The music curriculum at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School aims to provide our students with the necessary skills to develop into well-rounded musicians throughout their primary education. During the primary curriculum, students will perform, compose, improvise and appraise music of a wide variety of genres and styles. They will learn to use their voices expressively and confidently as well as having the opportunity to play a range of different musical instruments. In addition, students will develop their knowledge of musical elements and learn about the creation, production and communication of various forms of music.
Everything musical we do at St Joseph’s is built on our philosophy that “music is for everyone”. We are committed to providing an outstanding music education for all of our students that, at its heart, is inclusive and fosters creativity and individuality. Each week KS1 classes will receive forty minute lessons and KS2 classes will receive one hour lessons from a specialist music teacher.
The primary curriculum will begin by introducing entry level skills, including developing an understanding of rhythm and pitch through the use of the Kodaly method, as well as body percussion and singing. The students will then advance to developing their instrumental skills through practice and performance in group and whole class settings.
We offer a bespoke music technology programme in Years 5 and 6 in which the students will have access to the industry standard music production software, Logic Pro X. Through this they will develop production and sequencing skills with the end goal being able to compose and produce their own music.
The overarching aim of the curriculum is to provide our students with the necessary skills to participate in high-quality performances in various ensemble types, with the curriculum culminating in Year 6 with a term-long band project and Battle of the Bands competition. Prior to this, they will complete essential learning, practice and performance that will ensure they have the necessary skills to excel as accomplished band musicians.
Throughout their primary education, students will be exposed to music of various genres, styles and traditions and will develop their appraising and critical listening skills. All teaching is underpinned by the elements of music that are essential in building a foundation for the many areas of our students’ musical development.
All music lessons from Years 1 to 6 at St Joseph’s are delivered by a music specialist. The Kodaly method, which underpins all our rhythmic learning, is introduced at the start of Year 1 and will be used to support and facilitate the understanding of rhythm throughout the primary curriculum.
The curriculum has a special focus on performing and all units will culminate in performances of various settings, be that solo, pairs, small groups or whole class ensembles. Students will also compose and improvise regularly ensuring that their creativity and individuality is nurtured, supported and developed at all stages of their musical journey at St Joseph’s. The students will also develop their listening skills through exposure to music of various styles, genres and traditions. The majority of teaching units last for a half term, however, at the end of each year the entirety of the summer term will be dedicated to an extended project that will enable students to develop essential skills in further depth. Year 6, however, will have their extended project in the Spring Term to ensure students can spend the Summer Term focusing on their SATs and preparing songs for the end of year show.
Year 4 students are provided with the fantastic opportunity to study violin for the year with a professional violinist and teacher. This scheme is facilitated by Music Education Islington in conjunction with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Our students also have the opportunity to take part in extracurricular music activities. The school orchestra is open to Years 4 to 6 and students of all experience levels are welcome to join if they are committed and enthusiastic about making music. Instrumental parts are individuality differentiated to ensure that everyone can contribute to the orchestra. There is also a school choir that offers further development to students vocal and ensemble skills outside of lessons.
Music is an interactive subject and our students will perform and express themselves regularly. Students will be part of various performances and at the end of the school year, every year group will take part in a whole school performance showcasing their talents and hard work.
The impact of our music curriculum will be quantified in a number of ways. In the first half of each half term, formative assessments will be used to measure progress against learning aims and ensure that each student is being offered a personalised learning experience. Summative assessments will be conducted at the end of each term to collect data that will inform of gaps in students’ knowledge, showing how the curriculum can then be further developed and tailored for our learners.
Students will leave St Joseph’s with an understanding of musical elements and a wide breadth of performance experiences. They will have had the opportunity to learn various musical instruments and be a part of high-quality performances that span different styles and genres. The students will also have had their creativity and individuality nurtured and developed through a number of different composition and improvisation tasks, as well as having advanced their listening skills and musical knowledge through exposure to different genres, styles and traditions of music. Our music technology programme will increase cultural capital and give students the unique experience of using music production software at primary level.
Most importantly, students will leave St Joseph’s with a diverse, inclusive and innovative musical experience that will ensure they have the necessary skills to excel as multifaceted musicians.
You can find our 2021-2022 Music Curriculum for Years 1,2,3,5 and 6 here – Music Overview 2022
Year 4 has weekly lessons with a Specialist Violin teacher.
Please see our EYFS page for our Nursery and Reception curriculum information.
Songs are a central part of our assemblies. Please follow this link to hear one of our Year Five classes perform “Sing.” https://youtu.be/I-NULkajyt8