Music at St Thomas'
At St Thomas’, we follow the Charanga Musical School scheme of work. Charanga works seamlessly with the National Curriculum ensuring that learners revisit the interrelated dimensions of music: (see below) building upon previous learning and skills. The learning within this scheme is based on: listening and appraising, musical activities, creating and exploring, and singing and performing.
Music is taught as a separate subject, but links may be made to other learning such as the children’s topic work for that term. All learners from Reception to Y6 receive a weekly music lesson supported by Charanga.
The Charanga music scheme allows children to experience a new topic and style of music every half-term. The lessons provide children with the opportunity to listen and respond to different styles of music, use their voices and instruments to listen and sing back and have a go at composing their own piece of music. The lessons are planned so that each year children follow on from the learning they completed the previous year and clear progression is evident across the school.
The spiral structure of the curriculum enables children to understand musical concepts through a repetition-based approach to learning. Learning about the same musical concept through different musical activities enables a more secure, deeper learning and mastery of musical skills. Musical teaching and learning is not neat or linear. The strands of musical learning, presented within the lesson plans and the on-screen resources, are part of the learning spiral. Over time, children can both develop new musical skills and concepts, and re-visit established musical skills and concepts. This allows children to develop a deeper understanding of musical skills and concepts and learning something new.
Music and the arts are a highly valued aspect of school life, here at St Thomas’- intertwining through every pupil’s school experience, as part of the creative curriculum.
Each class is taught music once a week, via the award winning Charanga Music Programme. Additionally, Key Stage 2 children are taught music using key elements of the Royal Opera House Schools’ Education program, focusing on singing, composition, and the dramatic arts. All pupils have the opportunity to sing collectively, on a daily basis and we enjoy a weekly, whole school singing assembly.
The children at St Thomas’ enjoy performing to an audience regularly, throughout the year, through Showcase Assemblies, schools’ competitions, music festivals, church events, talent shows, school plays and performances in front of parents and peers. We also have a pop-up choir, where children participate in events outside school.
Pupils with Special Needs particularly benefit from our creative curriculum, and many thrive in weekly music lessons, enjoying new ways of self-expression. Our wonderful music therapist, Yair Katz, works closely with children who require nurture, support with confidence or who suffer from anxiety or early childhood trauma issues. (Private sessions are also available outside school).
Castle class has weekly ukulele lessons with Adam, from the East Sussex music service, Create Music, and we have peripatetic music teachers in school, who teach violin and guitar lessons to small groups and individuals.
In March 2023, Castle class took part in the Hastings Music Festival, performing at the White Rock Theatre. They came 2nd out of 8 classes and won a medal, a certificate and £100 for the school!!
On October 19th 2022, Castle Class had the wonderful opportunity to watch 'The Marriage of Figaro' at Glyndebourne as part of the Opera Performances for Schools.
Next year the school choir will be participating at a Create Music “One Voice” event at the De la Warr, and once again we will be competing in the Hastings Music Festival. Rookery class will be receiving specialist music tuition for young children. In addition to singing and learning specific instrumental skills, our Reception and Year 1 children will develop wider range of other musical skills including playing as part of an ensemble, performing, with some links to improvising and composing.
Your child can access a wide range of instrument tuition in school, via our music hub partner, Create Music, the region’s leading provider of high quality, inclusive music and arts education. If you would like your child to receive music lessons, either individually or as part of an ensemble, you can find out more by contacting the office or checking out the Create Music website below.
Here you can find out about fees, including financial support and bursaries (the Young Musicians Bursary Scheme). Families on low incomes are eligible for discounts on the price of group lessons, instrument hire and area music centre membership (one instrument per child). There is also information about their Music Centres and Summer School Music events.
Our Music Subject Leader is Mrs Dee Rampling.
St Thomas' Music Intent
Please click on the document to read our Music intent.
Progression in Music
Please click on the document to see how children progress in Music.
Useful websites and knowledge organisers
If you have a budding music fanatic in the family, here are a range of useful links for families to follow.
- The Music Mark website has put together a list of recommended online resources for home and school.
- YolanDa Brown's Band Jam has a great selection of free resources for 5-7 year olds on Twinkl, The CBBC page has lots of short videos and activities relating to singing and instruments that will also be enjoyed by the same age group and you can also access both series on BBCiPlayer.
- The Simply Piano app is available on the App Store and Google Play and is a great way to introduce piano tuition to all ages.
- BBC Ten Pieces opens up the world of classical music to 7-14 year olds through exciting films, instrumental arrangements and live events
- Bring the Noise from the BBC have compiled some great at-home musical ideas for primary aged children including videos, resources, games and teaching tips . We particularly like these games and activities, orchestral details,
- Myleene Klass is hosting demonstrations around music theory on her YouTube channel
- ABRSM have made their Classical 100 resource, a collection of 100 carefully selected pieces of music and activities for families to share free to access
- The film education charity 'Into Film' have a special spotlight on film music section for primary aged children that includes Shaun the Sheep and Disney films
- The CBeebies section of iPlayerfeatures the full televised performance of the CBeebies Proms and you can find a music section on the CBeebies website full of games and activities for music and dance
- The CBBC website music section has song clips, chart information, quizzes, performances and you can also check out music tutorials from Andy and the Band on their minisite
- imusic-school has a fantastic range of useful musical tools including metronomes, tuners and chord charts in their 'musician's toolbox' section which are designed to be useful and intuitive.
- The Royal Albert Hall have produced some exclusive content with special activities, videos and cross-curricular activities involving music.
- The BBC Teach Ten Pieces project has the aim of opening up the world of classical music to 7 to 14 year olds with films, and inclusive resources
- Streaming services such as Spotify and Amazon Music have playlists specifically aimed at families and children including Disney, KidzBop and Sticky Kids.
- Yousician and Fender are great web and device apps that have free trial options and are probably more suitable for older children interested in technique.
- Bounce Patrol on YouTube have great performances and animations of nursery rhymes and kids songs for younger children.
Music Glossary of Terms.pdf