Music at Ash Church of England VC Primary School

At Ash Primary we believe that all children should have access to a broad music curriculum delivered by a subject specialist. They should also have the opportunity to sing together in class, singing practices and assemblies. Music is more than just a “subject”. By fostering a love, knowledge and understanding of music in these formative years, we are providing children with something which will enrich their entire lives and may become a life-long hobby, or even profession.

Music is taught in weekly 30 minute lessons by a subject specialist to Reception and KS1 children. Children develop skills in singing and using untuned percussion. Particular emphasis is placed on rhythm, pitch and simple melody as well as learning to listen to different kinds of music and describe how it makes them feel. Year 2 learn basic recorder skills.

At KS2, music is taught in fortnightly hour long lessons by a subject specialist. There are further opportunities to develop recorder skills as they go up the school and start to learn an additional instrument: the ukulele. Year 3 also take part in whole class brass ensemble lessons delivered by a tutor from the Somerset Music Hub. Furthermore, they develop a greater musical vocabulary (especially regarding the musical elements), have opportunities for exploring rhythm to a greater depth and compose for both tuned and untuned instruments.

All children listen to works by the “Composer of the Half Term”. They also participate in weekly singing assemblies. At KS1 they all perform in the Nativity musical and at KS2 they all perform in the end of year production. There are also performance opportunities for all in our church services.

In addition to curriculum teaching, there are numerous extra-curricular opportunities. Individual instrumental lessons are available (at additional cost) for a wide variety of instruments. The school band gives learners the chance to play together. The school choir is open to children from Year 3 onwards and provides opportunities for performances in concerts further afield. There are also clubs for both recorders and ukuleles. Children who participate in extra-curricular activities also perform in the Christmas and Summer concerts.

It is our intention that children leaving Ash at the end of year 6 will be confident performers in singing and will have developed foundation skills in instruments such as the recorder and ukulele. They will have been given opportunities to compose music and will have developed a vocabulary which enables them to confidently describe music they have heard. They should be well prepared to continue their music education at secondary school and out of school, should they choose to do so. Through participation in concerts and productions, the children will have also engaged in a shared musical experience with their peers and their parents which will long stay in their memories.

Kathy Maple – Music Coordinator