Our Academy has a flourishing Musical culture, where pupils and students at all levels learn and create collaboratively and can perform regularly in well-attended, high quality Music and Performing Arts events. We are committed to developing high quality Music and musicianship from the very start, with all pupils from Year 1 upwards receiving regular whole class music lessons delivered by highly qualified and experienced musicians and music educators. Being able to play a musical instrument, and being actively involved in making music, has been proven to improve children’s academic outcomes, particularly in English and Mathematics, as well as having a positive effect on social interaction, self-esteem and well-being. We believe that all children have the potential to thrive in and enjoy music lessons, which helps them to develop into expressive learners and fully-rounded individuals. All of our pupils experience singing, guided listening and composing their own music throughout the academy and have the opportunity to develop musicianship through the Kodaly method, which is taught as a discreet year-long module in Year 1 and Year 5, as well as whole class instrumental music lessons, delivered by trained professionals, with an instrumental focus in each year group. Years 1 and 2 focus on singing and tuned percussion, Years 3 & 4 develop their skills using recorders and world percussion, whilst years 5 & 6 focus on Ukeleles and using notation to perform at the Keyboard.
The academy also provides discrete small-group lessons, at a very small and highly competitive price, delivered by our team of extremely high quality instrumental tutors, for those pupils who wish to learn a particular instrument in depth. We can currently offer Piano, Guitar, Violin and ‘Cello, Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone and Euphonium. We are also very proud of our very popular KS2 Choir.
Our pupils follow a bespoke curriculum, which encompasses and goes beyond the National Curriculum for music at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Key Stage 1:
At Key Stage 1, pupils are taught to “Vocalise” by using their voices expressively and creatively to sing songs and speak and chant rhymes. Using the Kodaly method, pupils then use what they have internalised through singing to perform using tuned and untuned percussion. They listen with concentration to a range of high quality live and recorded music, from great composers to pop music, and experiment with, create, select and combine sounds for topics such as “Carnival of The Animals,” “Robots” and “A Pirates Life for Me,” using the inter-related dimensions of music.
Key Stage 2:
At Key Stage 2, pupils are taught to plan and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices to sing songs, including songs from musicals, and playing musical instruments, including their whole-class focus instruments as well as the usual classroom percussion, and keyboards in Year 5 & 6, with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression. They improvise, using circle games and basic jazz and blues improvisation games, and compose for a range of purposes, including “Circus” “Music through History” and “Famous Musicians” using the interrelated dimensions of music. They listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory, which is consistently developed though listening, singing, standard notation, games and Kodaly and Dalchroze methods. Pupils use and understand staff and other notations from year one up and appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions, such as “West African Drumming” and “Samba” and from great composers and musicians such as Saint-Saens, Mozart, Louis Armstong, Elvis Presley and The Beatles.
Across our Music curriculum, we use a range of assessment processes that enable us to: accurately assess children’s understanding, identify any gaps in their knowledge and plan teaching to build on this.
At The Priory Witham Academy, our ambition for all pupils is for them to master the following characteristics: