At St John’s we believe all children should perform, listen to, review and evaluate music, be taught to sing, create and compose music and understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated. At St John’s the intention is that children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions and musical genres.
Our objective at St John’s is to develop a curiosity and enthusiasm for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may play in any person’s life. As children move through school they will begin to explore, engage and then express themselves through music. In this way they will develop skills that will inspire them to think critically and creatively, not just in the music classroom, but across all aspects of their life.
Within the curriculum students gain understanding of music from around the world and other cultures, including Pentatonic Folk Music (focus on East Asia), African Music (vocal and instrumental), American Folk Music. Our drummers also experience Samba Music, through ensemble work with our drum teacher.
Christian Values, Cultural Capital and Pupil Premium enhancements
We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community, and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts. As part of our cultural capital experiences we perform regularly in the wider community. Our school choir (currently 70+ pupils) performs annually at: Bradford Alhambra Theatre, Bierley Life Centre (Community centre) Christmas service, St John’s Church Christmas fayre and local care homes.
We encourage singing and listening to music daily for all children across KS1 and KS2, as well as in EYFS, with our Music of the Week, and daily Collective Worship. We sing a variety of songs during Collective Worship, with an emphasis on children’s spiritual and moral development.
All children come into music lessons listening to music. In EYFS and KS1, the music we choose encourages children to explore their spirituality, allowing them to reflect and respond to music in their own way, through movement, or by describing their thoughts and ideas. In KS2 we have a composer of the month where the children listen to music from a wide range of composers. We aim to broaden children’s horizons through music they may not have experienced before. The composers cover a range of styles, genres, genders and cultures. They are encouraged to listen quietly, and focus on the moment and their own responses. This leads to wider discussions based on their own thoughts and opinions.
We have also built a strong partnership with Bradford Cathedral, who come into school annually to run choral workshops, and a number of our students take part in their chorister training programme. All our children are given many opportunities to perform both in and out of the classroom. Live performance include EYFS and KS1 Nativity, parent concerts, KS2 Christmas Concert, KS2 Talent Show, KS2 end of year show and each class performs at either of our end of year leavers’ services.
We aim for all children to be involved, to experience real life as a musician or performer. We hope that these opportunities make a difference in their lives, and help them to grow in confidence, perseverance and resilience.
At St John’s our aim is to bring as much experience of the wider performing arts, including Music, as we can, to widen children’s experiences beyond that they may gain at home. Trips, visits and workshops include:
- Lunchtime Concert trips to Leeds College of Music
- Organ Recitals at Leeds Town Hall
- Chamber ensemble visits from professional musicians…..Brass Quintet, Woodwind Ensembles etc.
- Performances from local musicians, including ex-students, University Students, with a mixture of Classical and Pop/ Jazz styles.
- Choral workshops from Bradford Cathedral choir, leading to opportunities to become a Cathedral Chorister.
All students are exposed to a wide range of music opportunities in the classroom, with the chance to learn to play both recorder and keyboard. Pupil premium students benefit from wider opportunities beyond the curriculum, with options to take part in:
- Group drumming tuition in Y5/6
- Year 4/5/6 Rock Band
- Choir in Y5/6
- Recorder groups
- Keyboard club