Yr6_The Weekly Class Challenge

Year 6
Autumn Term – Week 6
The Class Challenge

The group enter the room looking less than wholly enthusiastic (!) They settle down with an almost perfect split down the middle of the room between the boys and the girls. This is quite normal and it begins around Year 2 (aged 6/7 years old) which I think is remarkably early. I ask them if they have done that week’s Class Challenge*. They have done it! I say ‘Off you go’ and the whole class claps a 16 beat rhythm, that they’ve invented and memorised druing the week, while saying the rhythm names.

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Yr3_Learning a new pitch name!

Year 3
Autumn Week 5
Learning a new pitch-name!
The children pile into the room at 2.30 carrying their book bags and coats ready for home time. They all look like they are ready to go home themselves. Every teacher knows that the morning sessions are always more settled and that the ability to concentrate on adult-directed activities drifts away as the day progresses. This particular class find it hard to engage with a directed activity at any time of day.

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Yr5_Reinforce the Learning

Year 5
Reinforce the Learning
This week the lesson takes place in the regular classroom of this class because the Music Room is being used for some P4C training http://www.philosophy4children.co.uk/. I kick off the lesson by reminding the class of their ‘Class Challenge’. I always give a small challenge to each class to practise something ready for the next lesson. Ideally they will have perfected it. I always keep a record of the classes that have done it or failed to do it.

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Reception_Dynamics: Calm and Lively!



Dynamics: Calm and Lively!

This lesson is the first session of the year with this class. Most of the children were in the Nursery last year but not all. It’s supposed to be a thirty-minute session but it might last less than that. I just want to keep it light and fun. If the children leave the session smiling and they’ve moved around to the songs and listened to some songs and joined in a bit too then I’ll be happy.

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Yr4_All On Board!


All On Board!
As so often I began by singing ‘Hello Everyone’ using some pitches that the class are familiar with; in this case I used the pitches ‘la’, ‘so’ and ‘mi’ (‘lsm’ or in note names A, G & E). There are three classes in each year group and the first time I did this lesson I made this activity too hard by singing difficult intervals; it was not a good way to open the lesson. It’s important to have something familiar and manageable to start with.

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Yr6_Always increasing the challenge!


Year 6
Always increasing the challenge!
It’s a new year and it’s the first day back. I need something immediately engaging and fun to do. How to make it engaging? Choose a song that’s easy to sing. How to make it fun? Include a bouncing ball in the accompanying activity. And so we begin our lesson with ‘I Like Coffee, I Like Tea’*. The buzzing energy of post-lunchbreak overexcitement and overheating (!) is quickly channelled into a focus on getting this game right.

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Yr5_Motivation, Musicianship and Multiple Brains


Motivation, Musicianship and Multiple Brains

All in a circle I remind them of the sea shanty song from last week. We sing ‘I’ve Been to Harlem’ without any warm up. The whole lesson is 30 minutes so I treat this first run-through as a warm up! I encourage the class to rock from one foot to the other on a slower tempo (minims). During a second run-through I produce a lightweight plastic football. In response the singing picks up a little in anticipation of a game*.

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Yr1_15.06.16: Ownership


All in a circle I asked for a song title. A pupil suggested ‘Seagull, Seagull Sit on the Shore’*. It’s good to start with a song that everyone knows. Children suggested different ways to show the beat while singing this song e.g. pat head or clap hands. These suggestions give a sense of ownership of the activity.
I bounced a lightweight plastic ‘football’ to everyone in the circle one by one to a chant of ‘Bounce and Catch’.

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