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A Summary of Ofsted's Music Subject Report: Striking the Right Note

🎼 Ofsted's Music Subject Report: Striking the Right Note 🎶

This is my summary of Ofsted's Music Subject Report released back in September 2023. I've summarised each section and have included some links below to take you to the level of information you would find helpful.


The Main Findings, Discussion and Recommendations cover most of the key points from the report.


However, I have also summarised the Primary and Secondary findings if you wish to refer to more detail.


As always, the summary does not replace reading the report, but I do hope this is useful either as a starting point or as providing notes which can be shared with colleagues etc. The report includes some useful examples which illustrate the points made in concrete terms. I've also summarised the research review which is referred to throughout the report.



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If you find this summary useful, and would like to help support this website, I have made a PDF and an editable Word version of this written summary, as well as the PDF of the visual graphic, which can be downloaded from my Gumroad page.

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Note

  • Schools should have a music development plan in place by the 2023/24 academic year which sets out how they will teach a high-quality curriculum for at least one hour a week in key stages 1 to 3.


Main Findings

  • Pupils have adequate time to learn music in most schools.

  • Reception very often prepares pupils well for music in KS1.

  • In a very small number of schools, pupils do not have sufficient opportunities to learn music in KS1 and KS2; this is usually related to the curriculum being organised so that pupils are only taught music on isolated days.

  • There is considerable variation in KS3: in under half the schools visited, there was not enough time for pupils to learn the intended curriculum. Consequently, pupils aren't adequately prepared for further musical study.

  • In most secondary schools, the KS3 curriculum is organised into termly or half-termly blocks, each typically focusing on a different style or genre of music and often standing as isolated units. Development is more typically considered within each unit rather than across the long-term.

  • In many schools, leaders typically focus on giving pupils a range of musical opportunities. Ambition is often more associated with the range of opportunities offered rather than the incremental development of pupils' musical knowledge and skills.

  • In primary schools, the strongest aspect of the curriculum is teaching pupils to sing; in secondary, the curriculum often has much less emphasis on singing and vocal work.

  • Composition is typically the weakest aspect of the curriculum.

  • Typical practice in more effective settings includes: high-quality instruction, sufficient practice time and ongoing feedback to improve their musical responses before learning new content and concepts.

  • Commonly at KS1 - 3, the focus is often covering activities rather than ensuring content is being learned to a high standard.

  • In a few schools, leaders and teachers have a clear conception of the expected outcomes of the curriculum: critically, they know what the outcomes should sound like. This supports curriculum evaluation

  • Leaders in most schools have a realistic idea of teachers' subject expertise. However, far fewer leaders have a clear plan for training staff and addressing any weaknesses.

  • In half of the schools visited, leaders in secondary schools make sure that staff have access to subject-specific training. Professional music associations and local music hubs are often helpful with providing this. In contrast, teachers in the other half of schools are often left isolated or given support by non-music specialists.

  • Many schools are in the process of re-establishing the extra-curricular provision they had offered before the pandemic.

  • There is still a divide between the opportunities for children and young people whose families can afford to pay for music tuition and for those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

  • Pressure on school budgets has resulted in some schools reducing the subsidising of instrumental lessons. Some schools (half in the study sample) do not currently offer any instrumental or vocal lessons.

  • There is considerable variation in the quality of extra-curricular provision; where this is done well, leaders typically value these activities as being important to pupils' wider musical development.


Discussion of Findings

  • The pandemic significantly disrupted music teaching in most schools.

  • There are ongoing challenges in re-establishing extra-curricular activities which are essential for music to thrive.

  • There is significant variation in the quality of music across settings.

  • There is, however, a more prominent place given to music and many pupils have regular opportunities to learn music.

  • Issues which have remained since the 2012 report include a lack of time at KS3 for pupils to learn the intended curriculum and thus be sufficiently prepared for further musical study if they so wish. Pupils' ability to be successful after KS3 can sometimes depend on their ability to pay for instrumental or vocal lessons.

  • Linked to the previous point, it is often pupils from lower socio-economic backgrounds who lose out from this, resulting in inequality of opportunity.

  • Schools in the study want pupils to develop a love and passion for the subject. When leaders have gone beyond the broader curriculum aims of the NC, provision and achievement is often much stronger.

