A unit of work with a Year 4 class - part of the scheme of work for KS2 - devised and delivered by the school music coordinator. An existing piece of classical music 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' is used as the starting point for exploring musical elements through a variety of activities.

What are the goals of the work? Including e.g. How does it fit into the ethos of the school/setting?

The goals of the work are:

  • To encourage and enable children to be independent music makers, to try out ideas and make musical decisions;
  • To enable children to value their own and others music making;
  • To develop children's confidence to explore and use instruments and voices;
  • To enable children to use music as an outlet for ideas and feelings; and
  • To encourage children to listen to a range of music, to talk about it and make links.

How does it fit into the learning strategy of the school/setting?

  • This unit is an example of an integrated approach to teaching the National Curriculum in an inclusive and creative way.
Starting from the Music case study (Wembury Primary School)

How does it fit into the curriculum of the school/setting?

  • The school's scheme of work for music in KS1 and KS2 develops children's musical skills and understanding of the musical elements through performing, composing, listening and appraising activities.
  • Learning in music is organised into half termly units of work of which this unit is one example.

What outcomes are being explicitly targeted?

The outcomes that are being explicitly targeted are:

  • To develop listening skills; to identify the use of particular musical ideas in an existing piece;
  • To develop composing skills; to use an existing piece as a model for own group pieces;
  • To develop ensemble playing skills;
  • To encourage use of orchestral instruments [flute, clarinet, violin, guitar, drums] in the classroom; and
  • To develop teamwork skills, self-discipline and self-esteem.

What is the context of the work?

  • Wembury primary is a small rural primary school with 7 classes.
  • The case study focus is the Year 4 class of 25 children.
  • The unit is part of the ongoing music curriculum provision across the school for KS1 and KS2.
  • Classes are taught by a visiting music specialist for an hour each week.

What is the content of the work?

  • There is a series of 4 lessons in the 2nd half of the Spring Term. (See answers below for more details.)

What are the key features of the teaching and learning approach?

  • The key features of the teaching and learning approach are whole class teaching, with paired tasks, and independent group work.
  • The activity is differentiated and also seeks to build on previous skills and understanding.
  • The composing process is modelled – exploring, improvising, planning, rehearsing, refining, performing and appraising.

How is the work being reviewed?

  • There are regular opportunities for the teacher and any other adults to observe children in their musical activities. These are evidenced in both in-school performance and also in performance in the local community.
  • The composing process and product allows the teacher to make quality observations, to question, to give feedback and to identify children's musical interests or misconceptions and to differentiate task design according to needs.
  • There are opportunities for children to respond and give feedback.

What are the positive outcomes for children/young people - are they some or all of musical, social, personal, educational - how and when can they be identified?

The positive outcomes for children are that

  • Children have regular opportunities to make connections between music in class/school and music outside class/school.
  • Children are confident to try out new instruments and use known instruments in different ways.
  • Children explore musical ideas and also work well together to make music of which they are proud.
  • Children are motivated to progress and to rehearse ideas outside of lesson time.

What are the key features of teacher/leader behaviour that are enabling those positive outcomes?

  • There is observably enthusiastic, well-paced teaching within a fluent and paced sequence of sessions.
  • The teacher sets engaging and challenging activities to match children's age, stage and experience.
  • There are a range of teacher-led and children-led activities.
  • The focus is always to create an enabling environment that supports and includes all the children.
  • Throughout, the children are provided with clear expectations of appropriate outcomes.

What are the key features of context, content and activities that are enabling those positive outcomes?

  • The music coordinator has a supportive senior management, colleagues, parents and governors.
  • The music coordinator has worked at the school for many years as a class teacher, as well as specialist music teacher, and so she is well known and respected within the school community.
  • Children are confident that the music coordinator values their ideas and aims to support them in what they want to achieve musically.

What other factors in this case are contributing to those positive outcomes?

  • The music coordinator provides a range of opportunities to make and perform music, both in school in and also in the local community.
  • The music coordinator has set up a programme for whole class instrumental and vocal tuition (WCVIT).
  • The music coordinator set up an instrumental teaching 'Music Club' 8 years ago and now 50% of KS2 pupils have instrumental lessons in school – violin, guitar, electric bass guitar, flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, drum kit lessons are on offer.
  • Instrumental pupils are actively encouraged to use their instruments in class music curriculum sessions, in assemblies, in extra and extended curriculum activities

How replicable or adaptable is it?

  • The unit of work is an example of an integrated approach to teaching the National Curriculum in an inclusive and creative way that can be replicated elsewhere with appropriate whole school commitment and support.
  • The composing process can be replicated elsewhere.
  • Activity ideas can also be replicated and adapted.

Content of the case study

The case study includes

  • an edited video showing progression through 4 lessons;
  • written lesson plans and resources; and
  • questions to support children's composing and appraising.

Starting from the Music

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