At Toftwood Infant and Junior Schools we value music as a subject. We aim to develop children’s musical ability and their confidence to perform. Alongside this we aim to develop the children’s appreciation of different music, including music from different countries, cultures and periods of history and a cross curricular approach is taken. All year groups in KS1 and EYFS combine discrete music lessons with the use of music in other subject areas. Music is also used day to day when attending assemblies, tidying up and lunchtime clubs. In the EYFS, the children have access to high quality music provision both indoors and outside. There is a clear progression in skills from EYFS through KS2 with the use of the Charanga Musical Schools Programme, enriched with units of instrument teaching, such as ocarina in Year 2 and Samba in Year 6. A success of last academic year was the use of music and dance visitors and workshops which enriched the learning across all year groups and improved outcomes. This will be built upon this year by organising a music enrichment week for the whole school to take part in. In 2019-20 we are excited to have the Music Hub provide whole class instrument teaching for all children in Year 4 (more details to come!).
June 2018 – Music Hub Award Winner
Mr Hardy was nominated for the Norfolk Music Hub in their innovation award category, reflecting on his enthusiasm and approach to the teaching of high quality music.
Mr Hardy, the Junior School music lead has been working with Miss Coombes, the Infant School music lead and they have used Music to draw the two schools closer together. Our first training as a combined staff group was a singing workshop which was an incredible success and great way to break the ice when bringing two lots of staff together. They applied for and received the Hub’s bespoke project grant which we used to fund a series of steel pan workshops for Yr2 and Yr3 children to play alongside one another. Not only was this an amazing opportunity for some really top quality instrument tuition it helped with the younger children’s transition to KS2. (It also added some much needed focus on Music from around the world.) After attending a Singing Playgrounds workshop Mr Hardy formed a singing group of Key Stage 2 children who have learned some of the songs and have visited the Infant School playground at lunchtime to teach these to the younger children
In terms of innovation, Mr Hardy has introduced making music with technology to each of the Year Groups – Yr3 using the fantastic ‘Isle of Tune’ online program, Year 4 using MadPad, Year 5 Scratch and Year 6 Garage Band which led to a group of Yr6 students running a lunchtime Garage Band club.
The amazing loan of Samba instruments from the Hub has enabled Mr Hardy to start teaching Yr 6 a term of Brazilian percussion (with a great deal of help from John Owen from Neatherd High School and by joining Norwich Samba to give himself a crash course in an area of music he had had no previous experience of) again trying to give children a more global idea of Music.
Mr Hardy has been playing and teaching ukulele for 16 years and has a very dedicated Ukulele Club who have recently performed at a concert organised by BTEC Music students from Neatherd High School.
Mr Hardy has also ensured equality of access for all students, regardless of physical difficulties and carried out some research into open tunings and spending an afternoon with a child and her uke a uke blu-tacked to a table and various plectrums and sticks to use as slides they were jamming together playing ‘Three Little Birds’. She is now a stalwart member of Uke Club.
At the awards ceremony, Mr Hardy was one of 3 Norfolk Music-Coordinators shortlisted. In the speech, the judges recognised his engagement with the Music Hub over the last 2 Years, the work he has done with Miss Coombes to use music to bring the federation together, organising the steel pan workshops; the whole federation staff singing workshop; taking children from Juniors to do Playground Singing with the children at the Infants at lunchtime , the inclusion of music technology in each Year Group; the Yr6 Samba lessons; the ongoing Ukulele club and the efforts to be fully inclusive.
We are pleased to say Mr Hardy was chosen as the winner of the award for innovation in music co-ordinators 2018. Congratulations Mr Hardy!
This term the children in Reception have enjoyed online Music and Movement sessions with Miss Helen. The children have explored ‘going into space’ and using their imaginations to explore on the moon as part of this adventure. They also experienced Chinese New Year with fan dancing and listening to instruments from China and pretending to be a Chinese dragon eating cabbages.
The children have also listening to songs and taken part in learning actions to go alongside each week of learning. This has been something the children learning in class and taking part in sessions remotely have enjoyed together, and songs such as ‘Five Little Aliens’ and ‘Old MacDonald’ were very popular.
In Year 1, the children have shared a music assembly each week. This has ensured they continued to experience and share a variety of music from different genres and discuss how different music has had an impact on how they feel. Children across the year group have shared opinions about the music each week and discussed how different people have differing opinions about music. During Children’s Mental Health week the children have discussed how music can make you feel happy or relaxed and children shared some of their favourite songs/music. The children have also experienced online lessons this term where they have learnt about pulse and rhythm.
The children in Year 2 have been learning about South America and exploring the different parts and layers of the rainforest there. As part of this learning they have listened to rainforest linked music and talked about what they heard. Whilst listening they also drew the sounds they heard using whatever pictures or marks that came into their minds.
Children also got to listen to the sounds of different rainmakers and talked about how they could make their own version of these using familiar objects.
