It’s all go with our History Detectives! The emphasis is very much on encouraging independent learning and an analytical approach to research in order to create a greater sense of identity and purpose. This year’s curriculum is the Victorian Era, with a myriad of learning opportunities in all different styles, complemented by some very exciting trips.
Inventions and Inventors will form the basis of the History Project this term, which will be the focus for homework and will lead into consideration of the Industrial Revolution and steam power. Pupils will have great fun in directing their creative talents into writing songs or raps about the Victorian Inventions they have researched.
Watch this space for more details of fun learning!
Throughout KS2 general musicianship is taught to all pupils.Musicianship activities take place in every lesson throughout the year. Musicianship units run simultaneously with other composition units which encourage the children to use their creative skills.
Kodály believed that a musician should have a well trained ear as well as well trained fingers. He realised that rhythm names (ta, te etc.) and solfa (do, re, me etc.) were powerful tools with which to develop musical literacy. He incorporated these into his overall concept, which is world renowned and is called Kodály’s Choral Method.
Kodály identified three stages of learning:
In Kodály based lessons children initially learn by imitation. Over time, what they have assimilated unconsciously is made conscious and children learn by using both appropriate vocabulary to describe their experience and the symbol which represents it.
Kodály learning is structured so that students progress from the simple to the complex in a series of logical steps. The voice is the prime instrument used in Kodály training as singing has a profound effect on a child’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual development and is the most direct way of making a musical response.
Children’s singing games are used throughout the Key Stage which, to begin with, have a small range and simple rhythms. Many of the activities encourage solo singing which is helpful for teacher assessment as well as developing confidence in pupils.
Pupils learn about the theory of music through simple analysis of songs – they identify the rhythms and pitches which make up the songs. Solfa is learned with accompanying handsigns, which provide a physical link with the sound heard and produced. Handsigns are powerful tools in that they can also be used for the pupil to read from, therefore being able to quickly and easily interpret new music as well as recognising known material.
Pupils learn to read and write music initially with stick notation and then moving on to the conventional stave. Stave reading is firstly conducted without a clef so that they learn spatially the positions of the intervals.Eventually pitch names are introduced and pupils can learn to read in various doh positions.
The Voices Foundation is an organisation which promotes Kodály’s methodology in schools. They assist schools through inset teaching teachers how to use Kodály’s methods. They work almost exclusively in England, however, through my own personal Kodály based training I have gained experience in their approaches.
An overview of Kodály /Voices Foundation Methodology
Finding the singing voice
Pulse – metre, tempo, phrase
The elements of rhythm
Improvising with rhythm
Reading rhythm – spoken and played
Simple / compound time
Reading and writing melody
Vocal pitch – making
Improvising vocal melody
Understanding and identifying structure
Children who are taught Kodály thoroughly and systematically become rounded, confident musicians.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION & GAMES
At Key Stage 2 our pupils enjoy a full and varied curriculum, which consists of 10 sporting disciplines, including games, gymnastics, outdoor adventurous activities, athletics, personal fitness, dance and swimming each year.
In addition, our extra curricular programme endeavours to further widen and extend pupil opportunity via practice, competitive fixtures and specialised coaching in cricket, hockey, golf and tennis.
With our pupils being taught by specialised P.E. teachers from year 2, we enjoy a smooth transition between the key stages and this provides accelerated learning pathways for our pupils.
We are very proud of our sporting performances within the Junior School, with notable achievements from our junior teams last year; the rugby team retained their Newport Schools’ Championship and our mixed hockey players were runners-up in the Welsh Championships.
ICT is a fun, practical subject in year 5, which is not only taught as a discreet subject but cross-curricularly too. A variety of different programs are studied, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and 2Animate. Children have a chance to reinforce their basic computer skills, as well as develop more advanced techniques as the year progresses. Recently, the children have enjoyed their introduction to Excel, which allowed them to create spreadsheets and input formulas.