At Ark Bentworth, we understand that music has an unparalleled capacity to stimulate pupils’ cognitive, physical, emotional and social development. Through music we can:
- express, represent and communicate our ideas and perceptions
- experience personal challenge as well as a sense of belonging
- be creative yet also disciplined.
We aim to provide a progressive, inclusive and practical curriculum in which music is the ‘target language’ and pupils can develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to enjoy a life-long relationship with music. We work in partnership with Ark Music to ensure that pupils:
- have access to high quality musical experiences that deliver life-enhancing benefits through curriculum and enrichment opportunities
- encounter great music making, adopting habits and behaviours that foster a respectful and joyful community
- experience a knowledge-rich curriculum where they leave lessons gaining new knowledge and the ability to retain it.
Through Ark Music, we provide a robust vocal curriculum that ensures key musical knowledge and skills are taught in a sequential and connected manner. We work with skilled Ark Music leaders to develop the confidence and skills of class teachers to teach high quality music lessons.
We also ensure that musicianship skills are further developed through an instrumental programme beginning with hand-held percussion in the Early Years and KS1 before leading to whole class instrumental learning through samba and ukulele lessons at KS2. Embedded within both the vocal and the instrumental programmes are carefully planned, progressive composition and improvisation activities. These enable pupils to develop both their creative and their collaborative skills, from exploratory, play-based learning in the Early Years to song writing projects in Year 6. Pupils are continuously assessed through teacher observation and engaged in the use of IT to record and evaluate their own musical progress.
Musical notation is another core element of both vocal and instrumental learning at Ark Bentworth, beginning with an approach inspired by renowned composer and music educator, Zoltán Kodály, but also including other forms of notation such as grid notation and graphic notation, that support the study of world music and modern classical music.
In designing our music curriculum, we take account of diverse musical traditions from singing call and response folk songs in KS1, to learning 12-bar blues and jazz standards in upper KS2 ukulele lessons; from composition projects inspired by Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’ in lower KS2 to immersion in world music through African drumming workshops and weekly samba lessons.