  • In effective settings, leaders typically have asked themselves: "What can pupils realistically learn - rather than just encounter - in the curriculum time available?". These leaders have considered the ambition of their curriculum in terms of musical development rather than breadth of experiences. The provision in these schools is effective because leaders have identified the components required for pupils to get better at music rather than assume they will develop simply by 'doing' music.

  • Many schools are beginning to make use of non-statutory guidance available to them, such as the Model Music Curriculum and the Ofsted Music Research Review (here is a summary of the latter), to help them rethink, redesign and improve their music provision.

  • The ability to manipulate sound is central to both performing and composing.

  • In schools with the most effective teaching, the curriculum develops pupils' ability to control sounds through singing, playing instruments, or learning music technology, gradually and iteratively. Leaders in these schools understand that it takes a lot of time to develop the necessary fine motor skills on any instrument. A lack of fine motor skills can be a significant barrier to creating and generating musical ideas when composing.

  • Weaker practice often means that pupils have shallow encounters with too many instruments or have insufficient time to rehearse and practise. This often results in pupils' music being mechanistic and showing limited expressive quality.

  • There are considerable differences in how well teachers teach music. In primary, many report they lack confidence and musical knowledge. On paper, the curriculum can appear to ensure progression but teachers acknowledge that their lack of musicianship can mean they fail to recognise achievement. This can result in rigidly sticking to the curriculum plans without being aware of their impact and whether pupils are ready to move on. This results in pupils, as they get older, being asked to complete musical activities beyond their zone of competence.

  • Despite many headteachers being aware of primary teachers' lack of specialist knowledge, few have a clear plan to address these weaknesses. Many do not know where to find the necessary support.

  • In some secondary schools, leaders assume that because their music teachers are specialists, they do not require further subject-specific training. This results in some cases in significant gaps in their subject knowledge not being addressed.

  • Music requires strong and flexible leadership in order to flourish. Where schools have a strong and vibrant musical culture, leaders have made music part of the school's fabric. Schools with strong music education often seek expertise from musicians to support the design, implementation, and evaluation of their curriculum.

  • In schools where music education is stronger, leaders understand the significance of extra-curricular activities in complementing the school's taught curriculum.


Recommendations


Curriculum

  • Schools need to provide enough curriculum time, especially at KS3, for pupils to learn the intended curriculum.

  • The curriculum should identify the precise end points in performance, composition and listening work. It should also set out the knowledge and skills pupils need and how to reach these end points, step by step.

  • The curriculum should incrementally build pupils' knowledge of the technical and constructive aspects of music.


Pedagogy and Assessment

  • Teachers should provide ongoing feedback to pupils which improves the quality of their music making in terms of both technique and expression.

  • Teachers should routinely demonstrate to pupils what high-quality musical responses sound like and the processes to achieve these outcomes.

Systems

Teacher Support

  • Schools should actively seek the support of local music hubs (Arts Council England - Music Education Hubs).

  • Schools should provide teachers with ongoing professional development opportunities that align with the school's curriculum and address any identified gaps in subject knowledge or musicianship.


Curriculum Development & Staff Training

  • Schools should support subject leaders to develop a curriculum that deliberately and incrementally teaches all pupils to become more musical.

  • Schools should ensure continuous development of teachers' subject knowledge, including their musicianship skills.


Other Organisations

  • Commercial curriculums should identify what pupils should know and be able to do - as well as what this should sound like - before they move on to the next stage of their learning.

  • Music hub leaders should continue to build and develop relationships with schools and trust leaders. This can help develop both curriculum and extra-curricular provision.


PRIMARY


Curriculum Intent

  • There is often a commitment by leaders for pupils to learn music as part of the curriculum.

  • In around a half of schools, leaders have already or are in the process of changing their curriculums. Many changes are in how the music curriculum is organised.

  • In most schools, the curriculum is based on commercial schemes.

  • In schools where the NC is not being met, this is usually related to few or no opportunities to compose or improvise.

  • Reception nearly always prepares children well for KS1 because of introducing pupils little and often to the building blocks of music.

  • Most curriculum ambition is considered as range of opportunities rather than as outcomes of pupils' musical development.

  • A lack of clarity about the precise content pupils should learn and why is common to many schools, including those who have adopted commercial schemes of learning. Where there is clarity, this usually links to singing and playing instruments rather than composition.

  • Many leaders are currently considering how to develop their music curriculum so that pupils can develop more musically.

  • Only in a few schools have leaders already considered how the curriculum moves pupils beyond experiencing music to being specifically taught how to get better at music by gaining greater control, fluency and accuracy.

