At St Francis you will hear music everywhere – from the songs we use in Foundation Stage to develop confidence and concepts through to the Year 6 Steel Pan performance group rehearsing at playtimes.
We believe that music is a powerful focus for creative energy as it stimulates and guides the imagination. It is a vital part of any primary curriculum, underpinning many aspects of learning, such as the ability to listen carefully, to explore feelings and responses to stimuli, to appraise, to take risks, and to work as part of a team.
Our aim is for all children to experience a broad, balanced and rewarding music education, and to develop their confidence and enthusiasm through experiencing performance, listening, appraisal and evaluation across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians.
All children will learn to sing, to create and compose music on their own and with others, to have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and to use technology appropriately. We use the Charanga scheme of work with a unit being covered each half term.
Each Unit of Work has a focus - an ongoing musical learning focus, a unit-specific focus:
- On-going musical learning focus (learning new musical skills/concepts and revisiting them): Listen & Appraise, Musical Activities (Games, Singing, Playing), Performing. Improvisation and Composition are covered too but as options.
- Unit-specific focus - Musical skills/concepts that may be discrete to a particular unit and style focus (the style or styles of music relevant to the unit).
Each Wednesday, there is a whole school singing assembly! This is partly a hymn practice and partly one big singalong. It is a great opportunity to sing together as one big ensemble and for the older children to act as role models to the younger ones. The songs vary each week and can range from hymns and old classics to modern pop songs.
Our children have many opportunities for sharing their music both in and out of school including talent shows, annual opera projects with the Royal Northern College of Music, performing at musical showcases and singing at local care homes. They always shine at such events.
Throughout school, children have access to a variety of songs and musical genres, which allows them to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon. The music lessons, singing practices and concerts allow the children to develop fundamental characteristics such as: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self-reflection. Music will also develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to children individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children are able to enjoy music as performers, singers, musicians, composers and improvisers. They can understand the structure of music and comprehend its parts. They can sing and feel a pulse. They have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they wish to extend their learning in further education.