“How is it that music can, without words, evoke our laughter, our fears, our highest aspirations?” ― Jane Swan
At St Francis, we aim to make music an enjoyable learning experience which is accessible and inclusive for all. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build up the confidence of all children. We want our music lessons to be fun and inspiring, engaging the children with songs, lyrics and movement. We want the children to feel able and reflective and expressive, developing their own appreciation of music with the opportunities we provide as a school. All children are actively encouraged and given the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument, whether that be as a whole class or as individual instrumental lessons with the visiting peripatetic staff. We aim to provide a range of musical opportunities both within the classroom and as enrichment activities outside of the classroom and also give regular opportunities for our children in performing to different audiences.
We follow the Charanga Music Scheme which follows a differentiated, spiral approach to musical learning which responds to the national requirements for musical education. Within each unit of learning, students revisit existing knowledge and skills and then build upon and extend them incrementally. In this manner, learning is consolidated and augmented, allowing for increasing musical confidence, while constantly being gently challenged to go further.
In addition to Charanga, each KS1 and KS2 class receives weekly singing sessions for two half terms of the year as part of the Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme. These are delivered by an expert Choral Director from the Diocese, focusing on positive engagement with singing and supporting the Catholic life of the school through sacred music. The sessions offer practical and incremental coverage of areas of the music curriculum - including notation - in a two-year curriculum framework developed by the Diocese, the National Schools Singing Programme and the National Youth Choir of Scotland.
All pupils have the opportunity to perform music on tuned and untuned instruments to each other in their lessons and also on a bigger scale as part of our Music Concerts which take place twice a year.
Our Children's Choir
Every child in KS2 has the opportunity to join the choir, which runs weekly at lunchtimes. They rehearse and perform a wide repertoire of music encompassing many different genres and even regularly sing together with the Staff Choir - see below for more details. They perform at least once a half term either at an in-school event or further afield. Please see their dedicated page here.
Musical Instrument Tuition
Thanks to Yorkshire Academy of Creative Arts and Dance (YACAD), we provide weekly small group tuition lessons in piano, guitar and drums for children from FS2 - Y6. For more information about YACAD, please visit their website here.
Bradford Catholic Youth Choir
Children also have the opportunity to join one of Leeds Diocese's acclaimed after-school choirs. The choirs have around 100 members rehearsing weekly during term time, with Junior Choir, Senior Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs based at our feeder High School, St. Bede’s and St. Joseph’s.
Our Staff Choir
Our Staff Choir exists to support the mental well-being of our hardworking staff and to provide enjoyment and relaxation for staff who enjoy music and singing. However, our Staff Choir also provides great role models to our children of the dedication, courage and focus it takes to sing and perform together with control and finesse. Any member of staff can join our staff choir who rehearse before and after school twice weekly for half an hour. Similar to the Children's Choir, the staff learn to sing songs from a wide variety of musical styles and genres and are gently pushed to sing in at least 2-part harmony. They enjoy various performance opportunities and particularly enjoying singing together with the Children's Choir.
First and foremost, our children enjoy music as performers, composers and listeners. They feel confident and are creative in expressing ideas about music they listen to- both in live performances and those played to them. They value the ideas and creative responses of others.
All our children enjoy and feel the “buzz” of singing and/or playing instruments in our music concerts. Through these opportunities, children build their confidence and self-esteem. The children who avail of our extracurricular opportunities, build resilience and courage through, not only singing together in unison and harmony, but also in small groups and individually.
We measure the impact of our Music curriculum through videoed work monitoring as well as pupil voice and dialogue between the subject leader, teaching staff and specialist Music teacher.
Ultimately Children and staff find music uplifting and enjoyable, and appreciate the benefits for their mental health.