During November the Reception children enjoyed taking part in Nursery Week. Every day for a week the children got to listen to, discuss and enjoy different nursery rhymes and songs such as, ‘The Wheels on the Bus’, ‘Hickory Dickery Dock’ and ‘5 Little Ducks’.
Although Covid19 has made music slightly different this year as we aren’t singing across the federation it’s important we share that Year 1 and 2 have been taking part in a ‘Signing Assembly’ where the festive spirit has been flowing and the children have learned to sign songs such as ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’.
Finally, at the very end of term the whole federation joined other schools and got to watch a musical pantomime performance starring Rapunzel. This was called ‘Rapunzel the Lockdown Pantomime’ and children from Reception classes right through to Year 6 enjoyed being part of the performance, listening to the songs and enjoying the traditional and quite silly jokes!
Year 2 children all agreed that they loved the panto and gave it a big thumbs up! They enjoyed the interactive parts and especially enjoyed dancing at their tables. Many children agreed that their favourite part of the show was when Gothel the evil sorceress was turning into a baby. They were pleased she got her comeuppance in the end!
Here are some things the children had to say:
Isabella (Y2) – “My favourite character was Rupunzel because she had such a beautiful dress. She has Disney plus and Netflix…I have that!”
Georgie (Y2) – “I liked that it was old but they made it like us with YouTube, Netflix and TikTok”.
Arlo (Y1) – “I liked when her mum turned into a baby.”
Leo (Y1) – “I liked all of it!”
Freya (Y1) – liked when “the boy got married to the girl’
Charlie (Reception) “I like the dance monkey music.”
Esra (Reception) enjoyed “when Rapunzel’s mother was climbing down her hair.”
Even though theatres across the country have had to close this year due to Covid19 it was lovely to be able to share a musical pantomime experience with children across the federation. We know that some children got to experience panto entertainment for the very first time and others didn’t have to miss out due to closures and restrictions.
During the first half term back the children in Years 1 and 2 have enjoyed our regular ‘Music Assembly’. This takes place each Wednesday and the children listen to a different piece of music that can range from modern pop to classical, movie soundtracks and music from different parts of the world. After listening to the music children spend ‘reflective time’ thinking about how the song made them feel. Sometimes, the music provides a virtual ‘live performance’ of a song. In the photograph below children are listening to music from the Harry Potter movies. This experience allowed the children to see and hear the instruments involved in the piece.
Year 1 and 2 have also enjoyed continuing their music learning using Charanga! They have developed their listening skills and have focused on beat and rhythm. Feeling the pulse of music and clapping alongside the beat.
In Reception classes the children have enjoyed listening to and singing along to many simple songs. They have also been enjoying exploring and experimenting with instruments across our learning environment.
A variety of music is played in the class environments and outdoor classroom for the children to experience. The teachers make sure this music provides a variety of musical experiences and the children are often seen moving to the music, playing the instruments alongside it and developing dances.
This term children took part in the ‘Get Singing’ event which was part of the national BBC Music Day. In Year 1 and 2 children used advice from a professional singer about how to relax their bodies and warm up their voices before singing as part of the event and sang with children from over 1000 schools across the country via a web event.
In Reception classes the children have enjoyed learning and singing nursery rhymes with a modern twist.
In Autumn 2 the children also experienced a live music event at the Junior School. This was arranged through the Norfolk Music Hub. Please see the update about this event on our Special Events Page.
Christmas Music 2019
In the EYFS children have been practising the Christmas songs, ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’, ‘Santa Shark’ and ‘Jingle Bells’. The children all worked hard to remember the words and actions to the songs and looked great in their festive hats as they performed to Year 1 and Year 2 and their adults.
Key Stage 1 Performance:
Children in Key Stage 1 worked very hard to perfect and perform their ‘Aladdin Trouble’ Musical Pantomime in December. The panto shared the adventures of Aladdin, a princess, a magical lamp and a genie who could grant 3 wishes. The children did a great job remembering their lines, acting, dancing and singing some very catchy and intricate songs! Staff and families were very proud of the excellent performance. Well done to everyone involved!
During the Autumn Term children from Year 1 and 2 were able to join a regular singing club and be part of our ‘Christmas Choir’. The Choir were excited to learn several traditional songs and carols as well as some modern songs and took part in two special performances for the whole school and their grown ups.Songs included in the performances were: ‘Jingle Bells, ‘We Wish you a Merry Christmas’, ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’ and ‘Deck the Halls’. Well done everyone!
During the second half term children across the Federation took part in Arts Enrichment Week. The week allowed the children to experience lots of activities revolving around the arts. You can read all about this week on the Special Events section of the website.
On Thursday and Friday there was a greater focus on music and children from both the Infant and Junior school had the opportunity to look at and explore different types of musical instruments, including some the children hadn’t encountered before! A string quartet also came into each school to perform and the children really enjoyed being part of this experience.
