Wheatfields Junior

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Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon. (National Curriculum 2014)


Intent of the Music Curriculum at Wheatfields Juniors

Music is an integral part of life at Wheatfields. It is crucial to children’s development of their intellectual curiosity, motor skills, imagination, self-discipline, self-expression, confidence and social skills. Through our broad and balanced curriculum, we want every child to enjoy opportunities to compose, notate, listen, evaluate, perform and appreciate music from different genres, styles and traditions. Music is planned in-line with the statements laid out in the national curriculum. It is also planned with meaningful cross-curricular links where possible. Charanga, Musical Futures and BBC Ten Pieces are used to resource and enhance music teaching. 

Children at Wheatfields are strongly encouraged to learn a musical instrument through our peripatetic teaching program, however, we hold the principle of equality of opportunity at the heart of our core values, hence all children in Year 4 learn the cornet through the First Access Scheme. Over their four years at Wheatfields, children will have the opportunity to perform including in school assemblies, school productions, talent shows, House Music Competitions, flash mobs, The Alban Arena, St Albans Abbey and The Royal Albert Hall.

Implementation - What does Music look like at Wheatfields Juniors?

Charanga is a scheme of work which offers a topic-based approach to support children’s learning in music. A steady progression plan has been built into Charanga, both within each year and from one year to the next, ensuring consistent musical development. By using Charanga as the basis of a scheme of work, we can ensure that they are fulfilling the aims for musical learning stated in the National Curriculum. Charanga provides many examples of music styles and genres from different times and places. These are explored through the language of music via active listening, performing and composing activities, which enable understanding of the context and genre.

Through our music lessons children are actively involved in a wide range of musical opportunities. Children develop 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.

BBC Ten Pieces

This immensely powerful resource is used across the school to help the children engage in the profound world of orchestral and choral music from some of our most well-known classical composers, such as Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Elgar and Dvorak as well as the works of contemporary composers such as Anne Meredith and Mason Bates. The children learn about the piece, the composer, its place in musical and social history whilst also developing their understanding of the musical elements. They also respond to the music through drawing, painting and dancing. An example of this is Stravinsky’s Firebird (Year 3). Sometimes a BBC Ten Piece is used to support another area of the curriculum: in Year 6, Mason Bates’ A Bao a Qu from his Anthology of Fantastic Zoology is used alongside a writing unit on Fantastical Creatures.

First Access

In Year 4, children have a one hour weekly lesson for one term, learning musicianship through the cornet with a specialist teacher. All the inter-related dimensions of music are taught in a fun and engaging way with children often choosing to extend their learning through individual lessons.

Musical Futures

This charity has developed an interested resource called Chair Drumming which we will be using to develop our skills in rhythm and pulse.

Other Units of Work

These have been developed to support our cross-curricular teaching. For example, the Year 5 Reggae Unit has been written to be taught alongside their Geography topic on the Caribbean. Whilst using excerpts from Charanga’s Three Little Birds, it introduces the children to a much wider and more diverse experience of reggae, beyond Bob Marley. Film Music introduces children to some of the iconic works by John Williams and leads to a composition based on a suspense piece of writing. 



Impact - By the end of Key Stage 2 our children will:

  • perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians 
  • learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others with increasing confidence and control
  • have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument 
  •  understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
  • have an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory. 
  • play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression 
  • improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music 
  • listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory 
  • use and understand staff and other musical notations 
  • appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians 
  • develop an understanding of the history of music

Music Curriculum Map