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Music programmes of study: Key Stages 1 and 2

Purpose of study
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.

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.

Attainment target
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.

Subject content – Key stage 1

Pupils should be taught to:
  • use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
  • 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.

Subject Content – Key Stage 2
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.

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
  • improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
  • listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
  • use and understand staff and other musical notations
  • appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
  • develop an understanding of the history of music.


Turning Tides

Class 1 and 2 were very lucky to take part in the Turning Tides Project last year. The Turning Tides Project believes that everyone has the right to equal access to music, the arts and life. They intend to make this right a reality for people.

In Spring term 2021, Rachel from Turning Tides was due to start delivering sessions to Beech Class children but due to school closures, we were forced to deliver online learning. This did not deter Rachel who worked with Miss Simpson to deliver excellent remote sessions with small groups of children so all the children still received their music session each week. Some groups learnt how to play the recorder, some enjoyed learning and singing song and others created music with their different 'instruments' they found around the house. The children thoroughly enjoyed these sessions and the sense of achievement they felt after each session was fabulous to see.

Once we were allowed back into school, Rachel delivered her child led music sessions in person where the Beech Class children worked towards creating their own song with the use of various instruments and their voices. Rachel also started delivering sessions to Willow Class as well. Willow Class spent time with Rachel building up their knowledge of a range of instruments and rhythms to create a unique piece of music relating to their topic of ‘Wild Weather’. The class spent time to decide which instruments could be used for different types of weather and created an order for their music to flow nicely together. Children also had the opportunity to be the conductor and lead the group in their performances.

More information on the Turning Tides project can be found at About The Project - The Turning Tides Project