We believe creative subjects are vital to a well-rounded education. At Newton Farm, our curriculum in music provides:
Experience in a wide variety of musical styles and cultures.
Listening skills, encouraging students to hear music with an increasingly critical ear.
Experience in collaborating, through group activities including singing, playing instruments, creative music making and musical ensembles.
The ability to read, write and play music to a high standard, with regular opportunities to perform throughout their time at primary school.
An awareness of rhythm, pitch, dynamics, timbre, tempo, structure and melody, developed through aural training and instrument practice.
Increased confidence, with participation in a variety of musical performances encouraged throughout the curriculum.
Every student at Newton Farm is provided instrumental teaching, with a variety of different instruments. We believe an active interest in the subject of music is beneficial for all pupils.
At KS1, the curriculum is based around the key fundamentals of music: beat, rhythm, pitch, dynamics and tempo. Year 1 students are introduced to musical notation for the first time, whilst using percussion instruments. These concepts are taught through fun, active and engaging lessons with our specialist music teacher. The year 2 curriculum develops these skills, with lessons in music reading, writing and musicianship. These lessons prepare students for the mandatory instrumental teaching Newton Farm provides (beginning in year 3).
At KS2, the curriculum centres the skills needed to be a musician. At this stage, singing and the use of voice within music is more focused. Students at Newton Farm are expected to read, write and play music to a high standard. Classroom music lessons at this stage develop students’ practical skills, with glockenspiels, percussion instruments and the drums. Year 3 students also have the opportunity to learn either trombone or trumpet during their class teaching.
A variety of fun clubs are also available at Newton Farm from years 3 - 6. Students have the opportunity to participate in ensembles, the including choir, orchestra, rock band, boys chorus, girls chorus and trumpet ensemble. The clubs will regularly participate in performances in the local community and beyond. The choir allocates 40 places and the orchestra allocates 30 places to students. These places are given out based on an audition with the music specialist teacher. The rock band club is open to everyone on a first come first serve basis. Trumpet ensemble is open to any brass players, but its purpose is to encourage year 3 students taking brass tuition to continue their learning and prepare them to be ready to join the orchestra.
Newton Farm students take part in a singing assembly once a week, where they learn and perform songs (usually a song with relevance to upcoming festivals, or the seasons). These assemblies teach students to warm up their voices, sing whilst using actions, use body percussion, sing in two/three part harmonies, and even perform solos. A wide variety of concerts and festivals also take place each term, where students showcase the skills they have learned during their music tuition.
To support our music teaching and provide engaging opportunities for our pupils, we often invite industry experts to present. Recently we have had visits from the HMS Staff Band and a rock musician. We have also had an A Level music student speak to our students about pursuing the subject beyond KS2. As well as inviting guests to speak at the school, we frequently take students on music trips. These have previously included trips to see musicals including School of Rock and Matilda in the West End, and BBC Primary Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Students have also participated in workshops at the Purcell School of Music, the Royal Albert Hall (Music Maths) and The Harrow Arts Centre (guitar, choir and string festivals) – which include a full day of training followed by a performance to an audience.
Newton Farm’s curriculum meets the national expectation that KS1 and KS2 students are taught skills in: ‘listening and responding’, ‘performing’ and ‘composing’. Please see a detailed plan for how our curriculum meets these expectations: