Music and Drama
We have an active choir and orchestra at the school and peripatetic teachers offer tuition in piano, violin, guitar, harp, singing and brass instruments . Peripatetic lessons are charged for by the tutors and information can be found in the office if you are interested in these sessions. Our school choir are very active and, in the last 12 months, have performed at the London A Capella Festival in London, Canterbury Cathedral and the Three Arts Festival in Sevenoaks. In October 2017 we are joining with the choirs of The New Beacon School, Walthamstow Hall School and The Hospice in the Weald to put on 'Ahoy! Sing for the Mary Rose'
This year we are starting whole class recorder tuition in Year 2. All children will be bought a recorder and the tuition will be provided by Mark Underwood and funded through the Wider Opportunities Fund. These lessons will take place on a Friday afternoon at 2.30pm in Fox Class.
In 2017 we also completed a project to convert the disused public toilets at the end of Jessica's Hall into a state of the art music facility for music lessons. These rooms are now used throughout the week for visiting music teachers and can also be used by members of the local community in the evenings and weekends when our children are not using them. For further information about this wonderful project, please see the Music and Creative Arts Project page on this website or click here.
All children have the opportunity to take part in dramatic productions. In addition to the highly enjoyable Nativity play, other recent productions have included an open-air performance of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, which involved every child at the school, ‘The Selfish Giant’, ‘The Nutcracker’ and a stunning rendition of ‘The Lion King.’ For the last three years we have taken the whole school to either the STAG Theatre in Sevenoaks or the E M Forster Theatre at Tonbridge School. Three stunning performances of The Jungle Book, Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have now taken place in front of packed theatres. The experiences are hugely enjoyable for all the children and the performances have been absolutely stunning. The children have sung, danced and acted superbly throughout and can be very proud of themselves for the enjoyable evenings they have given to all who came and supported them. These events are extremely important in producing a rounded education and we are extremely grateful to all the staff ad parents who have contributed to making them happen Please see the Gallery section on this website for photos of this wonderful event.
The Department for Education’s The Importance of Music: A National Plan for Music Education (2012) states that music education hubs must make sure that, ‘every child aged 5-18 has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument (other than voice) through whole class ensemble teaching programmes for ideally a year (but for a minimum a term) of weekly tuition on the same instrument.’ This is often referred to as a First Access programme. The main aim of the MusicPlus programme is to create opportunities, over time, for every Key Stage 2 pupil who wants to learn to receive a sustained period of free specialist tuition on a musical instrument or to receive specialist vocal tuition, usually in a large group or whole class setting. At the end of the year, the target is that at least 50% of these pupils will then continue with an enhanced musical experience on their instrumental/vocal learning either on the same or a different instrument. It is intended that this will also support pupils’ improved self esteem, self confidence and social skills, with improved attitudes to schooling and improved musicality.
The Music Curriculum
The National Curriculum for Music details a clear 'Purpose of Study' and 'Subject Content' for KS1 and KS2 (See details below). At Leigh we have produced progression documents, from which teachers plan. This document not only details the journey children will go on in this subject but also the high expectations we set, and the oppertunities we provide. We place a strong emphasis on singing as a whole school and provide many extra curriculuar oppertunities for children to learn a variety of musical instruments.
Purpose of study
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.
The national curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:
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, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
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.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Subject Content - Key stage 1
Pupils should be taught to:
use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
play tuned and untuned instruments musically
listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.
Subject Content - Key stage 2
Pupils should be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.
Pupils should be taught to:
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.