Music at Portway Infant School
At Portway Infant School our music curriculum aims to equip all children with the knowledge, understanding and skills to be lifelong learners and to enjoy, appreciate, participate in and achieve in music. We recognise the value of music education as part of a broad and balanced curriculum and we ensure that the music throughout our school is accessible to all learners.
In our music curriculum, the musical dimensions of pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure form the core of what the children are learning. Our children will develop a range of musical skills such as singing in unison and in parts, playing a variety of tuned and untuned instruments and listening and appraising a wide selection of live and recorded music. They will also learn the musical vocabulary needed to describe and discuss the music they perform and hear. We encourage children to use their imagination in music lessons, making songs their own and exploring sounds across the many percussion instruments we have here at Portway.
There is a clear sequence of learning across EYFS and KS1 which builds clear progression with a focus on exploring musical skills, developing understanding and opportunities to apply the learning through a range of practical activities. Children listen to and share their opinions on music from a wide range of cultures, traditions, contexts and purposes. We want the children to be reflective and expressive, developing their own appreciation for a range of music that they will carry with them throughout their school journey and beyond. Within our own classes, we have recently started to enjoy ‘Song of the week’ which enables our children to be exposed to and appreciate a range of musical genres and composers from different centuries.
Music is such a special part of our school life. At Christmas, we invite parents to watch our Christmas play performances with lots of singing and acting directed by the EYFS and KS1 teaching staff. Children are involved in making up actions and choreographing small group dances. This is a particularly happy and exciting time for the children as they become performers and enjoy being on the stage with big smiles and costumes.
When our children reach Year 2, they are taught to play tuned and untuned instruments with the support of Hampshire Music Service. Throughout the year the children will learn to play the ukulele, bamboo tamboo and the recorder, ensuring they have an opportunity to play a variety from across the different musical instrument families – percussion, woodwind and string. We perform in a short concert at the end of each term to parents, led by Mrs Moore from Hampshire Music Service, to show off our new playing skills, singing and chants.
An after school recorder club for Year 1 and 2 children takes place with Mrs Bolt. This allows children to learn, practise and perform in a smaller group setting and the children are given their own recorder and book to practise at home.
Wherever and whenever possible we aim to give our children real and hands on experiences throughout their school journey. Each year we take Year 2 children to see the children’s orchestra in Southampton, we sing Christmas carols at local care homes and we even have some talented staff, playing a variety of instruments, performing in assemblies. We are always looking for even more fantastic musical experiences for the children, so if you have a hidden musical talent to share or would like to play to a very appreciative audience, please get in touch.
Dynamics - The musical term for ‘volume’ and refers to how loud or quiet a piece of music is played.
Pitch – How high or low a sound is.
Pulse – The beat of the music. This is like a regular heartbeat running steadily through the music.
Duration – The length of each sound (long/short)
Rhythm - If you were singing a song, the rhythm would follow the pattern of the words. If you sing a song and clap the words, your clapping would be different to the pulse/beat.
Tempo – The speed of the music (fast/slow).
Timbre - Different types of sound, eg different voice sounds (whisper, hum, sing, talk), sounds made by different instruments, sounds made using different kinds of beater.
Texture – Layers of sound.
Structure - The way sounds are organised within a composition, eg sounds could be organised with a beginning, middle and end.