At Didcot Primary Academy we want to ensure that every child has access to high-quality, practical and engaging music experiences during class lessons and whole school/key stage experiences, along with a rich offering of wider opportunities.
We want every child to develop self-confidence, skills, knowledge and understanding to develop a lifelong love of music. The rich musical offering at Didcot primary Academy also provides a secure foundation that equips pupils to take music further, if they wish.
Lessons and musical experiences at Didcot Primary Academy are crafted to ensure that they are accessible to all and develop skills and knowledge, regardless of their starting point.
Our curriculum sets out the skills, knowledge and understanding to be gained by all pupils from Nursery to Year 6. We have welcomed the suggested approaches of the Model Music Curriculum (MMC) and these are incorporated in our plans and overviews.
All children experience music from a broad range of music traditions, both during lessons and with carefully crafted listening experiences during school assemblies.
Every child throughout the school takes part in a music lesson every week, following our carefully planned scheme of learning. School assemblies also have planned listening that expose children to new pieces of music and also give opportunities for children to revisit prior learning and share knowledge with the peers from other year groups.
At Didcot Primary Academy we recognise the importance and value of high-quality teaching. Years 1-6 are taught by a specialist teacher. Year 3 receive a whole year of whole class ensemble teaching (WCET) with violins and ‘cellos, delivered by our resident specialist music teacher, Year 5 receive WCET teaching with ukuleles delivered by a peripatetic music teacher from Oxfordshire Music Service.
'Music is a cornerstone of the broad and balanced education that every child should receive. It touches hearts and minds, it celebrates and challenges, and it connects us and moves us.'
(Department for Education, 2022)
Music forms a critical part of our curriculum and life at DPA. Pupils have the opportunity to learn to play instruments, improvise, compose, sing, listen, develop notational knowledge and perform. As a school we are very well resourced musically, we have class packs of a range of instruments to ensure that children are able to play collectively. These resources include djembe drums, glockenspiels and ukuleles. In addition we also have sets of treble and bass xylophones, boom whackers and a wide range of unpitched percussion instruments. The school commitment to delivering high quality music provision is also reflected in the delivery of music lessons from both a resident specialist music teacher and also instrumental tuition delivered by specialist teachers from Oxfordshire County Music Service. Every child in KS1 and 2 has access to specialist music teaching.
This year we have adopted the English Model Music Curriculum (MMC), using 'Charanga' as scheme to support the delivery of the curriculum. Year 3 have whole class string lessons delivered by the County Music Service, the children play either violin or 'cello for the year, with the option to continue their instrumental studies into Year 4 with the music service. Year 5 have whole class ukulele lessons, again delivered by a peripatetic specialist teacher. These year groups will be able to take their instruments home to practise during the week. A majority of the curriculum teaching for these year groups will be delivered through the instrumental lessons.
- Assemblies – Song is a key part of every whole school assembly, the song choices cover a wide range of musical styles from around the world. A weekly singing assembly ensures that singing skills are developed, with an emphasis on performance. There is also a weekly listening focus, with music selected from the suggested lists from the MMC.
- School productions – We have a calendar of school productions throughout the year. Reception and Year 2 take part in Christmas productions, Year 4 perform in the spring term and Year 6 finish their time at DPA with a summer production.
- Clubs and music lessons – We have a very active school choir which rehearses weekly and has been involved in concerts both in and out of school. Every year the choir sing at the local Town Carol Concert and perform alongside 8000 children at the O2 London in a Young Voices concert. Choir also perform at school and community events. In the year 2022/23 we are working to expand the range of music clubs on offer to include recorder lessons, song writing club and future ensemble activities.
- All year 3-6 children have been given the opportunity to take up instrumental lessons these are promoted through music demonstration assemblies. Currently we have peripatetic piano and flute lessons taught by specialist external instrumental teachers, with some children continuing group string lessons. (Funded by parents/carers)
- Performance opportunities - Throughout the year every child will have the opportunity to perform, this may be through singing, instrumental playing or performing own compositions. These performances will be through a range of platforms including school assemblies, class assemblies, school concerts and playing at school events. Opportunities to perform are inclusive of those children who may have instrumental lessons outside of school.
- Live music opportunities - we recognise that it is important to model performance to children. As a school we are fortunate to have staff members who can play for the children in assemblies at at special events. We also seek opportunities to invite musicians into school to perform.
Whole School Music Events
We are always looking at opportunities to create collective musical experiences though house competitions, designated whole school music projects and large scale choral opportunities.
Music Curriculum Overview inc. Skills and Progression
For information about piano and other instrumental lessons, please contact the school office.