At Benwick, CUSP Music has been purposefully built around the principles of evidence-led practice. This is to ensure that there is a focus on high-quality development of children as musicians. The curriculum is carefully designed to build pupils’ musical knowledge and develop their competency and confidence as musicians. Each block includes the study of significant musicians and musical works, with the intention of exposing pupils to a wide range of music that will inspire them and connect them to the world around them. The curriculum is built to support non-specialist teachers in developing their own subject knowledge and delivering excellence in music education. Core areas of study include singing, listening and appraising, composing and improvising and instrumental performance. These are built cumulatively throughout the curriculum to ensure that all pupils develop their engagement with, and knowledge of, music over time. This includes a focus on learning to play a range of instruments confidently. CUSP Music aims to build a strong and rich musical culture in schools, in which pupils can thrive. As with all CUSP subjects, CUSP Music has a strong emphasis on the language that pupils need to explore their own musicality. This is carefully and deliberately planned so that pupils revisit and embed this knowledge over time. Clear structures and learning routines underpin CUSP Music. This allows pupils (and teachers) to direct their cognitive attention to the core content in each block. As with all CUSP subjects, Knowledge Notes are used to support instruction and the revisiting of new concepts. This strong focus on cognitive science provides the framework for pupils to deepen and broaden their knowledge of music and become confident, inspired musicians.
How is CUSP Music organised? CUSP Music is taught from Years 1 – 6. Each year group has 6 blocks of 5 weeks teaching, this is planned across a 2 year rolling programme, due to our mixed age classes. The curriculum is designed to be delivered in 45 – 60-minute lessons, depending on the age of pupils and stage of learning. Teachers can choose how to organise this time within their timetable, for example, teachers may choose to deliver one CUSP Music lesson over two shorter blocks of time. Across the year, each year group will focus on developing singing, playing a range of untuned and tuned instruments and building their knowledge about music. Pupils will build their knowledge and musical skills year on year, becoming more expert in playing and appraising a wide range of musical styles.
What will pupils know and be able to do at key points of the curriculum? During KS1, CUSP Music aims to secure strong musical foundations for pupils. This includes a strong focus on learning musical vocabulary and significant opportunities to master rhythm and pulse. As pupils move into KS2, they will begin to learn the glockenspiel, alongside exploring a range of other tuned and untuned instruments. The aim is that by the end of Year 4, pupils will have secured a good level of technical and creative skill in playing the glockenspiel and this lays the foundations for pupils to go on to learn the keyboard throughout Years 5 and 6. For each year group, blocks provide the opportunity for pupils to prepare and perform musical compositions. In KS1, this is woven into several blocks to build pupils’ confidence and experience base. Throughout KS2, pupils begin to perform in different musical ensembles, culminating in them performing their own compositions and improvisations by the end of Year 6. Pupils will be taught to read music from the earliest stages with the expectation of this gradually developing as pupils’ experience base builds. Music from a wide range of cultures, time periods and traditions is studied across the curriculum, with plenty of opportunities for pupils to revisit significant musicians and compositions within and across years. This is important to help pupils embed learning and make connections between what they already know and their new learning. What pupils will know and be able to do is clearly outlined in each block. Teachers should keep this as their key focus for each block of study but also exploit every opportunity to build on pupils’ prior knowledge, as these strong foundations will support pupils in deepening their understanding over time.
Additional enrichment activities for music are planned throughout the year and incude:
Weekly singing collective worship
EYFS/KS1 Nativity songs
KS2 Musical production
KS2 Carol Concert
Musical performances as part of 'Shine & Share' events
Harvest families assembly