  • It is very effective to develop pupils' technique in tandem with broadening their knowledge of the provenance of the music they are learning.

  • Only in a few schools do leaders understand that getter better at any instrument takes time and technical competence on one instrument does not necessarily translate to other instruments. In these schools, leaders tend to have reduced the number of instruments that pupils learn. In contrast, pupils often only achieve a superficial depth of learning when they learn too many instruments in too short an amount of time. This can leave their responses mechanical and inexpressive.

  • In less than half of the study schools, pupils learned to play an instrument through whole-class teaching. This typically occurs for a year in Y4 or Y5. Music hubs support around a half of these schools; their support usually results in programmes being sequenced logically.

  • School budget pressures have resulted in some schools ending relationships with local music hubs and teaching instruments in-house. Often, these decisions have not been made by considering school staff's level of subject knowledge and expertise.

  • In many schools, teaching instruments in a whole-class setting is often done in isolation from the rest of the curriculum. There is often a disconnect between the knowledge obtained during these programmes and how they can prepare for or be built upon in future years.

  • There are few instances of whole-school programmes being planned in consultation with individual schools.

  • Support for singing is the strongest part of primary schools' curriculums. In some schools, leaders have considered how pupils will get better at singing and have carefully chosen songs to match pupils' stage of learning. Progress in singing is underpinned by regular, ongoing vocal work in the classroom as well as in assemblies. This is often the most successful aspect of a school's curriculum.

  • Singing provision is less effective when it is viewed as a participatory activity without consideration of the technical and expressive demands of the music pupils are expected to sing.

  • In schools where commercial schemes are used, it is common for teachers to lack alertness to the component knowledge pupils need to secure before moving on to the next stage of their learning. This is sometimes because there is a lack of understanding of the schemes' progression models. In the weakest practice, pupils are moved on without having secured the necessary procedural and declarative knowledge.

  • In schools with strong curriculum thinking, leaders have considered the interrelated dimensions of music. These are deliberately and incrementally broader and deepened as pupils move through the curriculum. Leaders ensure that pupils have repeated opportunities to learn about these dimensions through performance and composition activities as well as through specific learning opportunities.

  • The weakest aspect of the curriculum is often composition. Very few schools have considered the declarative and procedural knowledge pupils need to develop as composers. (See under point 18 for an example of an exception).

  • Pupils often lack a secure grasp of the skills and knowledge planned for in the curriculum. There is often a lack of attention on whether pupils are learning the curriculum as intended.


Curriculum Impact

  • Where pupils tend to make good progress in singing and playing instruments, they have repeated and regular opportunities to practise.

  • Composition is commonly the weakest area of the curriculum in terms of impact on pupils.


Pedagogy

  • Lessons are commonly taught by non-specialists. Where specialists do teach lessons, sometimes they are existing staff and timetables are adapted to enable them to teach across the school; other times, they are brought into school to deliver the curriculum.

  • Many teachers lack sufficient subject knowledge to teach the curriculum well, and lack confidence as a result.

  • Teaching is most effective when the choices of activity and pedagogy are matched to what teachers want pupils to learn. Modelling can be very effective, especially when teachers share their 'musical thinking'. Scant modelling correlates with less effective teaching; there can often be too much focus on verbal explanations rather than musical demonstration.

  • The quality of modelling varied across and within the sample schools.

  • Many teachers feel more secure when teaching commercial schemes.

  • A lack of pedagogical content knowledge often results in:

    • too little effective modelling

    • too little focus on the quality of pupils' responses

  • Occasionally, teacher feedback responds to what pupils need to secure in order to be well prepared for success in their subsequent learning.


Assessment

  • The quality of assessment is weak in most primary schools for a variety of reasons.

  • There is often no summative assessment.

  • Leaders are often unsure about how to assess pupils in music.

  • Where assessment models exist, they often focus on what has been covered rather than on what has been learned. For example, teachers 'tick' assessment models based on whether pupils have completed activities. The result is that leaders have insufficient information about the quality of pupils' music making.

  • Some schools make video or audio recordings of pupils' music making, usually for posterity rather than to support the evaluation of the curriculum's effectiveness. This adds significantly to teacher workload and is unnecessary in order to prove the curriculum has been covered.

  • Other ineffective assessment practices, although rare, distort the curriculum due to the amount of time they take to complete, the amount of time taken from teaching, and the lack of impact they have on curriculum evaluation e.g. taking photos of children playing instruments.

