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All teaching of music should provide wide-ranging opportunities for listening, composing and performing.  At Shaw-cum-Donnington, we follow a structured scheme of work called Sparkyard, which supports the revised English National Curriculum.  With Out of the Ark songs at its heart, it uses a skills-based approach where key musical concepts and themes are developed and revisited across the year groups, building on knowledge and understanding at every stage. Throughout the scheme, children are actively involved in using and developing their singing voices, using body percussion and whole-body actions and learning to handle and play classroom instruments effectively to create and express their own and others’ music.  Through a range of whole class, group and individual activities, children have opportunities to explore sounds, listen actively, compose and perform.  Each unit develops an understanding of the dimensions (elements) of music throughout the scheme.  Each unit has as its focus one process such as performance or composition, or one dimension, such as pitch, but the learning progresses within the context of all the inter-related processes and dimensions of music.  A wide variety of notations, including picture, graphic, rhythm and staff notation are integrated, wherever appropriate, with practical music -making activities throughout the scheme.  Notations are used progressively to promote understanding and use of the representation of sound in symbols by all children.  Classes collectively gather music evidence in their music scrapbook.

The key musical focuses we teach the children are:

  • Listening
  • Structure
  • Beat
  • Rhythm
  • Composition
  • Performance


By the time children leave our school they will:

  • Have an excellent attitude to learning and independent working.
  • Have an appreciation of a wide range of musical styles and genres from different times and places.
  • The ability to use time efficiently and work constructively and productively with others.
  • The ability to show initiative and ask questions to deepen their understanding.
  • Have had the opportunity to participate in musical performances.
  • Have a thorough knowledge of musical equipment and instruments.
  • The ability to apply musical knowledge and skills to cross-curricular links.
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