I am very happy with my child’s progress and his overall happiness. He loves coming to school every day and enjoys learning new things. I think that the music in the school is fantastic and offers many opportunities for every child. (Parent survey November 2015)
Music lessons are held in all classes as part of the national curriculum. We held a ‘Music Marathon’ in April 2014 which raised £4000 to completely re-stock our classrooms instruments and revitalise our delivery of music lessons.
In Foundation Stage, music lessons will include singing, rhythm games and use of instruments, both in structured activities and free play. Music is considered a subject in its own right but is also used to support other areas of the curriculum e.g. singing nursery rhymes to develop literacy skills. The children also take part in an annual Christmas musical nativity which is performed to parents.
In KS1 the children continue to develop their singing, rhythm skills and use of classroom percussion instruments in music games and through creative music-making. The KS1 nativity play is also a musical highlight of the year. All KS1 children have a weekly music lesson. This introduces them to develop initial skills in singing, playing instruments and learning to read and write music.
In KS2, the children continue to have a weekly music lesson. Each block of work is planned to complement topic work e.g. a World War Two topic might include music lessons focussing on the music of the 1940s and learning songs of the period. At some point during the year, all the children will take part in a musical performance. All Year 3 children learn a stringed instrument as part of the ‘First Access’ programme with our visiting string teacher.
Whole School Music Activities
Each week, all the children attend a ‘singing assembly’. This includes songs, often of a seasonal nature, aspects of music history, an introduction to orchestral instruments and an opportunity to listen to live music performed by children and adults within the school and by visiting musicians.
Throughout the year, musical events are organised. This could include ‘curriculum days’, in which all the children engage in musical activities for a day, workshops and performances from visiting musicians, and trips to concerts and events.
Every year, the children have the opportunity to visit the church to take part in services in which music plays a major role. FS and KS1 children take part in Harvest Festival and the KS2 children are invited to take part in a Christmas carol service and the Christingle service.
The children have the opportunity to learn a variety of instruments. We currently offer:
Recorder: group lessons are available for children in Years 3-6. Children initially start on descant. Once they have mastered the basics, they can move on to duet playing and finally to progressing to larger recorders and ensemble playing. For more information, contact Judith Atkins. firstname.lastname@example.org
Clarinet and Saxophone: weekly lessons are available individually or in small groups to children in Years 4-6. Most learners have had some experience of reading music and playing recorder or other instruments and often progress rapidly. Learners have the opportunity to take ABRSM graded exams. For more information, contact Judith Atkins. email@example.com
Brass: Individual lessons are available on a weekly basis. The school has a link with Cholsey Silver Band and some instruments are available for learners. Lessons are offered on all brass band instruments (cornet, tenor horn, baritone, trombone, euphonium and tuba) and French horn could be offered. Learners have the opportunity to take ABRSM graded exams. For more information, contact Ian Barlow firstname.lastname@example.org
Percussion: Individual lessons are available on a weekly basis on drum kit (we have an acoustic and an electric kit) and some orchestral percussion. For more information, contact Ian Barlow email@example.com
Violin and Cello: Small group and individual lessons are offered to children in Years 3-6 by Simon Fullylove from the Oxfordshire County Music Service. Year 4 children, who have completed the ‘Wider Opportunities’ programme, are encouraged to continue with affordable ‘Play On’ lessons. firstname.lastname@example.org
Piano: Individual lessons are offered to children in Years 2-6 by Yvette Higgs. email@example.com
Guitar: Small group and individual lessons are offered to children in Years 3-6 (ask at the school office for details)
Fife and flute: Small group and individual lessons are offered to children in Years 3-6 by Ian Fawcett from the Oxfordshire County Music Service Ian.Fawcett@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Brass Band Monday 3pm-3:30pm
This is for all children learning a brass instrument from beginners to Grade 4+. It performs regularly in school concerts and in the community. It currently has about 15 members.
Wind band Monday 3:30pm-4:15
Children who have moved beyond the early stages on their instrument are invited to join the wind band. It currently has about 30 members including clarinets, flutes, cornets, baritone, euphonium, tenor horn, saxophones, tuba and drums. The band plays a range of music including marches, film and TV themes, classical, pop, hymns and carols. The band performs in assemblies and concerts, church services and in the community.
Choir Friday 3:30pm-4:15pm
The choir has about 60 members from years 3-6 and meets every Friday after school. The children sing a wide range of music, often in two or more parts. The choir regularly performs in concerts and undertook a tour of local nursing homes last Christmas singing carols and Christmas songs. It recently performed ‘African Jigsaw’ at the Cornerstone, Didcot.
Swing Band Monday 4:15-5pm
The swing band is suitable for wind and percussion of a grade 2+ standard by invitation of Mr Barlow and Miss Atkins. We also include our ex-pupils in Year 7 and 8 at Wallingford School. The band is very popular and performed at an OPEN end of year staff celebration to very high acclaim. As well as reading complex jazz rhythms the children have the opportunity to improvise.