The study of music is not only an end in itself, but also provides children with a wide range of transferable skills. Through the music curriculum at English Martyrs, children not only gain musical skills such as performing, composing, singing, appreciating recorded music and playing specific musical instruments, but they also develop their confidence, listening skills and teamwork.
At English Martyrs, we believe that all children should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument so we take advantage of the Local Authority’s extended services programme. Children in Year 3 take part in whole class African Drumming lessons, and children in Year 4 have ukulele tuition. This provides excellent progression for the children in lower Key Stage Two who are able to build on the rhythmic foundations laid in Year 3 with the melodic and harmonic understanding needed to play the ukulele in Year 4.
Singing is also at the heart of these lessons and, as well as singing independently, children learn to play their instruments and sing at the same time. All of the lessons are provided by specialist music teachers and are completely free of charge to the children. The children enjoy learning both the ukulele and the African drums, and are able to show off their skills in our termly assemblies to which the families of Year 3 and 4 children are warmly invited.
In recent years, we have extended our specialist music provision to include Year 5, where the children now take part in the Diocesan singing programme. This involves a specialist-singing teacher coming into school to run weekly singing lessons with this class. The whole school are also able to benefit from this expertise, as Miss Kitson also provides our weekly whole-school singing practice.
In addition to these school-wide and whole-class opportunities, individual and small group music teaching is provided through Wakefield Local Authority's peripatetic music service. We currently offer guitar, violin and brass lessons to Key Stage Two pupils. For further information about these lessons, please speak to Mrs Wainwright or the office.
There are also many opportunities for children at English Martyrs to take part in extracurricular music activities. Our programme of extra-curricular music provision is constantly evolving, but opportunities in the last few years have included lower-school performances of Eddie the Penguin Saves the World and The Litter Muncher, an upper school Christmas performance of The Most Magical Place of All, choir trips to the Young Voices concert series, and a summer upper school performance of Mystery at Magpie Manor.
The aim of all of our music provision is to give the children at English Martyrs opportunities to develop into confident young people, who work well as a team and can persevere to learn skills and create memorable performances.