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Music Subject Leader: Sarah Appleyard

At Rushton Primary School, we believe providing pupils with a rich and diverse music education is fundamental to helping to unlock their creative potential. We do this through the use of Junior Jam, who provide professional musicians to deliver the curriculum. Our music curriculum sets out to allow children a broad range of musical experiences within primary school, giving pupils the foundation to explore their talents and passions.

Our learning is designed to teach the whole music curriculum from Reception to Year 6. We do this by teaching three core subjects: Music Theory with Keyboards, Song writing with Glockenspiels and Singing, which are delivered across three half terms throughout the year. The remaining three half terms within an academic year will be instrument focused in order to ensure pupils have the opportunity to perform on a variety of tuned and untuned instrumentation from a wide range of different cultures.


To ensure that the curriculum is progressive and differentiated from year group to year group, the three core subjects the pupils will study are year group specific. When our pupils commence one of the instrumentation courses, unless they have prior knowledge and experience of the instrument, they will begin by learning the basics of the instrument and will progress through the levels year by year.

At the end of an academic year, pupils will have accessed a wide range of musical experiences and developed their musical understanding in order to continue their musical journey.

At the end of EYFS

Pupils in Reception will develop knowledge and understanding of the Early Learning Goal ‘Being imaginative and Expressive’ which serves as a foundation for further Music learning.  Pupils will know about tuned and untuned percussion, and will be able to hear the difference between instruments. They will have explored music through playing instruments and singing. They will be able to play a steady beat and play three notes in a row.

At the end of Key Stage 1

Pupils will be able to demonstrate understanding of pitch, tempo and rhythm. They will explore patterns with tuned and untuned instruments, and will be able to create simple patterns. By the end of Key Stage 1, pupils will discuss music and how it makes them feel, as well as compose their own melodies. The pupils will focus on timing and accuracy when playing instruments, singing and when beginning to read simple notes.

At the end of Key Stage 2

Pupils will be able to develop a deeper understanding of pitch, tempo and rhythm and will be able to respond to these. They will be able to play music cohesively as an ensemble. Children will sing a 5 pentatonic scale and sing acapella in unison. By the end of key stage 2, children will be able to perform following stave notation within C – C. Pupils will have explored music genres and will be able to identify key features of classical and jazz music.

Pedagogy: How the Curriculum is Taught

Our Music curriculum is taught using the following key components:


  1. Singing – Our singing courses are taught to all years from EYFS to Year 6. Through singing, pupils will learn about key elements such as pitch and dynamics as well as focusing on their vocal health, breathing and posture. EYFS will have a greater focus on singing in order to access musical experiences without instrumentation.

  2. Music Theory with Keyboards – Music Theory with Keyboards is taught across six levels from Year 1 to Year 6. Pupils will explore the fundamentals of music using the keyboards to understand elements of musicianship such as melody, harmony and pulse.

  3. Song writing with Glockenspiels – Song writing with Glockenspiels gives pupils the opportunity to explore composition across KS1 and KS2. Within these courses, pupils will also focus on musical listening. Across all levels, pupils will complete a weekly listening time where they will critically listen to a variety of musical examples appropriate for their year group as set out in the Model Music Curriculum.

Through our instrumentation courses, pupils will be given opportunities to celebrate, share and experience musical development and consolidate their learning from our core courses. Pupils will learn about the history and cultural significance of the instruments they are playing and will be able to develop their aural skills. These courses allow pupils performance opportunities within the classroom in order to develop confidence, not only within music but across their academic careers.


We use a multi-faceted approach to assessment within Music. We measure and evidence the impact of our teaching and learning through the following methods:
•    Verbal feedback throughout lessons and after performance opportunities
•    Session Forms – These are weekly reports on whether the learning objective for the lesson was achieved.
•    Course Evaluations – These are half-termly reports for each class, measuring how the class performs against a range of statements specific to the course, allowing our instructors to track how the class performs against national expectations.
•    Reporting and Assessing – These are individual grades for each child covering attainment, behaviour and progression within the course.

  • Pupil voice to support the evidence that pupils know and remember more over time.


Cultural Capital

Enrichment is an essential part of our music curriculum which provides pupils with discrete time to deepen their learning.  They provide opportunities for new experiences as well as nurturing and developing a thirst for learning. 


Enrichment activities include:

  • Piano lessons offered in school time

  • Christmas performance opportunities


Career Professional Development

We develop strong subject knowledge amongst all staff which is achieved through comprehensive middle leadership development, a focus on developing all teachers’ subject knowledge and music pedagogy. All staff benefit from implementing the high-quality planning resources provided by the Trust which is amended to meet the needs of all pupils.


Below is a summary of the CPD activities bespoke to music:

  • Sharing knowledge from trust-wide meetings

  • Bespoke training videos

  • 1:1 discussions with staff about lessons

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