Using Primary School Songs As A Teaching Aid

How School Songs for Kids Help Them Learn

Primary school forms a very important stage of a child’s development. As such it is important that teachers and parents do all they can to ensure that their children get the best out of this time so that they can develop to their full potential. One way that this can be encouraged is through using primary school songs as a teaching aid.

Songs for children can have a range of benefits and different ones can help with different things. Some may be a bit of fun and encourage participation while others can function as an active memory aid to help children retain information or learn by association.

Benefits of Primary School Songs

Songs for kids carry a wide range of benefits. They can help improve:

  • Memory – learning songs contextualises things, so teaching a particular subject or fact through primary school songs is a great way to help children learn and remember things. Actively engaging children to sing about certain a topic is likely to encourage them to retain more information.
  • Timing – singing songs that involve parts or rounds can allow children to pick up an understanding of musical timing, because they have to pick up on the best times to start and end their parts.
  • Teacher and student bond – children will feel a lot more connected with their teachers if they sing primary school songs with them, as this will make them seem more accessible and less intimidating, thereby giving the impression that they are approachable and fun.
  • Confidence – school songs for kids can help build up confidence, as each child gets the chance to sing as part of a group or even on their own.
  • Brain development – research has shown improved brain development in young children who sing and are sung to, as singing stimulates the brain in various ways that are important for development.
  • Language development – studies show that singing at an early age helps children to develop language better. From this, they can develop a better vocabulary as well as enhanced verbal emotion and spatial awareness.
  • Expressing themselves – this is linked with the confidence aspect of school songs for kids. Children singing in a group can develop their own take on songs, and can also express themselves in a way they might not otherwise.

Are Some Songs for Children Better than Others?

A huge range of primary school songs is currently available. Their content is not necessarily the most important thing; it is the atmosphere and stimulation they provide that need to be taken into consideration and valued.

Starting out with fun songs that encourage the development of children’s confidence is a start until more educational material can be eased in.

Primary school songs are an important educational resource. Incorporating songs into your teachings about number, time and other concepts encourages your class to pick up valuable ideas, because it conveys subject matter in a fun and engaging manner.

Language Teachers In Primary Schools

The general consensus regarding the introduction of foreign language teaching in primary schools is that it must be of a high enough standard to warrant its space in an already busy curriculum. Certainly, the value of introducing languages at a young age is widely appreciated, but there is a growing concern that the promises of increased fluency cannot be fulfilled by primary teachers.

The current ‘no statutory requirement’ to teach a language at Key Stages 1 and 2 has, according to some, resulted in amateurish teaching. Studies have shown that over 50% of language teaching in schools is of a very poor standard because teachers have limited knowledge of the language they are teaching. Many teachers find the prospect of teaching a language daunting because they have not encountered such a subject since they left school, if at all. The idea that brave members of staff will be holding the fort by being one step ahead of a text book is a genuine worry for parents.

There are movements, however, to improve language teaching in primary schools. Some virtual learning programmes are being funded by the Department for Education to better qualify teachers for the task. For the time being, most of these courses only focus on French but the hope is that they will expand into Spanish and German as well as less commonly taught languages. There are also a number of programmes that have been developed by various institutions such as universities that aim to give primary teachers specialist training.

Specialising in subjects, such as languages, is now being encouraged in teacher training. Currently, primary school teachers are ‘all-rounders’ who can approach any subject, but this may change with the move to a new curriculum. The Government is looking to provide generous incentives to teacher trainees specialising in maths, science or languages, so that children will get a better education in core subjects from a younger age. The selection process for trainees will also become stricter thereby ensuring that only the brightest candidates will be able to teach. This movement to having in-house specialists will also mean that outside linguists will not be required for language clubs.

Ideally, the new curriculum needs to be adequately funded and highly organised to guarantee success. Teachers need to be confident and capable when teaching a language to ensure that pronunciation and basic grammar is correct. Furthermore, there will need to be some attempt to ensure that primary school pupils reach a universal standard. This is necessary so that staff at secondary schools can continue teaching languages without having to undo previously learned mistakes or spend time helping some students reach the same level as the rest of their class. While consistency in ability is important, for the programme to be worthwhile, it is also crucial that there is cohesion between the choice of languages taught at primary school and secondary school.

Overall, the promise of better language skills in this country will only be fulfilled if our teachers are capable of teaching them. Hopefully, the new curriculum will be properly supported to ensure this is the case.

How Primary School Songs Can Help Children Learn

Using Primary School Songs For Learning And Development

Primary school is a key stage of a child’s development and a time when a lot of their learning in a formative way takes place, which can have a big effect on them in later life. Songs can help children learn and develop in a variety of ways, and as such it is something that should be encouraged in the education system. Some of the benefits of songs and music in junior schools include:

  • Confidence – by getting children to partake in group signing, then children get confidence in group activities as they are using their talent but in a way that doesn’t single them out. Primary school songs tend to be lively which encourages the children to sing up and have the confidence to participate
  • Expressing Themselves – music in primary schools is a great way to get your pupils to express themselves by participating in singing. As the children get more confident, then they will feel more suited to expressing themselves through songs. Learning how to express themselves, will mean that the children become better at social interaction.
  • Participation – because singing and music in primary schools involves something slightly more involved than a normal lesson then children are likely to participate in something that they see as fun and interesting, therefore encouraging
  • Language Development – studies have shown that singing to younger children helps them develop language better, however being able to sing in a group can help teach new vocabulary and an ability to use new words, as well as helping with their diction. Children develop better verbal emotion and spatial awareness through singing
  • Memory – learning songs contextualises things, so teaching a particular subject or fact through primary school songs, is a great way to get children to learn and remember things.
  • Brain Development – research shows that childrens brains develop better if singing is involved in the classroom, as it encourages brain activity on a number of levels, and this stimulation is good for development.
  • Student Teacher Bond – if your class sees that you are engaging with them in singing, then it will improve your relationship with them, as they will see it as a huge positive that an adult is engaging in a fun activity with them, and make them seem more accessible.

What Are The Best Type Of Primary School Songs?

The range of primary school songs that are available is huge, the content of the songs themselves isn’t always the most important factor, at a young age songs that encourage participation are the best option. The more your class gets confident in participating in songs, the more likely they are to benefit from songs that have a more educational content.

Songs and music in primary schools are an important educational resource, incorporating songs into teaching about number, time and other concepts for children at early ages encourages your class to pick up valuable ideas, because it seems like a fun engaging activity.