We actively promote and foster a musical culture at Howden le Wear Primary School with a curriculum that aims to stimulate, engage and inspire every child to develop a love of music, whilst increasing the confidence they have in their talents as musicians. It is a curriculum that is continually evolving, in order to embrace and reflect changes in musical culture. For this reason, the children’s ideas and input are actively encouraged, in order that they are engaged in helping to create, adapt and shape a curriculum that is exciting, current and relevant to them.
At Howden le Wear Primary School, the children come to school to enjoy learning, whilst also respecting each other’s differences and enjoying their rights. It is therefore important that we allow the children to not only develop their musical talents, and to play to their strengths, but to help them explore their goals and aspirations, by providing them with a variety of exciting, new, musical experiences.
Musical skills are taught progressively through creative music lessons. The Charanga scheme of work is used for teaching creative music; it ensures exposure to a wide variety of different musical genres, with lots of practical opportunities for the children to explore and develop as musicians and singers.
A variety of cross-curricular links also ensure that music is woven into our wider curriculum and take many forms. These range from school based activities and events, workshops and extra-curricular activities, to developing projects with professional companies and music artists. School also takes part in collaborative singing event with our feeder secondary schools and Durham Music Service, as well as identifying additional performance opportunities throughout the school year, such as our annual involvement with the Durham Brass initiative.
Howden le Wear Primary School has a history of high quality performance opportunities for all our children, striving to develop and enhance singing skills, not only within class based lessons but also through initiatives such as school choir, drama club and whole school performances for events such as Harvest Festival, Christmas and Easter. We try to ensure that our song choices are varied; that they foster our core values and ethos, and that they are songs with positive messages which reinforce key principles such as resilience, kindness and personal responsibility.
The school is also able to offer the children the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument. Whole Class instrument tuition is offered and delivered by Durham Music Service staff, whilst our peripatetic music staff provide a variety of woodwind and brass instrumental tuition. The children learn individually and in small groups, working towards music accreditation.
Music at Howden le Wear Primary School allows the children to discover their strengths as musicians, as well as those areas in which they might like to improve musically. It is important that they are able to celebrate their successes as musicians and performers. For this reason, we incorporate a variety of performance opportunities into the school calendar for showcasing musical skills, talents and achievements: class assemblies; Christmas and Leavers’ productions; celebration days; performances within the local community and also on a large scale where possible, allowing each child to demonstrate their abilities as a musician.