We are immensely proud of our music provision at Earlsfield. Read on and find out more!
Music at Earlsfield
Mr. Hopcraft and Mr Glenn are our Music Teachers and works at Earlsfield for a total of 3 days a week.
Mr Hopcraft is band member www.soothsayers.net and an accomplished musician in his own right, he has raised the profile of music at Earlsfield though singing, percussion and brass. In September 2019 Mr Glenn joined the school team and has brought his own style and variety to the school with a particular emphasis on singing.
We also utilise the Wandsworth Music Service and as a result, all Year 4 children learn how to play a brass instrument with Year 3 being introduced to recorder and drumming. A choir runs at lunchtime and drumming club at lunchtime and we have small group brass tuition for those children who wish to continue from Year 4. They form our Brass Band who sound wonderful!
We want every child to be happy and enthusiastic learners of Music and be eager to achieve their very best in order to fulfil their creative and musical talents. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build the confidence of all children. Our principal aim is that children leave Earlsfield with a wide range of rich memories formed through interesting and exciting musical encounters.
Our Music curriculum is designed to inspire pupils to develop a love of music and appreciate their talent as musicians, thereby increasing their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
Children meet and often exceed the National Curriculum expectations in music, developing skills which in turn will enable them to achieve a deeper understanding of the subject. Our 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.
It is our aim for the children to develop self-confidence and teamwork skills through performance. They have opportunities to sing as a class, in smaller groups and as a school community. Children learn to read and write various forms of notation, aimed at supporting long term musical development.
They use subject specific vocabulary relating to the musical elements; instrumentation, metre, rhythm, pitch, dynamics, tempo, texture, structure and melody.
Opportunities exist for children of all ages to experience learning beyond the classroom. This will allow them to enrich their knowledge by, for example, attending performances by professional musicians, participating in school performances such as Class Assemblies and end of term shows to parents and carers. Other opportunities include visits to and participating in concerts (such as Young Voices and Brighter Sounds), meeting professional musicians and young musicians from local secondary schools sharing their expertise with staff and children.
We encourage pupils to develop a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all genres of music, and to foster an unbiased respect for the role that music may be expressed in any person’s life. 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 immerse themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.
Music of the month
Each month we focus on a different style of music to broaden the children's understanding of different genres.
How is Music taught?
The music curriculum at Earlsfield ensures students sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate.
A bespoke and carefully designed scheme of learning, based on the National Curriculum, ensures consistency and progress of all learners.
High quality teaching responds to the needs of all children of all musical abilities. Our music teachers use formative assessment to actively and positively identify and respond to misconceptions early.
The children are exposed to a wide variety of musical genres from across the globe and are provided with opportunities to understand how music is used in the wider world including careers.
Music is taught through excellent cross-curricular opportunities, which complements and enriches our topic curriculum.
Our teaching focuses on developing the children’s abilities to understand rhythm and follow a beat. Through singing songs, as well as weekly singing assemblies, children learn about the structure and organisation of music. We teach them to listen to and to appreciate different forms of music. Children develop descriptive language skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent different feelings, emotions and narratives. We also teach technical vocabulary such as volume, pitch, beat and rhythm and encourage children to discuss music using these terms.
The school receives high-quality sessions from outside agencies such as Wandsworth Music Services and extra-curricular club leaders. Year 3 learns the Recorder and Djembe drums, taught by music teachers from WMS and Year 4 learns a brass instrument; French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone or Baritone. Our peripatetic music teachers provide violin and piano lessons and the WMS teachers deliver brass music lessons in small groups. Music clubs include Ukulele and African drumming as well as a 40 pupil plus Rock Choir. Across their primary schooling, children are also taught how to play tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments and Upper Key Stage Two children are invited to bring their instruments from home, such as strings, brass or keyboards, to supplement and develop their learning in school. In doing so, children are taught how to understand the different principle of each method of creating notes, as well as how to read basic music notation. They also learn how to compose, focussing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing or analysing music. Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the music curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument.
Clear lesson and unit outcomes focus and guide all lessons, planning and action plan priorities. The specialist music teachers work closely with their colleagues including the SLT to aspire to and drive improvement. Music assessment is ongoing to inform teachers with their planning, lesson activities and differentiation. Summative assessment, in line with the whole school foundation subject assessment system, is completed at the end of each unit to inform leaders of the improvements or skills that still need to be embedded. Music is monitored throughout all year groups using a variety of strategies such as learning walks, lesson observations and pupil interviews.
