Music is an embedded feature of life at Benenden Primary School.
Every effort goes into ensuring that the children hear a breadth of music, and see instruments being played, rather than using recordings. The music coordinator plays the guitar for most Assemblies and special events, and the Business manager regularly joins her to play the piano. This enables the children to not only observe individuals playing instruments to produce quality music, but enables them to sing and perform to live music. There has been a good uptake in learning the guitar as a direct consequence of the guitar being played by staff regularly at school. The teachers use music throughout their curriculum planning to help engage the children in the learning. An example of this is learning where the EYFS children sang a song about the planets, and because of the song were able to remember the order the planets came. Forest school offers opportunities to all children to make their own percussion and ‘tuned’ instruments, such as wind chimes.
We also have a song written by the Music Co-ordinator which is for the children to learn the recently changed school values. This song can be turned into a round to stretch and engage those older children. EYFS and KS1 have had the opportunity to learn Djembe drums alongside their usual Charanga lessons. The year 5’s have been learning the trumpet as a class through Kent Music School. e Christian focus of the school. The music coordinator meets regularly with the Rector to ensure that the songs that the children learn work well with the church calendar, and church events. Collective worship always involves a breadth of music, and the weekly singing assembly is very popular!
We strive to have a variety of musical opportunities for the children each year. We have had professionals coming in to play their instruments for us, and allowing the children to hear them and sometimes have a go themselves. This has included a recent visit from a folk singer song writer who has been working with Year 3 during lockdown to write, perform and record a song. During our most recent Ofsted inspection, they said ‘The curriculum is enriched through visits and visitors to school. Pupils thoroughly enjoyed and were captivated by visiting musicians who talked about and played their instruments’.
All children have the opportunity to use their growing skills to perform to an audience - singing and dancing as part of the yearly nativity (KS1) and production (KS2). They have also had the opportunity to perform at the O2 arena as part of Young Voices with 8,000 other children. Benenden Primary school also enters the singing competition run by the Rotary Club every year. Four years ago we won - and now the children are working hard to win the trophy back! This is a fantastic opportunity for those children who show musical aptitude to support their peers through taking a solo, or leading a group singing harmony.
An exciting addition to these opportunities is the introduction of ‘Benenden’s Brilliant Showcase’ which was introduced during lockdown. The children were able to video their talents and ‘perform’ to a wide audience. We hope that this will be going ‘live’ early in 2022, and the children will have the opportunity to perform their talents to a live audience!
Progression of Music