performance; teaching of dance and opportunities for extra-curricular contemporary dance performance;
  • Rock Band after school club, focusing on performance of contemporary music in a group setting, culminating in an end of year performance to the school.

Pupils at Gastrells also have access to a range of visiting peripatetic music tutors, including guitar, piano, violin and drums, with eligible pupils receiving financial support for lessons through the Make Music Gloucestershire Bursary scheme.

Through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and performing music from a wide variety of styles, traditions and genres, children gain a positive experience of music as a universal means of artistic expression. Pupils at Gastrells are enthusiastic to participate in music, and our aim is to foster a confidence in self expression through the many opportunities to perform that are offered during their journey through the school. Our aim is that children learn to understand the important cultural value of music, and to nurture enthusiasm, confidence and curiosity in the subject, so that they will go on to further involve themselves in musical performance beyond Gastrells.

Implementation
Children’s understanding and enthusiasm for Music at Gastrells is developed both through discrete Music lessons, targeted to deliver the learning aims and objectives set out in units of learning in the Music Scheme of Work, as well as through collective singing and other opportunities for musical performance at the school, which serve to further develop and enrich children’s understanding in the subject. Teachers at Gastrells use the Music Scheme of Work published by Charanga Music to plan music lessons. The Charanga Scheme of Work provides all plans, activities and resources for the delivery of the Music Curriculum for an academic year for each year group across Key Stages 1 & 2, from EYFS to Year 6, and ensures progressive learning that meets the requirements of the National Curriculum requirements for Music. The implementation of the curriculum through the Scheme of Work ensures a balanced coverage of each of the aims of the National Curriculum, with progressive development in skills and knowledge throughout their time at the school. Charanga offers teachers flexibility to link units of work in Music to topics in other subjects, and also to adapt activities for percussion, singing or the use of tuned instruments. Charanga also provides those teachers who may not be confident musicians a comprehensive framework of resources to be enable them to explore, analyse, create, compose and perform music with children.

All pupils learn to play the recorder from Year 3, learning to perform tunes and read written notation. This experience is essential in developing an understanding of how music is created, produced and communicated, and in starting children on a journey of musical exploration. Gifted instrumentalists are encouraged to perform and celebrate their talent with the school in events such as the Christmas Carol Concert, Gastrells’ Got Talent, and Rock Band Club. Visiting whole class ensemble workshops delivered by expert tutors, such as those from Make Music Gloucestershire, are also used to enrich pupils’ experience of music at Gastrells. Current pupils at the school have received workshops in Samba Drums, Garageband digital music, and banjo.

Pupils also have opportunity to explore composing music using Garageband on ipads, which offers children the experience of mastering and layering music in a simulated studio, and an understanding of how software is used in the creation of digital music. It also offers those children who may be less proficient with an instrument an opportunity to explore, create and compose, and express their ideas freely through music.

Impact
All pupils at Gastrells have the experience of learning to play an instrument and to read music, as part of timetabled curriculum lessons. Children at Gastrells are enthusiastic to participate in singing and musical performance. They experience music as an integral element in the life of the school, and a means of celebrating our collective identity and sense of belonging. Teaching embraces cross curricular links to other subjects, and recognises music as a powerful tool for enhancing and deepening the learning experience. Scientific research shows that music education plays a significant role in developing children’s intellectual, linguistic, social and creative potential in all subjects across the curriculum. Learning music enhances the development of speech and reading skills, and stimulates discerning listening and develops auditory processing skills. Music education encourages children to develop empathy for other people and cultures and explore emotions and ideas. Music education also develops an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to music from around the world as well as to students individually. Participation in musical performance is inherently enjoyable, rewarding and uplifting, promoting positive self esteem and confidence. It promotes social collaboration and communication, and gives children opportunity to express and explore their own unique ideas and emotions in a language that is accessible and universal. Our aim is that children leave Gastrells with a positive, varied experience of the subject, and a confidence to express themselves through music, with an enthusiasm for music education on which they can build in the next stage of their lives.