At the end of the week we held a family Open Morning and parents, carers and other family members were able to joint their children and participate in making musical instruments out of found materials. Each year group focused on creating a different type of musical instrument and children used their imaginations and got creative! Plenty of fun was had by everyone and children and grown ups alike were up for the challenge!
At the end of the week we had “The Arts Showcase” where children from each class got to show off their talents to the whole school. We had singers, dancers, comedians and even dinosaurs! It was a lot of fun and we were lucky enough to have a number of children from the Junior School come to perform for us as well!
COVID 19 has had a massive impact on Music – Imagine Primary School without singing! It has also meant a temporary halt to our Yr 4 WCIT of Steel Pan, Year 6 Samba and use of recorders in all classes.
On a brighter and more positive note, we now have a beautiful set of yellow ukuleles and have introduced whole class ukulele lessons throughout the year for Year 3 children. Charanga (the online Music resource we use for some of our lessons) has been specially adapted to be COVID safe with more glockenspiel use and sign language versions of songs being taught!
During lockdown we have made use of Oak Academy Music lessons when the majority of children have been learning at home. These are really good fun (Year 3 went ‘cup song’ crazy and have loved the body percussion sessions) and also incorporate lots of simple music theory continuing the skills taught in our usual curriculum.
‘Music from Around the World’ assemblies have been created to be shared in class giving children a chance to experience music from a range of cultures, eras and genres.
This term began with children being introduced to the history of classical music starting with the Baroque period in Year 3, moving through the Classical and Romantic eras in Years 4 and 5 and arriving at the Modern period in Year 6. Children have listened to and reflected on music from a variety of composers from their chosen era both in music lessons and at other times when music can accompany their learning.
Children have continued to develop their singing and playing of glockenspiels and recorders, with Year 5 children learning more about reading stave notation while learning to play Christmas songs.
The Singing Club performed for the first time in public, braving the elements to go carol singing in Dereham (read more about this in the special events section).
This term children across the federation took part in the ‘Get Singing’ event which was part of the national BBC Music Day. In Year 1 and 2 children used advice from a professional singer about how to relax their bodies and warm up their voices before singing as part of the event and sang with children from over 1000 schools across the country via a web event.
The children also experienced a live music event at the Junior School. This was arranged through the Norfolk Music Hub. Please see the update about this event on our Special Events Page.
Ukulele Club are off to a flying start this school year, welcoming back seasoned stalwarts and saying hello to a new crop of players. Our experienced musicians (some in their fourth year of playing!) have been helping the newbies get to grips with those tricky first three chords that open the doors to music making.
Next half term our attention will be turning to Christmas songs (apologies to parents, we know it seems far too early!) so children will be ready to entertain at any festive gathering!
Once again, Mr Hardy would like to say a massive thankyou to our wonderful ex pupil Chloe Partridge for her continued help and support.
Ukelele club perform at livewire – June 2018
Toftwood Ukulele Club were invited to perform at Dereham Memorial Hall on Wednesday 27th June as part of the ‘Live Wire’ concert.
The event, organised by Year 10 BTEC Music students at Neatherd High School, was the Ukulele Club’s first experience of playing on a real stage to a packed audience (quite a leap from playing in our own school assemblies) however everyone performed brilliantly and were cheered and applauded enthusiastically.
‘It was really fun,’ said Edward, ‘we were nervous at first, but we managed to pull it off and it sounded really good.’
Evie added, ‘We got more confident as it went on. It was fantastic to play in a concert and all of the acts were so good. When we were actually on stage it sounded amazing!’
Not only was this a fantastic opportunity to gain experience of performing in a wonderful venue, it also gave our pupils a chance to see the incredible musical talents of the high school students and see what they can aspire to in the future.
Thank you so much to all the parents and grandparents who supported the event and Mr Owen (Neatherd Head of Music) who helped make it all happen.
The children are still glowing with pride from their success and are looking forward to more chances to get on stage and shine.
Congratulations to all of the children who worked so hard and embraced the opportunity to perform in front of such a large audience, with such enthusiasm and such excitement. Thank you to Mr Hardy for all of his work in preparing the children for the concert and for encouraging and supporting them on the night. We are proud of all of you.
Ukelele club is offered free of charge to all children in the junior school currently and we are looking to possibly extend it to Year 2 at some point in the future.
Live Music Summer 2 2018
The junior school were treated to music through the ages on Tuesday 5thJune as the Live History of Music Show performed for us in the main hall. After a rendition of the Doctor Who theme song (so we could travel back in time!), the children listened to music by Vivaldi and Mozart and learned that the oldest recorded instrument was a flute/recorder-type instrument from the Ice Age. They were also treated to a segment of John Cage’s 4’33’’ – a song written to be totally silent – and movie soundtrack music from John Williams (Star Wars and Jaws). The performance ended with Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ – which the Year 3s couldn’t help but join in with.