  • More effective assessment focuses on pupils' development as performers. This is more effective because it allows schools to determine whether pupils are reach the curriculum standards in terms of performance.


Systems at Subject and School Level

  • Where there is a deep commitment to music education, including financially, a thriving and strong musical culture is often created.

  • Music is mainly taught weekly in KS1 and KS2. This is typically for 45 minutes per week. There are also additional regular opportunities to sing - usually in assemblies.

  • In schools where pupils lacked regular opportunities to learn music, this is often because teaching is organised into several isolated days, or teachers are able to decide when to teach music. This often has negative consequences for pupils' learning.

  • There is a significant disparity in the range and quality of extra-curricular opportunities across schools. Some schools are still struggling to rebuild their provision following the pandemic disruption.

  • Where the quality of extra-curricular provision is stronger, schools consider that all pupils should be able to attend - including disadvantaged and SEND learners. Participation rates are often checked by senior leaders.

  • In around half of the sample schools, pupils have the opportunity to have vocal and/or instrumental lessons. In some schools, leaders and governors have made a strong financial commitment to ensure all pupils who wish to have lessons can do so. Disadvantaged families often lose out when the cost is not met by the school. Schools sometimes subsidise these lessons which results in higher participation for pupils from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

  • In the half of schools which offer no additional lessons, this is due a variety of reasons. Sometimes, leaders have not considered doing so, or are unaware of the offer from local music hubs. Other reasons include headteachers considering that families are unable to afford them.

  • Providing opportunities for pupils to visit concerts and hear professional musicians perform is a strong commitment in around a third of schools.

  • Some subject leaders are well supported; they are able to attend a range of external CPD courses, developing their expertise in designing a music curriculum. This often results in schools being further ahead in their curriculum thinking.

  • Leaders generally have a realistic view of teaches' subject expertise. However, there is often a lack of a clear plan for addressing these weaknesses. Developing teachers' subject expertise supports the quality of their modelling and feedback. Sometimes, school leaders are unaware of where to find support for this need.

  • Most training relates to the commercial schemes used in schools and mainly addresses practical matters such as how to use the website and find resources.

  • Strengthening teachers' musicianship skills is an ongoing process, benefitting from a little by little approach, rather than a one-off activity.


SECONDARY


Curriculum Intent

  • In most secondary schools, leaders are committed to making sure pupils learn music at KS3. The curriculum content is usually determined by the NC in KS3 and the exam specifications in KS4 and KS5.

  • Leaders are usually clear about their vision for the music curriculum in broad terms.

  • Most leaders consider their curriculum is as broad as the NC although this is not always the case; the amount of time allocated to music is not always sufficient for pupils to learn the content of the school's curriculum.

  • Pupils learn music for around one hour per week in half of the sample schools.

  • In lessons, pupils typically participate in activities such as playing instruments and composing and listening to music drawn from different traditions, historical periods and styles. It is rarer for content to develop pupils' singing and vocal work.

  • The curriculum is usually less ambitious in a two-year KS3. Notable omissions from the curriculum result in pupils having very limited music education.

  • The scope and ambition of the curriculum at KS4 can be limited by a school's approach to exam specifications. Often, these specifications become the curriculum. It is important to consider the component knowledge required in order to achieve the high-level outcomes.

  • At KS5, high-level outcomes are more readily broken down into smaller building blocks. Pupils do often have gaps despite achieving well at GCSE; these usually relate to declarative knowledge about how music works (including knowledge about keys, chords, scales, notation etc).

  • Schools are most likely to clearly define the aspect of performing in terms of end points and components required to reach them. However, some schools have broader aims without setting out exactly what these mean in practical terms.

  • Clarity about performing is often accompanied with clear identification of the knowledge about staff notation that pupils are expected to use. Leaders often want pupils to use some aspects automatically and so are ambitious but realistic about what pupils can reasonably learn (rather than encounter) in the time they have available.

  • There is often a lack of clarity for curriculum end points relating to composition.

  • In more effective provision, leaders have often considered what pupils can realistically be expected to compose as a result of learning the curriculum. Leaders identify the building blocks required for pupils to compose effectively.

  • Leaders often want pupils to develop an appreciation of music; however, many schools have not yet specified and sequenced the knowledge pupils require to be able to listen to music and talk knowledgeably about it.


