At Whyteleafe, we believe that music making is a powerful and personal experience that can support children’s development academically, socially and emotionally.
Highly effective music lessons take place across the school and are taught by a music specialist. Throughout their time with us, a Whyteleafe child will experience learning the toot, the ukulele and a year of learning the clarinet. Each child is provided with their own musical instrument to take home to deepen their learning. Through a rigorous teaching process, not only are children challenged but talents are identified and opportunities to perform beyond the classroom are encouraged. A love and appreciation of music is instilled in our children, many of whom come back to perform with us once they have moved on to Secondary School.
Music at Whyteleafe gives pupils the opportunity to experience a wide range of musical styles and instruments. Musical learning is about thinking and acting as a musician as well as having opportunities to perform, compose, appraise and enjoy music making. All children will have the opportunity to experience whole class ensemble tuition which builds on their musical education, knowledge and experiences. It also provides firm foundations for future musical learning and opportunities for oracy. Music is sometimes used as a vehicle to support learning in other areas of the curriculum such as science and maths and also as part of geography and history topics. The music curriculum includes singing, playing a range of instruments, listening to music that has been produced by themselves or others and learning to compose and improvise.
Assessment of musical learning is rooted in the musical activity that the child has undertaken. Five key areas of assessment are singing, playing, improvising, composing and listening. Throughout all lessons, musical learning is assessed by observing children making and responding to music. The assessment process enables teachers to establish pupils’ progression over time in terms of both breadth and depth of musicality. There are also opportunities for children to assess themselves and their peers. This process ensures that outcomes continue to be exceptional at Whyteleafe.
As well as the music curriculum, we offer several music clubs. Children have the opportunity to be part of mini-singers, choir, orchestra, recorder club, toot club and ukulele club. These groups perform at several events and concerts throughout the year including Dorking Halls and the O2 Arena.
The school can offer individual and small group instrument lessons delivered by peripatetic teachers from Surrey Arts. Lessons are currently available on clarinet, saxophone, violin and guitar.
By the end of Year 6, all of our children will have experienced playing a range of musical instruments and will have had the opportunity to perform to a variety of audiences. They will have been exposed to music from different cultures, genres and periods of history. We aim for all of our pupils to leave us with a deep knowledge of musical terms and for them to be able to talk confidently about the importance of music within society.