Music plays an important part in the life of the school; it is an expressive subject and pupils are encouraged to be creative through music making. Pupils are encouraged to express themselves through performing, composing, listening and appraising.
The whole school music curriculum is predominantly taught through the ‘Charanga’ scheme, which ensures pupils are exposed to a range of music from different times and cultures and there is a key pathway of progressive skills across each year group. Alongside the core scheme that we follow, we are always seeking ways of enhancing our core termly topics through all subject areas. If we can find a meaningful link, that enhances pupils’ skills, we will ensure this is planned for each term. For example, in Key Stage 1 when children were learning about pirates, pupils learnt a range of sea-shanties, understood the significance of these for those at sea and then had a go at composing their own!
The extra-curricular musical life at the school is also significant and we are incredibly proud of the large percentage of children who either learn an instrument or are involved in an extra-curricular musical activity. According to Mr Draper (NMAPT guitar teacher) in June 2018, “You have the largest number of children learning the guitar through NMPAT music lessons than any other primary school in the county.” We have a number of gifted and talented musicians who not only learn their instruments through NMPAT but are also members of the NMPAT County Groups. From 2015 to 2018 we were also proud of gaining first place in the Recorder Ensemble category as part of the Northamptonshire Performing Arts Festival. In contrast to the lessons offered through the county music service, we also have a significant number of children learning to play in a band through the weekly tuition offered by RockSteady. It has been beneficial that through this tuition offered by Rocksteady we have been able to offer some of our vulnerable pupils’ the opportunity to learn an instrument.
Each year we are also involved in First Access project offered by NMPAT:
'The government tell us this in ‘The Importance of Music (DFE 2011 – The National Plan)’. To support this aspiration, NMPAT is devolving £310,000 of government money to schools as a grant to enable every child to have a First Access experience during their primary school experience.
Through this project pupils in lower KS2 have had the opportunity over the years to be involved in either whole class guitar tuition or samba workshops. Their skills have been celebrated and shared at the end of this term with performances provided to parents and families as well as the whole school community.
Our KS1 and KS2 choirs have also increased in numbers over the years with currently almost 70 children attending each week in KS2. Performances throughout the year have included visiting the local residential care homes where we recognise the importance of our involvement within the community. The choir has also performed at the Brixworth Music Festival in May 2018, the Brixworth Community Church Outdoor Nativity, as well as attending the mass choir ‘Young Voices’ experience for the past 5 consecutive years.
Each year, we share all of the musical talents of our pupils in a Summer Soiree. Historically, this has involved over 100 pupils performing in a range of solo items, ensemble groups or as part of either the KS1 or KS2 Choir. This performance has been well attended and has continued to grow in numbers each year with an audience of over 250 parents watching the two-hour musical extravaganza!