Music is a key component of life for musicians and non-musicians, therefore it is embedded in every child’s education at the Dragon. The collective aim of the Music Department is to fire enthusiasm of the musically talented and offer opportunities for all through music. We help every child to achieve their musical potential and there are a number of performance opportunities at every level. In a department of fifty staff, the aim is to support, inspire and manage a varied team with one common goal.
The QCA states: “One of the three aims of music in the National Curriculum is to develop the skills, attitudes and attributes that can support learning in other subjects and are needed for employment and life. The use of music can both enrich learning in other subjects and consolidate musical skills, knowledge and understanding”. This is testament to the importance of music in every child’s education.
We believe that all children are musical and can achieve a basic musical competence. The music curriculum encompasses all the target points from the QCA schemes of work whilst enriching the course with a heavy emphasis on live music both by the children and for the children. These target points are interwoven with cross-curricular lesson plans and lessons which take into consideration religious festivals and current affairs, where appropriate. Music is best taught aurally and we try to limit the amount of writing involved – active participation is encouraged in this subject.
Almost three-quarters of pupils learn a musical instrument and take part in ensembles or musical groups, some of which perform to an extremely high standard. Pupils achieve consistently high marks in music examinations, many at high grades for their ages and regularly gain music awards to their senior schools.
We aim to provide an enjoyable and engaging musical experience for everyone through a broad curriculum, instrumental lessons, ensembles programme and extra-curricular activities. This in turn helps to develop self-confidence across other school activities. Performance is at the heart of the music programme where all the children are offered opportunities both in and out of the classroom to give a variety of performances from instrumental and choral to compositions and arrangements. Pupils are able to develop technique and an understanding of the musical language as well as an awareness of ensemble skills. Notation is a key part of the curriculum and it is incorporated in all lessons, activities and ensembles and differentiated for varying abilities and needs. Activities are adapted and extended appropriately to involve AGT, EAL and LS pupils and we always encourage responsive participation regardless of perceived ability.
Children are assessed continually throughout the year through their work in all areas of the curriculum, as well as termly concerts, rehearsals, ensembles, music exams and performances. Reports are written and Parents’ Evenings are held throughout the year and there is a specific Music Evening where parents can talk to the Visiting Music Teachers about progress in individual lessons.