KS1 and KS2 children have a minimum of fifty minutes music lesson in a designated music room. Music lessons contain as much music making as possible using tuned and untuned percussion, guitars ukuleles, keyboards, recorders, ocarinas and of course voices. We are very proud of the quality of singing at Britannia and follow the policy of ‘The whole school is a choir’
The children are taught how to use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes. They use tuned and untuned percussion to experiment with and create combinations of sounds using the inter related dimensions of music. Listening with concentration to a range of high quality live and recorded music is also included in the lessons.
In KS2, the skills acquired in KS1 are consolidated and extended. The children sing and play instruments with increasing confidence and control. They will continue to listen to live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and great composers and musicians, thus developing an understanding of the history of music.
All children in KS2 will have a minimum of a six week programme in each of the following during their four years in this key stage.
· Music and mathematics
WCET (Whole class ensemble tuition)
Year 5 children have the opportunity of a full years WCET paid for by the school. This includes a weekly lesson by a visiting specialist from Suffolk Music Services, the loan of an instrument, access to various weekend ensembles and sheet music. Currently there are three groups consisting of brass (trumpets and baritones) string (violin) and woodwind (clarinet.)At the end of the autumn and spring terms there are concerts for the parents, while the summer term concludes with a day’s WCET training and performance at another venue (eg Suffolk Showground) with other schools participating in this programme.
Year six pupils can opt to have a thirty minute small group tuition lesson each week on their WCET instrument. These lessons are heavily subsidised by the school and a rebate of 50% can be claimed back by the parent if their child completes the year. The tuition is given by the visiting specialist from Suffolk Music Services.
Music plays a huge part in our three Christmas productions each year with singing, dancing and instrumental playing. Most years we take a group of volunteer singers into the community for festive songs and carols. Last year we joined forces with a local adult choir to sing at a local church.
Each class takes a turn hosting a family assembly during each school year. This is a time when the children could sing a song or perform on instruments.
The school has had four appearances at the Aldeburgh Children’s festival at Snape Maltings since 2003. These have been huge highlights in our music calendar, giving forty children the opportunity to perform on the Snape concert stage in front of a large audience.
In the music room we are very lucky to have a wide range of equipment and instruments. To date we have tuned and untuned percussion, guitars, ukuleles, violins, ocarinas, recorders, clarinets, flutes, saxophones, brass, and keyboards. However, music at Britannia is not confined to the music room and we are currently working towards extending our bank of songs and resources that can be used in other subject areas.