Music is a great source of pride at Allfarthing with every child accessing high-quality music-making throughout the school. It supports children’s social and cultural development and helps every child fulfill their own talents and abilities.
Music in the Classroom
Each class teacher delivers lessons to their class supported by the online music software Charanga. Learning is based around a traditional or popular song from a variety of styles and gives children opportunities to develop both their understanding and appreciation of music as well as their performance, composition and evaluation skills. Teachers make use of our specialist music room which is well equipped with a range of tuned and un-tuned percussion, including xylophones, glockenspiels and a set of djembe drums.
In the Early Years, singing and music making is a key part of any day. Children use songs to help them learn routines and to learn about elements of the wider world. They begin to identify pulse, rhythm and pitch and are encouraged to explore different ways of making sound.
In Key Stage 1, children begin more formal whole-class lessons where they build a stronger grounding in pulse, rhythm and pitch and think more about dynamics, tempo and timbre. They sing songs and used tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments to create soundscapes based on images, feelings and stories.
In Key Stage 2, children begin to consider the texture and structure of a piece of music and ways of notating music. This is kicked off with our year 3 music programme, supported by tutors from Wandsworth Music Service. In whole-class groups, children sing, learn to play the recorder and the African djembe and begin to learn to read Western stave notation.
Older year groups continue to learn in-class with their class teachers studying a wide range of music by artists including Bob Marley, ABBA, The Beatles, Bon Jovi, The Jackson 5, Carole King, Pharrell Williams and Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.
The following link will take you to the government’s national curriculum for primary schools:
Music around Allfarthing
Outside of the classroom, children of all ages have several ways of taking part in music-making.
From year 1, children attend a weekly singing assembly delivered by their class teachers or by Mr. Moss, lead teacher for music. Children are also able to audition for our Chamber Choir from year 3 who successfully performed at the Mayor of Wandsworth’ Carol Concert in December 2017. They are conducted by Nadine Marshall, one of the vocal tutors with Wandsworth Music Service.
Years 1, 4 and 5 take part in Wandsworth Music Services’ singing projects throughout the year. All three singing projects culminate with an in-school performance with children from years 4 and 5 having the opportunity to represent Allfarthing out of school in the Winter Sounds concert at Burntwood School in December (year 4) and in A Brighter Sound at the Royal Festival Hall (year 5).
Teachers are keen to take advantage of the great opportunities to access high-quality music that London has to offer – this year, year 5 went to the Royal Opera House for a school’s performance of Carmen at the and year 6 attended the Primary Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
From year 4 children have the option to learn an instrument in school from one of our visiting instrumental teachers Ruth Hayes (woodwind), John Simpson (guitar) and Steve Ashmore (drums). Children have try-outs at the end of year 3 where they choose from flute, clarinet, saxophone, guitar and drum kit. Currently half of key stage 2 learn an instrument in school.
We are also proud to offer children the opportunity to play in one of Allfarthing’s instrumental ensembles. Guitar Ensemble was formed early in 2018 and gives an opportunity for advanced guitarists and drummers in upper key stage 2 children to perform. Led by John Simpson, the band play bass and electric guitars and make their own repertoire choices – they made their public debut in July 2018 and, this year, have been joined by a singer and a drummer.
Allfarthing’s Wind Band was reformed in 2018 to allow children learning woodwind instruments in and out of school to perform as an ensemble. Conducted by Ruth Hayes, they performed at the Mayor of Wandsworth’s Carol Concert this year gaining a great deal of praise.
“Thank you for bringing the wonderful Allfarthing Wind Band to entertain us all at the Mayors Carol Concert last night. I thought the quality of ensemble playing was excellent and it was such a pleasure to be able to listen to the children perform so confidently.”
Dan White, Head of Wandsworth Music Service