Music is an integral part of life at Willow Bank with a wide variety of musical opportunities available to children. We aim to engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music as well as their talent as musicians.
At Willow Bank Junior School, our vision for music is for children to develop a love of learning, a love of music and appreciation of music. The music curriculum at Willow Bank enables children to develop a rich depth of knowledge and opportunities to express themselves creatively through music.
In line with both the National Curriculum, and the New Model Music Curriculum, our music scheme focuses on 4 overarching strands: listening, performing, composing and improvising. These strands are covered in all year groups, throughout the year, through different topics.
Listening: Children are exposed to music from different genres, periods of history, cultures and countries. As well as listening and responding to recorded music, our music provisions also enable children to experience live music performances.
Performing: Children are able to experience making music with different instruments. All children have opportunities to play both tuned and un-tuned percussion. In Year 3, all children will learn the recorder. In Year 4, all children will be part of the Berkshire Maestros In2Music project in which they will learn either a brass or woodwind instrument. In music lessons, children have the opportunity to rehearse and perform in groups and as a class. Through music assemblies, children have the experience of performing in front of the school to demonstrate what they have been learning.
Composing: Through the year, children will experiment with making their own music. They will use a range of methods to record their compositions: symbols, graphic scores, rhythmic notation.
Improvising: Children are provided with opportunities to experiment with musical patterns and sequences. They will learn how to feel the beat of the music and how to create both rhythmic and melodic patterns on top.
Music Technology is taught through computing. Children will use different programs to write pieces of music. These include Purple Mash, Audacity and FinaleNotebook.
Opportunities such as church services, music assemblies and the annual summer concert are available for all children to share their musical interest and talent with a large audience. We have a number of peripatetic teachers who visit to teach a wide range of, as well as a number of extra-curricular, musical activities.
Pupils across the school engage well with music lessons and enjoy developing their knowledge and skills in both the performance and theory of music. There is a high uptake for whole school orchestra, instrument tuition, Show Choir and extra-curricular music opportunities.
Music is a developmental, progressive subject that is taught as a spiral curriculum at Willow Bank Junior School. This allows knowledge skills and concepts need to be consolidated and revisited frequently on a regular basis and results in our children building upon what they have previously learned, remembering more and being confident musicians.
The progression in music can be clearly seen in our termly music assemblies where all children participate in sharing their knowledge of music and performance skills with the school community. Monitoring is undertaken by the subject leader through pupil voice discussions, scrutiny of books/planning and staff feedback.