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St Mary's Catholic Primary School

Growing Together in the Friendship of Faith

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At St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School music is an essential part of a broad and balanced curriculum. It is a foundation subject in the National Curriculum and an art form that all children may participate in with enjoyment. It can be integrated across the whole curriculum to add value to topics and themes. Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon



We aim to encourage children to:

  • perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
  • learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
  • understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the interrelated dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations

 (As outlined in the 2014 National Curriculum.)


We hope to enrich the children’s learning and provide opportunities for participation in musical activities at their own level of understanding and ability through the development of the following:

  • Self-esteem, self-confidence and self-discipline
  • Social skills - co-operation and sharing
  • Performance skills
  • Sensitive response to sound and a readiness to experiment with sound
  • Concentration, memory and listening skills
  • Musical vocabulary, appropriate to age
  • Composition skills
  • Physical co-ordination through breathing and posture
  • An understanding of musical traditions and appreciation of own and others’ cultures
  • The use of ICT to capture and enhance creativity in composing and performing.


Music teaching should ensure that listening, applying knowledge and understanding are developed through the interrelated skills of performing, composing and appraising.

  • Controlling sounds through singing, playing-performing skills;
  • Creating and developing musical ideas-composing skills;
  • Responding and reviewing-appraising skills;
  • Listening and applying knowledge and understanding;
  • Opportunities to apply the use of ICT to enhance the creativity in composing and in capturing a performance.

By making and responding to a wide range of music, children are able to understand:

  • How sounds are made, changed and organised, using elements and structures;
  • Music is produced, through the use of instrumentation using symbols and notation;
  • How music is influenced by time and place and is affected by venue, occasion and purpose.

Foundation Stage:

The music curriculum is known as; Expressive Arts and Design. Expressive arts and design is one of the four specific areas within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Each specific area is divided into early learning goals, for expressive arts and design these are:

  • Exploring and using media and materials - children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.


  • Being imaginative - children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through best practice and activity ideas.


Reception class access the Charanga scheme of work. This half-termly (6-step) focus-based approach supports teachers in engaging all young children with music. It includes a variety of adult-led and child-initiated activities delivered through planning and play. The musical learning is focused around nursery rhymes and action songs.

Each Unit of Work has a cross-curricular/topic-based focus and a musical focus that will engage the children in activities related to the developmental events taking place in their changing lives.


Key Stage One and Key Stage Two

Children will be taught a range of knowledge of skills in both Key Stage One and Key Stage Two using the Changra scheme of work. By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study. All children in Key Stage One and Key Stage Two will be taught skills and knowledge of music as outlined in the National Curriculum document for music.

Key Stage One:

Pupils should be taught to:

  • use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhyme
  • play tuned and untuned instruments musically
  • listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
  • experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.

Key Stage Two:

Pupils should be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.


· Through our music curriculum children’s musical skills and understanding are built on year on year, from singing simple songs from memory and performing simple rhythm patterns in KS1, to more advanced techniques skills, and understanding in lower KS2, further developing in upper KS2.

· Children of all abilities and backgrounds will have a clear journey within their learning and be eager to develop their next steps.

· Children will develop an enjoyment of and be able to enrich their appreciation of music in as many ways as they choose- either as listener, a creator or performer.

· Children will talk enthusiastically about their achievements and learning experiences.

· Children will embrace cultural difference and diversity through differing genres of music.

· Children will have the opportunity to foster their instrumental flare and use this as a form of expression.

· Opportunities in music will contribute to improved well -being and confidence.

· Children will have heightened awareness of musical opportunities available in and outside of school in the hope that access will be increased.

Music - National Curriculum

Durham Progressions