Curriculum Planning

  • Most schools in the sample had designed their own curriculum.

  • It is common for the curriculum to be organised into termly or half-termly which are typically based on a musical style or genre.

  • The exam specification usually becomes the KS4 curriculum.

  • Most schools do not consider pupils' learning from primary schools. There is often little discussion with feeder schools. Leaders often assume, mistakenly in some cases, that little or no music has been learned at primary.

  • Leaders do not always make considerations based on how activities will develop pupils musically. Often, units of learning can be isolated and activities organised to create breadth and range rather than incremental developments in pupils' musical ability.

  • In around a quarter of the sample schools, leaders and teachers have designed the curriculum based on their understanding of the interrelatedness of pupils' knowledge of technical, constructive and expressive aspects of music. This results in pupils becoming increasingly more musical.

  • It is effective to consider the step-by-step improvements pupils need to make in order to get better at music and carefully choose songs which match these steps so that pupils can incrementally improve their technical abilities and expressive responses.

  • Where pupils make incremental progress in playing instruments, leaders typically understand that getting better at any instrument takes time and that technical competence in one instrument does not necessarily transfer to other instruments.

  • In these schools, leaders have reduced the number of instruments pupils learn to play so that they can have repeated and regular opportunities to build and practise this procedural knowledge. Weaker teaching involves pupils having more frequent but also more shallow encounters with many instruments. These units are often isolated without progression between units being considered. When pupils only develop some technical competence, it is often at its early stages meaning that their responses are usually mechanical and inexpressive.

  • In a few schools where staff notation is taught, leaders have carefully designed the curriculum so that knowledge is introduced step-by-step. In other schools, the design of the curriculum does not support pupils to use notation. Often, too much information is introduced without sufficient opportunity for pupils to consolidate their new knowledge.

  • Composition is often the weakest aspect of the curriculum. Pupils are often expected to compose pieces after a unit of learning which often means that they often do not develop sufficient knowledge about a style or genre before being expected to respectively compose.

  • In schools where teaching composition is more effective, leaders have typically designed their curriculums based on these principles:

    • Musical composition depends on a vast array of smaller building blocks of learning. These need to be identified and isolated. Different styles, traditions and genres are used to exemplify these components.

    • Music technology allows pupils to hear their ideas whilst composing.

    • End points are made clear. Typically, being able to compose in one or two genres, traditions or styles are expected of pupils.

    • The curriculum is designed so that pupils have sufficient time to rehearse the smaller musical components and develop their musical ideas.

  • Most schools introduce pupils to the interrelated dimensions of music. Few schools do so in a way which broadens and deepens pupils' knowledge of these over time, through regular revisiting, for example. It is common for leaders to lack clarity over which of these aspects they want pupils to remember.


Curriculum Impact

  • Pupils often have an insecure grasp of the skills and knowledge that leaders have planned for them to learn.

  • Teachers and leaders at KS3 often do not pay enough attention to whether pupils are achieving the goals set out in the curriculum.

  • There is significant variation in the depth of procedural knowledge that pupils learn at KS3.

  • When leaders are ambitious, pupils, including those with SEND, can develop fluency, accuracy and expressiveness when singing and/or playing instruments.

  • Pupils who have experiences with a range of instruments often only develops shallow procedural knowledge which is difficult to retain.

  • For some pupils, the wider musical offer enables them to develop strong procedural and declarative knowledge, despite a lack of ambition in the taught curriculum.

  • It is more common at KS4 and KS5 for schools to ensure that pupils possess the knowledge needed to perform music.

  • At KS3 and KS4, the area of the curriculum where pupils know and remember the least is constructing and deconstructing music.

  • Despite leaders' desires, it is only in a small number of schools where pupils listen to music with increasing discrimination. In these schools, pupils incrementally learn the procedural and declarative knowledge they need.

  • It is more common, especially at KS4, for pupils to learn lists of terminology related to musical devices and facts without enough opportunities to hear these in practice.


Pedagogy

  • It is common for music specialists to deliver the curriculum at KS3.

  • Recruitment of specialist teachers is, however, an ongoing challenge.

  • Non-specialists are rarely supported or given training to deliver the curriculum.

  • Many teachers, both specialists and non-specialists, lack the confidence and knowledge to teach singing.

  • Teachers can support pupils from having their working memories overloaded by breaking down tasks into component parts and providing lots of guidance on each of these parts. They also provide pupils with adequate time for practice.

