At Giffard Park Primary School we believe that all children should have access to high quality musical opportunities every week. Music is beneficial to our children’s development and wellbeing and helps to enrich their lives and education. Pupils follow the National Curriculum for music and work at levels appropriate for their ability.
Key Stage 1.
In Key Stage 1, weekly music lessons involve singing, listening and practical activities with a focus on pitch, beat, and performance. Where possible lessons are linked to the other termly topics, to enhance cross-curricular links. Children are given the chance to use percussion instruments, performing in small groups and individually both in unison and in rounds.
Every Christmas, Key Stage 1 children take part in a performance where they can utilise their singing skills from music lessons and singing assemblies, to perform with their peers for an audience.
Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2, children build on prior learning and extend their understanding of pitch and beat. They also have the opportunity to play musical instruments and learn to develop accuracy, control and expression. All children are given the opportunity to play in a group and individually. Throughout this Key Stage, children explore musical history through looking into the work of different composers and artists of different genres of music including film music, classical music and pop. Children also learn about musical notation and how to compose simple melodies and accompaniments.
In Year 6, the summer term is a music filled bonanza as we work towards our end of Year performance. In recent years we have been hugely successful in performing ‘In a Land of Awe and Wonder’ and ‘Cinderella Rockafella’ both of which involved a variety of singing and drew on the styles taught across KS2.
All children in the school participate in weekly singing assemblies in each key stage. They learn a range of songs, exploring different styles and genres, as well as songs from different cultures. We have termly whole school singing assemblies where the children come together to share the songs they have been learning. The school is a member of ‘Sing Up’ which provides excellent resources to promote and teach children the skills and benefits of singing.
Year 4 children are given the chance to take part in Milton Keynes Music Co-operative’s Wider Opportunities Scheme where they attend whole class woodwind lessons, taught by a specialist music teacher. The scheme is a government initiative, designed to give all primary children the chance to play an instrument as an integral part of National Curriculum music lessons.
We also offer musical instrument lessons taught by specialist teachers from Milton Keynes Music Co-operative. These lessons take place during school time and are taught in addition to our music curriculum. At present we offer woodwind and violin lessons. These are available to children in Key Stage 2.
Children who take part in peripatetic lessons can work towards being given the chance to perform at Milton Keynes Primary School Music Festival at Christ the Cornerstone Church. Ensembles from our school always do us proud at the festivals, and we had more success earlier this year with one of our violin ensembles winning the Bronze Award and our Woodwind trio being awarded the Silver Award.
Giffard Park Primary School choir rehearse once a week at lunchtimes for children in Key Stage 2. We practice a wide variety of songs with giving the children an input into the types of songs they would like to sing and work towards various performances during the year.
As well as taking part in music festivals, we like to offer our children plenty of opportunities to perform at school events such as our Christmas and Summer fayres. We also invite residents from the local Sheltered Housing to musical performances once a term, which is always an extremely enjoyable occasion for all involved. The wider opportunities that are offered to the children in Year 4 include the chance to learn a musical instrument. This course of lessons culminates in a performance as an ensemble in front of peers.
KS1 children join together for a Christmas performance where they have the opportunity to sing and dance together in front of an audience. KS2 children have the opportunity to perform as part of the choir, during Christmas and Summer fayres, as instrumental ensembles and during their final year in the Year 6 performance.