Subject Leader: Miss N Comber
Music is an integral and valued area of our curriculum. Our aspiration is to ensure all of our pupils have a broad understanding of music and become appreciative of the different styles and genres across the decades.
The department encourages music to enhance the children’s imagination and creativity, it stimulates confidence and self-esteem and also provides a universal tool for communication.
All classes through Key Stages 1-3 will have a music lesson at least once a week to enhance understanding of musical thought and development of practical skills. Key Stage 4 pupils will have the opportunity to choose music to undertake a qualification, this will expand their knowledge and skills learnt up to Key Stage 3.
Children who wish to develop further skills on instruments and have a particular interest will be given an opportunity to work with a professional and undertake 1:1 music lessons.
Key Stage 1
At Key Stage 1, pupils have the opportunity to sing and play using their voices, bodies and a range of instruments. They have the opportunity to play a range of tuned and un-tuned instruments including, percussion, woodwind, string and brass instruments. They have regular opportunity to perform during lessons and beyond in school productions, also having the opportunity to watch performances by other musicians.
Children have the opportunity to play and explore during music lessons. The introduction to their voices as an instrument allows children to express themselves and become more confident and imaginative independently. They explore the elements of sound for example pulse, beat, rhythm and compose their own musical pieces using their voices and instruments either as a soloist or part of an ensemble with class mates.
Music is taught in a cross curricular way through our 'Learning Means the World' curriculum.
Key Stage 2
At West Kirby School and College, the Music Curriculum aims to engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
As pupils progress into Key Stage 2, they will develop a critical understanding of music and start to discover the different sounds and styles that they associate with their own moods and past events. The use of singing will also be extended for pupils to learn how to sing in tune and with other people and the understanding of musical elements from prior learning will be progressed through the use of topics being taught throughout the academic year. Practical skills will also be expanded with a focus on keyboard, recorder and glockenspiel skills.
Key Stage 3
Practical music making is core to the Key Stage 3 curriculum and pupils are taught to develop skills on a range of instruments such as keyboard, guitar and percussion as a vehicle by which to present and engage with their learning.
Musical theory is introduced during Key Stage 3 where children are encouraged to develop further their understanding of musical element and become aware of musical terminology and becoming critical thinkers of sound and recording. Popular music is a big part in modern society and so the understanding of new current styles is used to expand musical theory and to give an introduction to new technologies that have provided the sound we hear today.
Key Stage 3 children will have the opportunity to use software and electronic instruments to compose and create their own songs. Workshops on song writing to stimulate creativity and expand communicative means will be given across the academic year.
The skills developed during Key Stage 3 are designed to ensure that students are set up to be successful at GCSE and beyond regardless of their previous musical experience.
Key Stage 4 and 5
In Key Stage 4 and 5 pupils have the opportunity to complete an Arts Award Bronze, Silver and Gold. Arts award are a range of unique qualifications that supports anyone aged up to 25 to grow as artists and arts leaders, inspiring them to connect with and take part in the wider arts world through taking challenges in an art form.
Through progressing through the levels, young people get to:
- Discover the enjoyment of creating and participating in musical activities
- Experience arts events such as musicals, concerts or workshops.
- Develop creative and communication skills that are essential for success in 21st century life
- Explore the work of artists and craftspeople and gain insights into the professional arts world
- Gain experience and knowledge to help progress into further education and employment
For more information on Arts Award visit https://www.artsaward.org.uk/site/?id=64
Also in Key Stage 4 and 5 gifted pupils will have the opportunity to complete a GCSE in Music.
GCSE Music engages and encourages students to become confident performers and composers with the skills they need for a bright and successful future. GSCE music provides an invaluable insight into the foundations of music looking at the time scale from classical composers to popular music, the advanced musical theory that enables an in depth understanding of musical elements and the opportunity for students to showcase their learnt practical skills both as a soloist and part of an ensemble.
Qualification: Arts Award or Edexcel GCSE