  • Effective teachers understand the importance of the role of ongoing feedback and provide this feedback in lessons. There is, however, considerable variation in the impact of this feedback. When teachers have a strong awareness of the component parts pupils need to secure before moving on to their next step, feedback is often more effective.

  • Rarely, inappropriate whole-school assessment policies disrupt the delivery of the curriculum. For example, some leaders require music teachers to make written records of the verbal feedback given to pupils. This significant and unnecessarily adds to teacher workload.

  • Effective teachers understand the interrelated nature of technical, constructive and expressive aspects of music. They teach knowledge to develop understanding across the aspects, rather than as disconnected facts.

  • Effective teachers have a consistent and sharp focus on the quality of music pupils create. These teachers routinely listen to pupils' musical responses and use this information to improve pupils' work through rehearsal.

  • Less helpful feedback often only encourages pupils and praises participation rather than addresses poor performance.

  • The effectiveness of modelling has an impact on pupils' learning. Whilst most teachers regularly model and demonstrate, it is more effective to provide detailed guidance and model how to reach high-quality outcomes step-by-step.


Assessment

  • In the sample, most secondary schools are using inappropriate models to assess pupils' learning in KS3. This is because the assessments have been devised using the KS4 examination criteria thus giving little helpful information about the extent to which pupils have learned the KS3 curriculum.

  • Where assessment is working well, leaders and teachers have identified what pupils should know and be able to do at various stages in the curriculum. Additionally, they have a stronger understanding of the component knowledge pupils need to reach these points.

  • In most schools, there is an understanding that summative assessment should be minimal so that it does not reduce the amount of time pupils have available to learn music. Most schools' summative assessments are appropriately frequent and do not have an adverse impact of the teaching of the curriculum.

  • In the sample schools, audio and video recordings are typically made. Where these are used well, the recordings are helpful in checking whether the school's intended curriculum aims are being achieved. However, in some instances, these recordings are made simply for posterity.


Systems at Subject and School Level

  • Time allocated for music in KS3 varies greatly. Only half the schools provided enough time, hindering the delivery of the planned curriculum and the National Curriculum's goals.

  • Nearly all schools provide the opportunity to study music at KS4.

  • Music taught at KS4 and KS5 is given adequate curriculum time.

  • Some schools substitute GCSEs with more accessible qualifications at KS4. While justified in some cases, this can overlook weak KS3 preparation impacting GCSE performance.

  • Some schools are adapting their KS3 to prepare pupils better for success at KS4.

  • Most 11-18 schools in the sample do not offer music at KS5. The most common reason for lacking this option is the cost of running courses with low numbers of students.

  • Some leaders recognise the unique needs of music education and adopt flexible leadership styles. Subject leaders in these schools with thriving music cultures often require more time for extracurricular activities and peripatetic teaching.

  • A commitment to providing music education ensures that pupils can study music at KS4 and KS5 despite low numbers.

  • While most schools have adequate resources, a few lack them, hindering curriculum impact.

  • A rich and vibrant extra-curricular offer usually accompanies the belief that music lessons are important. In schools where there is a lack of extra-curricular provision and scant opportunities for pupils to develop their musical interests, pupils often lack the opportunity to study the subject beyond KS3.

  • A strong financial commitment by leaders and governors can mean that pupils can access instrumental and vocal lessons. There is significant variation in this across the schools in the sample.

  • Wider budgetary pressures have resulted in some schools reducing the extent of their subsiding of instrumental and vocal lessons. Consequently, fewer pupils go on to study music at KS4.

  • Schools are still dealing with disruption from the pandemic. Many pupils gave up learning an instrument through the pandemic and there has been a significant reduction in the number of Y7 pupils who have learned an instrument in primary school. Many schools are struggling to maintain previously well-established music ensembles.

  • Strong leadership focuses on the quality of education rather than administrative tasks.

  • Whole-school policies can have a detrimental effect on music education if the nature of music is not taken into account.

  • Music teachers value subject-specific training. This is provided in half of the sample schools. Teachers particularly enjoy accessing training on curriculum construction and design. Where CPD is common, schools typically have strong relationships with music hubs and they regularly engage with professional music associations.

  • Sometimes, teachers can feel isolated due to having few meaningful opportunities to develop their understanding of curriculum design and pedagogy. Often, their CPD only focuses on generic approaches to teaching and learning.


 



Page 2 of the Ofsted Music Subject Report summary


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