Children learn to work both independently and as part of a group, ensuring skills of resilience and teamwork are promoted in this subject.
What is the impact of Music at Earlsfield?
Our children are happy learners during their music lessons. Children of all abilities and backgrounds achieve well in Music, which is reflected in outstanding progress that reveals a clear learning journey. Children talk enthusiastically about their learning in Music and are eager to further their learning in the next stages of their education, for example Year 4 pupils choosing to continue Brass into Year 5.
Music visits and visitors enrich learning experiences; children are able to discuss how the experience has impacted on their knowledge and understanding as well their appreciation of the wider musical world.
It is well observed that when children perform to an audience their quality levels increase so we promote numerous opportunities for practising towards performances in order for children to show case their talents and enjoyment.
We have a proven track record of outstanding outcomes as shown in pupils’ musical ability and their enjoyment of the subject. These indicators reflect the impact of deep learning. Our specialist teachers have a strong and positive reputation in the borough and we are often invited to perform at borough wide musical events such as the Wandsworth Mayor’s Carol Concert. Ofsted (2017) and visiting Headteachers comment on the impact and quality of music teaching and learning:
“Specialist teachers enhance the high standard of teaching across the school and support pupils’ excellent progress in all curriculum subjects. For example, pupils in a Reception music lesson demonstrated levels of skills and understanding significantly above those expected for their age. They confidently identified different elements of the song they were learning, discussing features such as ‘pitch’, ‘tone’ and ‘rhythm’. They performed the song in two parts and described why that was effective.” (Ofsted Inspection 2017).
“Leaders have ensured that the curriculum is broad. Pupils make strong progress in their reading, writing and maths learning but not at the expense of learning across the whole curriculum. Specialist teachers (e.g. for art and music) help pupils with their learning in the broader curriculum.” (GPE Report 2019)
Fundamental British Values are evident in Music at Earlsfield, and children understand how Music can celebrate and champion difference.
Music at Earlsfield provides:
- essential opportunities for: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self-reflection.
- an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to students individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world.
- opportunities to be a listener, creator and performer.
- an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop a further interest in music later in their lives.
What would you expect to see in a Music lesson at Earlsfield?
- All children engaged and enthusiastic about music making and finding ways to express themselves in lessons in a musical way.
- Children actively participating in music making; whether it be using their voice as an instrument, or singing a song (invariably related to a wider class topic such as Space Exploration, Water, The Great Fire of London or Rivers) or using a musical instrument to make sound as part of a class composition or an arrangement that supports one of the songs being taught.
- Children listening to music, appraising what they hear in a structured way and learning about how composers approach creating great work. Alternatively, there may be a discussion taking place as a whole group or in smaller group or pairs where children are sharing ideas about what they hear in a piece, or discussing wider musical experiences that have taken place beyond the classroom.
- Lessons that have been designed to include a variety of learning experiences and methods of communicating ideas and concepts with the understanding that children learn in different ways.
- Differentiation creating a variety of access points for the children and opportunities for more experienced musicians to develop and excel. An example of this could be that children who learn orchestral instruments are encouraged to bring them to music lessons and utilise their skills in whole class music sessions.
What do pupils tell us about Music?
What can you tell me about different types of music and how did you learn about this?
“I like the way Mr Glenn expresses himself through music; he really shows the power of music.”
(C in Year 4 – Member of Earlsfield Rock Choir)
“I know smooth jazz – it’s really calming to listen to and fun to listen to– I never knew Jazz was a thing. I learn the Blues sometimes in my music lessons and classical music.” (D in Year 6)
Does performing improve your music skills?
“I think it’s more the practise that leads up to it. The rehearsals for the Christmas performance means you are practising for the overall performance and improving your singing skills.”
(A in Year 6, who told us he wasn’t the best person to ask about music!)
Do you feel challenged during your music lessons?
“In music, we normally do loads of songs and it depends what type of songs we are learning. If it’s one we’re not really used to then that’s challenging. I definitely feel Mr Hopcraft does try to push us to learn the song or the tune and I feel challenged.”
(S in Year 5, rehearsing for the Brighter Sounds Concert at The Royal Albert Hall)