Music Curriculum Statement



At How Wood Primary and Nursery School, it is our intent that we make music an enjoyable learning experience. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences, which aim to build their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. Teaching focuses initially on developing the children’s ability to understand rhythm and follow a beat. Through singing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music. We teach them to listen to and appreciate different forms of music from a diverse range of countries and cultures. Children develop descriptive language skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent different feelings, emotions, and narratives. We also teach technical vocabulary such as volume, pitch, beat and rhythm and encourage children to discuss music using these terms.


Foundation Stage

In Early Years, Music is valued as an important aspect of a child’s development. Music helps to develop important features of a child’s holistic attitude to learning. Children should have the opportunity to explore the sounds of instruments and to make instruments from everyday materials. Singing is the most natural way of making music and the young child’s musical ability will develop when they have regular opportunities to learn a repertoire of rhymes and songs and listen to a range of music. Children are encouraged to listen to a variety of music to improve their listening skills and moving to music will improve their co-ordination.

Key Stage 1 & 2

The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • 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 inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

Key Stage 1 National Curriculum Attainment:

Pupils should be taught:

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

Key Stage 2 National Curriculum Attainment:

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 (reciting and discriminating sounds that children can hear).

Pupils should be taught:

  • To play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • To improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
  • To listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
  • To use and understand staff and other musical notations
  • To appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
  • To develop an understanding of the history of music.



Teaching & Learning

At How Wood Primary School, children will learn that music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. Music lessons, taught by the class teacher, aim to engage and inspire pupils using a variety of enriching teaching approaches and resources.

Music Curriculum Planning

Music planning follows the National Curriculum and is supported by a digital scheme of work. We have adapted this so that the topics that the children study in music build upon prior learning. There are opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each teaching unit. The progression planned into the scheme of work means that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school.

We carry out curriculum planning in music in three phases (long-term, medium-term and short-term). The long-term plan shows the music topics covered each term. The subject leader reviews this with teachers and, where appropriate, cross-curricular links are made, raising the profile of music throughout the school. Medium-term plans are based on the Charanga digital scheme and Music Express.

The contribution of music to teaching in other curriculum areas:

  • Children can develop their language skills through singing songs, with attention to diction, meaning, rhythm and rhyme
  • Talent in music is often linked with talent in mathematics, as the rhythm and structure of music is mathematically based
  • Music contributes significantly to the teaching of personal, social and health education. Through the common goal of making music, children learn to work effectively with other people, and to build healthy relationships. It also involves building self-confidence
  • As an aide-memoir for tricky scientific concepts
  • A source to learn about the lifestyles of people who lived in the past
  • Encountering music from different cultures and societies.

Music and ICT

Information and communication technology enhances the teaching of music. Children use computer programs to compose music. They also use ICT to enhance their research skills. They might experiment with editing voice recordings, which involves the use of a digital sound recorder. There are digital and interactive resources that children can use within the scheme of work.

Music and Inclusion

At How Wood School we provide a broad and balanced education for all children, whatever their ability and individual needs (see Inclusion Policy). Through our music teaching we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make good progress. We strive to meet the needs of those pupils with special educational needs, those with disabilities, gifted and talented children and those learning English as an additional language.



Assessment for Learning

Children demonstrate their ability in music in a variety of ways. Teachers will assess children’s work by making informal judgements as they observe them during lessons. Music assessment is ongoing and informs teachers with their planning, lesson activities and differentiation. Pupils are encouraged to make judgements about how they can improve their own work. Summative records are kept of individual achievement against the NC aims and skills that still need to be embedded.


National Curriculum: Music Programmes of Study