Music Statement of Intent, Implementation and Impact
The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:
• Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music
• Be taught to sing, create and compose music
• Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated.
At St Paul’s, the intention is that children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions and musical genres. We are committed to developing a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life. We aim to help children in understanding the value and importance of music in the wider community, and to ensure that they are able to use their musical skills, knowledge and experiences to involve themselves in music in a variety of different contexts.
Our music curriculum ensures that students listen, sing, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in classroom activities as well as our weekly ‘Songs and Praise’ assemblies, various concerts, productions and performance opportunities, the learning of instruments, and the joining of one of our musical ensembles. The elements of music are taught in our classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language of music to dissect it, and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. In the classroom students learn how to play different instruments as they progress through the school, gaining knowledge of creating notes, as well as how to read basic music notation. They also learn how to compose by focussing on different dimensions of music. This feeds their understanding when listening to, playing, or analysing music. Performing and composing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the curriculum, which develops the pupils’ understanding of musical elements, without the added complexity of playing an instrument.
Whilst at St Paul’s, children have access to a varied musical programme, which allows them to discover areas of strength, as well as areas that they might like to improve upon. They are able to access fundamental abilities such as achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self-reflection. Children have the opportunity to discuss and share their own thoughts, opinions and ideas, acknowledging and respecting that these may vary and that this is positive Music will also develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to students individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children are able to enjoy music in as many ways as they choose- either as listener, performer or creator. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts, they can sing and feel a pulse, and they have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.
Musical Opportunities at St Paul's
St Paul’s Church of England Primary School’s music department is highly regarded for both vocal and instrumental accomplishments. We enjoy playing and singing music from a wide range of genres, including and enthusing children from the very youngest to the eldest members of our school.
Our school choir has gained an excellent reputation over the years. We regularly receive invites and accept engagements to perform in and around the local area. The choir members range from age 7 to 11 and they enjoy singing a variety of music from choral works such as Faure's Requiem to popular favourites from our school worship and songs from the shows.
Over the past decade, the choir has been privileged to take part in concerts with Hereford Police Male Voice Choir, Evensong at Hereford Cathedral, numerous joint concerts with Hereford Cathedral School, the Three Choirs Plus festival and the Queen’s Jubilee Diamond Day celebrations. We enjoy our close links with St Paul’s Church and have enjoyed leading Sunday morning worship. Our choir was recently chosen as the only primary school to sing at the inauguration of the new NMiTE University in Hereford Cathedral.
Whole-school singing is valued highly at St Paul’s. In recent years, our anti-bullying films have achieved national prominence on social media. We have also received a visit from CBeebies’ Andy Day (along with his band, the Odd Socks), who listened to us performing one of our anti-bullying songs. It has been fantastic to make recordings as part of the “iSingPop” project and to receive a visit from the Sunshine Radio team.
Children have numerous opportunities to develop their skills in music and drama during their time at St Paul’s. Every year, the children put on an Infant Nativity, a Year 3/4 production and a Year 6 show. Class-led worship regularly includes singing, dance and drama too. The children take part in ‘Songs and Praise’ assemblies every week, where part-singing is encouraged. Harvest, Christmas and Easter celebrations always include hymn-singing, as well as instrumental accompaniment from members of our woodwind ensemble and hand bell team.
Musical opportunities are encouraged from an early age and talents are nurtured through the extra-curricular activities run by music specialists on the school staff. A high proportion of our children receive peripatetic instrumental lessons during school time on instruments such as piano, guitar, drums, violin, cello, flute, oboe and trumpet.
Our instrumentalists have regular opportunities throughout the year to perform to friends and families in school music concerts and events. Performing highlights in recent years have included giving a recital at Hereford Sixth Form College, putting on a joint children’s concert with Hereford Concert Band, and playing at St Michael’s Hospice. At the Hereford Festival, our string orchestra received the prestigious ‘Elgar Award’ in 2011 and in 2013. Some members also played in a special concert with The English Symphony Orchestra.
We have excellent facilities for the teaching of whole-class music. Our refurbished music suite is fully equipped with the latest in music technology, along with tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments. Our Year 3 children also take part in ‘Wider Opportunities’ sessions, which are run by specialist teachers from the Herefordshire Music Service.