Sevenoaks Primary School aims for all children to have the opportunity to experience and enjoy music. Music is delivered weekly by our music specialist teacher from Reception to Year 6, with additional opportunities for cross-curricular links throughout the school.
It is the intention that all children experience a wide variety of musical styles and cultures (exposure to a different genres and styles is also delivered during assemblies), and they are encouraged to listen to music with an increasingly critical ear. Children have the opportunity to participate and co-operate within groups for singing and creative music making. They are encouraged to develop an awareness of rhythm, pitch, dynamics, timbre, tempo, structure and melody through singing, composition and playing of wind, string and percussion instruments. Children gain increased confidence that encourages participation in musical performance for a variety of purposes and audiences.
Click on the units below to view the attached Knowledge Organiser for that subject.
‘Where words fail, music speaks’ - Hans Christian Andersen
Music is an integral part of life at Sevenoaks Primary School. We believe music is a unique way of communicating that can inspire and motivate everyone. We provide opportunities for all children to listen, perform, compose and enjoy music, to develop their musical skills to appreciate a wide variety of musical genres. We are proud to be a Music Mark school, providing high-quality music education for all our children.
We are very lucky to have a large specialist music room at SPS which is equipped with a range of musical instruments and materials. The children at SPS are taught a weekly music lesson by our school specialist music teacher.
There are several opportunities throughout the Phases to play and perform a variety of musical instruments. In Phase 1, children learn through music-and-movement lessons, using rhymes, actions, tuned and un-tuned percussion to compose and perform. In Year 3, children learn to play the ocarina and perform during school events throughout the year.
Children in Year 4 receive recorder instruction, focusing on note reading, articulation techniques and breath control. Children in Year 5 learn to play the both the hand bells and the djembe, a hugely popular and versatile African drum. In Year 6, children learn to play the ukulele, learning about chords and discovering popular music styles.
Singing is taught weekly in every music lesson. Throughout the year, all children will be given the opportunity to perform and compose individually or in groups.
Beyond the curriculum, SPS offers many opportunities for children to learn to play a musical instrument. Peripatetic tutors offer guitar and piano lessons during and after school hours, and there is a weekly ‘orchestra’ club which gives children a chance to experiment with a variety of instruments (which often include the violin, saxophone, piano, drums, ukulele and guitar).
Here at SPS, we have active school choirs within each Key Stage. Both the KS1 and KS2 Choirs perform during events at school and in the community. The KS2 Choir has performed in a Christmas carol service with the Tonbridge Concert Band.
For several years, January sees the KS2 choir performing in the Young Voices Concert at the O2 Arena. This is an amazing opportunity for children to learn how challenging choral pieces come together with practice, rehearsal and teamwork. The children who participate develop a strong sense of pride, comradeship and self-esteem.
Lights, Camera, ...Action!
Music and drama come together to provide children with several opportunities for artistic expression, allowing them to develop poise, confidence and communication skills. The Foundation Stage and Phase One nativity plays certainly are a highlight of the Christmas season.
Class assemblies provide another occasion for musical performances and the weekly Phase Group singing assemblies give children the chance to learn songs in an ensemble context, exploring pitch, harmony and rhythm.
Of course, the school year always ends on a high note with the Year 6 production! As well as participating in a full-scale musical combining song, dance and drama, children are exposed to and taught about advanced concepts of music theory and production skills.
Music at Sevenoaks enables all learners to develop knowledge and skills across the whole music curriculum. Children's musical knowledge and understanding is assessed by questioning, listening and observation of performance as well as reviewing children’s written compositions. Levels of assessment are closely guided by the bespoke music subject Knowledge Organisers.
Digital recordings play a very important role in assessing and keeping a record children’s progress in music. Throughout the term, each class is regularly recorded using the class camera and videos are uploaded to a class media drive. A database of video-media performances are then built upon throughout the year, and gradually build a picture of the child’s time at Sevenoaks Primary. These detail the students’ progress as they journey throughout the school.
A good example of this can be seen by looking at how instrumental skills are taught across the various year groups. Sophie in Year 4 says “I enjoy music lessons because I enjoy learning a real instrument”.
As children progress through their musical journey at Sevenoaks Primary School, careful consideration and planning has been made to ensure children have a wide exposure to various instruments. Reception children explore a range of un-tuned instruments and start to refer to them by name. They learn and explore different ways that the instruments can make different sounds. Moving onto other year groups, Year 1 begin to play tuned and un-tuned instruments, building on their knowledge from Reception. By the time children move in to Year 2 and 3, children are taught how to handle more complicated instruments, such as the ocarina and recorder and are expected to play with greater control and precision. Ben in Year 5 says “We are really proud of our hand-bell performance. We worked as an ensemble-team. Everyone loved it…I love it!”
By Phase 3, children will be challenged again with instruments that demand greater control and ensemble skills, using note reading, rhythm work and chords to play instruments, including such instruments as the violin, djembe drums and ukulele. Josh in Year 6 says “There are so many useful pictures on the walls in the music room and these help me to learn about the notes and musical language. The teacher uses hand signals to show and help us know about pitch and beat.”
When children leave us in Year 6, they have enjoyed a rich tapestry of music education and are well-equipped with a secure and broad range of musical knowledge, skills and understanding which prepares them for their journey in to secondary school music …and beyond!
Stanely in Year 3 says “I enjoy music lessons because it’s music to my ears!”.