Music at Wallace Fields Junior School
Music education should be inspiring and fun. Taking part in musical activities, especially singing together, can have a wonderful, positive impact on well-being as well as boosting and developing so many vital personal skills such as self-confidence, co-operation, communication and creativity. To engage and inspire children, the curriculum must cover a broad range of styles of music and provide a varied range of musical experiences. Musical knowledge and skills are taught and remembered most effectively when the music is meaningful to the children and the curriculum at Wallace Fields has been created with this as one of its core principals.
All of the children learn Music throughout the school, in weekly one-hour lessons, which are taught by our Music teacher, Mrs Johnstone as well as taking part in a 15 minute singing assembly every Tuesday.
By the end of their musical journey at Wallace Fields, it is hoped that children will:
♫ Respect all musical styles and tastes
♫ Have had musical experiences they enjoy and be able to identify their own musical taste
♫ Have knowledge and understanding of the 7 elements of music
♫ Have basic practical skills in playing the recorder and ukulele, as well as the ability to read simple standard notation, so that they have a solid foundation on which to build and develop their practical skills in the future
♫ Have been able to experiment with improvisation and compose music of their own, including using software to create music
♫ Have refined their singing technique and to be able to sing in tune as part of an ensemble, holding their part where the music is sung in harmony
♫ Have had fun through a musical experience
Implementation of Music
The Music Curriculum at Wallace Fields has been designed specifically for the school and its pupils. It is delivered by a specialist teacher which has obvious benefits regarding subject knowledge, consistency of teaching and progression. Following the guidance outlined in the New Model Music Curriculum (published by the government in March 2021), the curriculum map is broad and balanced and takes a cyclical approach to learning. This enables the key knowledge to be revised and built upon each year. It also meets the criteria set out in the New National Plan for Education that every child must have the opportunity to learn and make progress with an instrument.
Every pupil has an hour-long music lesson as part of their timetable as well as taking part in a 15-minute singing assembly each week. Class lessons are carefully structured to interlink musical knowledge and skills within the four areas of music: singing, listening, performing/instrumental performance and composing. Most lessons will include a listening exercise with a specific focus, a knowledge element followed by practical implementation of this. To ensure that music is meaningful and relatable to pupils, much of the core knowledge is taught through popular music alongside a more traditional example.
Singing is a big part of the school throughout the year and songs are performed for many different occasions. There are two choirs which are very well attended. The Year 3 choir helps introduce new pupils to singing as an ensemble while the Year 4-6 choir works on higher level skills, such as part singing, and represents the school in numerous events such as the Epsom College Music festival and the Epsom Playhouse Music Festival to name a few.
Through an engaging curriculum it is hoped that all children at Wallace Fields will leave the school with a positive approach to music and, through listening to music from different times and cultures, will have found a style of music that they enjoy. They will have had many different opportunities and occasions to sing and learnt the skills required to perform. The carefully designed curriculum ensures they will have a basic foundation of musical knowledge on which to build (covering all the seven elements of music), as well as an understanding of simple stave notation through learning to play the recorder. Pupils will know about harmony and accompaniment through their ukulele study which also provides a new approach to instrumental learning - the focus being more on chords than melody. This enables them to understand another strand of music and opens up opportunities to further their musical journey through playing as part of a band. Instrumental learning is showcased through a mini-concert at the end of each academic year which requires practise and discipline, essential skills in many aspects of life.
In summary, whilst music lessons should provide a high quality and enjoyable music education for all, they should also aim to discover and inspire natural musicians, identifying talent and nurturing it to produce the musicians of the future.
Music Progression Map
Click here or on the image below to see a loom video of the Music Report for 2022.
Epsom College Choir Day
On Tuesday 4th October 2022 thirty children who sing in the Wallace Fields Junior School choir took part in the Epsom College Music Festival. We were amazingly proud of their good behaviour and fantastic singing. Parents were invited to watch the concert and were very impressed.
The Year 4&5 choir were wonderful representatives of school on Tuesday when they attended the Epsom College Music Festival. They did me proud with their superb behaviour and participation. Accompanied by a live band, they performed an enjoyable jazz themed programme, with 'My favourite things' (jazz adaptation) being the song they enjoyed the most. Thank you to all the parents who came along to watch the concert at the end of the day, it was lovely to share our singing with you. Mrs Johnstone
Please see below some photographs and videos from the event.
These are the music clubs on offer at Wallace Fields Junior School.
- Year 3 Choir is open to Year 3 pupils and meets every Wednesday lunchtime in the Music Room.
- School Choir is open to Year 4 to Year 6 pupils and meets every Monday lunchtime in the Music Room. Throughout the year we perform at a range of internal and external events, sharing our singing with different audiences.
- Rock up and Sing – a no commitment, turn up on the day club to sing songs chosen by the children. Takes place on one off occasions throughout the year.
- Lunchtime recorder club - Meets in the music room on a Thursday lunchtime and is kindly run by volunteer Mrs Altwegg. Please let the School Office know if your child is interested in taking part.
- Theatre Arts – focussing on drama and singing skills, this fee-paying club runs on a Friday after school with Mrs Kennedy and works to performances approximately every term.
Other Musical Events
A typical annual schedule of musical events at Wallace Fields Junior School include:
- Christmas Carol Service – one of the highlights of our school calendar, our Carol Service takes place at Epsom College Chapel each year. Every child in the school takes part in singing and acting, and of course there is always a chance for the audience to join in with some festive carols!
- Christmas Carol Singing – our School Choir sing a range of Christmas songs to raise money for local and national charities in the local community.
- Music Assemblies – an assembly where children who have individual music lessons have the opportunity to perform to the school. Each year group will have a specific Music Assembly during the school year and parents of these children are invited in to watch.
- Epsom and Ewell Schools’ Music Festival – upper school pupils from the choir participate in this annual singing festival at the Epsom Playhouse.
- School Production – an annual show put on by Year 6 in the summer term.
- Whole class instrumental concerts – short concerts for parents (in the afternoon during the school day) to showcase whole class instrumental learning.
To find out more about the national curriculum for Music in Key Stage 2 that the school is following click here.