Music at Dobcroft Infant
Intent - What do we want to achieve?
At Dobcroft Infant school we believe that music is an essential part of everyday life, and is a way to express ourselves, our emotions and our ideas. Music encourages children to learn about different instruments, composers and the effect they are trying to convey either in their instrumental music or in their lyrics.
We want children to become musicians both as individuals and as part of an ensemble. We use music throughout the school day at transition points such as when children enter a classroom, at lunchtime in our dining hall and across the majority of lessons including maths and geography to help children recall key facts. Our music curriculum is designed to develop pupils' skills and knowledge through a progressive approach using practical and exploratory opportunities - with a wide range of opportunities to see live music through trips and musicians coming to school. We cover key concepts such as beat and rhythm, singing and composing. We believe music should also be accessible for all, so we have learnt a number of songs in Makaton, with some of our SEN pupils being able to teach their classmates the actions. Our Butterfly Room base also has access to a range of instruments, and use music as a sensory stimulus for pupils and also explor e the instruments, composing at the pupils' level.
Through providing exceptionality in our curriculum, our pupils will leave Dobcroft Infant School as confident learners and performers and with an appreciation for music and the arts.
Implication - How is Music Taught at Dobcroft Infants?
In our Foundation Stage 2, music planning follows the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance as part of the Expressive Arts and Design: exploring and using media and materials area of learning. Children are encouraged to use their voices to make different sounds, and explore the different sounds instruments make. In KS1, we follow the learning objectives as set out in the National Curriculum. We hold weekly Singing Assemblies where children learn about composers and music from a range of ethnicities and cultures as well as learn chants and sing songs with correct tune, enunciation and enthusiasm. These songs are often linked to our PSHE or year group theme. Each year group also hold a performance each year – Foundation Stage 2 and Year 1 at the end of the Autumn term and Year 2 at the end of the Summer term.
Through school, we use the Charanga scheme as a base for our music lessons, topped up with nursery rhymes and musical exploration in Foundation Stage and Kodaly-style singing in Year 1 and 2. We partitipated in a EEF and Royal Society for the Arts research project in 2018/19 called FirstThing Music, run by Lindsay Ibbotson, and have embedded this across all our Year 1 classes since. In Year 2, each pupil also accesses 18 weeks of violin lessons, run by a peripatetic teacher from Sheffield Music Hub. Pupils also listen to a range of music, and use musical vocabulary such as tempo and dynamics to describe the music, as well as thuinking about the personal feeling towards the piece. In Key Stage 1, pupils also related music to scenes from films or still images, and compose music for a given scene or event. Learning opportunities for each year group are carefully planned to build on previously developed skills and knowledge across each academic year as well as throughout their primary education.
In 2020, we were successful in being awarded a grant from Universal Music UK Sound Foundation to help purchase new percussion and other untuned instruments. As a result, we have 4 stocked music chests so all pupils are able to have a hands-on music experience.
Through our highly ambitious curriculum, pupils leave Dobcroft infant School Pupil’s progress will be assessed informally over a period of time. Opportunities to celebrate children’s progress may present in many ways, such as through: individual work recoreded in a pupil's book, a written summary of learning, screenshots of creations, photographs, sound and video recordings. As such, children’s work is marked and written feedback is given only where appropriate. Otherwise, feedback is given verbally to children in order to support them to progress within and across lessons.
The ‘process’ undertaken to arrive at completed songs, compositions or performances are as important as the finished products and this will be taken into account.
Every year the whole school partakes in a Christmas carol concert in a local Church, and Year 2 children go into the community to sing and raise mioney for St Luke’s Hospice. Each year group also puts on an annual performance – with Foundation Stage and Year 1 performing at the end of the Autumn Term, and Year 2 performing at the end of the Summer Term. As a whole school, we attend the Music In The Round event run by Polly Ives at the Crucible Theatre, exposing our pupils to a live orchestra and how to be a good audience. In 2021, when we were unable to attend this trip, we held a "Music in the Round at Dobcroft" day instead, with activities from the story and singing the songs we would have sang if we had been at the theatre.
We are a ‘Champion School’, recognised by the local authority, were awarded the MusicMark award for our high-quality music education, and we have previously achieved the ‘Sing Up’ gold award for providing pupils with a confidence building and stimulating music curriculum.
What do our pupils love about music at Dobcroft?
"We listened to music with the string instruments in izzy Gizmo."
"I like singing and playing with the sticks and drums and bells."
"My favourite song to sing is 'Copycat' because I'm good at doing the action to the beat."
"When I listen to music it makes me want to dance and it makes me smile."
"I know about the beat of the music and the tempo is if it is fast or slow. I like fast music."
"Music is my favoutite lesson because I like learning to play the violin and lessons with John are really fun!"
"When we did the Izzy Gozmo day we learn about the string family, the woodwind family, the percussion family and the brass family. I likle the eprcussion instrumets because they're loud and you hit them to make a sound."
"I like having music on when I come into classroom. it makes me feel calm and ready to learn."
How can you help at home?
Each child has their own unique Charanga YUMU login, where they can access Charanga units at home to embed or extend their music learning that has taken place at school. If your child is learning the violin in Year 2, encourage them to pracitse at home and support with correct positioning of the violin and bow. Have discussions about music they hear and ask questions about how it makes them feel, whether they like it or not and what instruments or vocals they can hear in the piece.