Music at Eastry Church of England school perfectly reflects our school vision of growing a nurturing and learning community, where all children are able to express themselves as individuals in a truly creative and unique way. Children are given the tools and resources to convey their learning using different techniques and styles gaining confidence in their studies whilst developing their musical knowledge.
By exposing the children to not only the basics of music, but also a range of musical genres and experiences, music at Eastry paves the way for children to learn, grow and develop their musical ability at a tempo and pace relevant to them. Eastry’s topic-based learning allows the opportunity for music to be intrinsically part of the theme being explored with a range of relevant and engaging methods, not just confined to music lessons, but using cross-curricular links and experiences.
Children are taught about music from across the globe in terms of traditions, cultures and popular music to understand that music stretches across all countries, evoking a sense of pride, responsibility and belonging whilst also understanding the personal and emotional impact music can have.
From their very first day as part of Eastry, children are encouraged and supported to explore the musician inside of themselves in whichever way they wish to show this. Beginning in EYFS and following a detailed progression of skills, children can build their experience and understanding year upon year, leaving Eastry with a solid musical understanding and the knowledge to progress further into secondary school.
Using not only music lessons, but also topic, art, PSHE and other subjects, music enriches and provides a range of hooks on which children base their work and become enthusiastic about what they will cover in the term ahead.
Musical skills progression is divided into three distinct sections of: performance, composition and appraisal and musical elements. Across the school these parts are taught with equal emphasis to ensure children grow these skills consistently and in a balanced way.
In EYFS, play based learning, interspersed with teacher-led activities allow the children to explore making sounds, basic beats and rhythms and understanding what happens when a sound is made with any materials. By its very nature, music covers a range of areas across the EYFS framework. Such as:
• personal, social and emotional development.
• communication and language.
• physical development.
• understanding the world.
• expressive arts and design.
Children use rhymes and chants to begin learning the basics of counting and mathematics as well as the alphabet in literacy. Alongside this, music allows the children to express themselves with regards to emotional development, communication, their understanding of the world and also development of their motor skills and physical progression.
In KS1, children recognise different musical instruments and begin to explore the different music terms of pitch, tempo and dynamics. In addition to this, pupils learn to sing songs musically before working towards singing a song in two parts. During KS1 children will also begin to use appropriate musical language and effects on emotions by appraising a wide variety of songs. To begin their musical journey with instruments, children will be able to access and use ocarinas.
Moving into KS2, children build on these solid foundations to develop these skills further. Children will be able to sing with increasing confidence and ability including ensembles and rounds. Children will also be building on their knowledge of musical instruments, becoming experienced with ukuleles, drums and recorders as well as a range of personal and musical percussion. The cross-curricular links with history are further explored with the appraisal of famous musicians and composers as well as the origins of musical traditions.
Throughout their time at Eastry, children are inspired to find their own musical voice whether that is vocally or musically. The ability to compose, perform and record their work means children are engaged in their learning, invested in the outcome and means they can implement the appraisal skills gained in previous learnings to accurately evaluate and assess their work, making any necessary changes independently and with a sense of ownership.
Musical learning and development is not only restricted to the walls of the classroom or hall. At Eastry we encourage children to take their learning outside of the classroom and take advantage of our surroundings and outdoor environment. Forest school and other outdoor spaces mean children can practise what they have been learning or develop a new skill that can only be learned away from the classroom. From personal percussion to investigations into sounds, pitch and volume, the open-air environment offers pupils the opportunity to learn in a new and exciting way.
School performances and family worships mean our Eastry pupils can further learn, develop and practise their musical abilities whilst continuing with the school’s Christian vision of encouraging and inspiring children to fulfil their potential as God intended.
Whilst following the music curriculum in Eastry, children work towards gaining all of the essential skills and knowledge to ensure that when they leave, they will be confident, enthusiastic individuals who are fully immersed and understanding of all aspects of music. In turn, pupils will have a solid basis of music learning on which to further build a lifelong passion for music.