Rye Street, Heywood, Lancashire, OL104DF

01706 360027

ALL SOULS' CE Primary and Nursery

'a place to grow'

Music at All Souls' CE

Music Curriculum Rationale

At All Souls’ we are musicians! We want our children to love music. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to music producers, songwriters, composers or singers. We want them to embody our core values. We all embrace the school motto of: “we are a place to grow’ – this is both spiritually and academically.  The music curriculum has been carefully designed so that our pupils develop their critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to a range of musical genres.  We want all our pupils to remember their music learning in our school, to cherish these experiences and embrace the opportunities they are presented with.

Curriculum Intent

The music curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our pupils to become independent and resilient.

We want to equip pupils with ambition beyond the minimum statutory requirements of the music National Curriculum and prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. The curriculum is meticulously planned with the intention to address social disadvantage and ensure that all pupils - including those with SEND – have an opportunity to engage with a challenging curriculum and achieve success. Any gaps in pupils’ knowledge are quickly identified and addressed to ensure that pupils are supported to meet the ambitious intended end points of the curriculum in music.

The music curriculum is focused upon the development of technical, constructive and expressive knowledge and skills. It is progressively sequenced to ensure that pupils’ knowledge of performance, composition and musical quality are built over time and ready them for their next steps in learning.  This enables an understanding of different historical periods, traditions and genres and the works of great composers and musicians. Disciplinary knowledge such as, musical composition is taught through substantive contexts and is developed across each phase in school. Through their critical engagement, pupils learn the discipline of the subject and apply their knowledge and skills to think and work as a musician. The teaching of a spiral progression of inter-related musical dimensions such as, pulse, rhythm, pitch support the pupils in both musical appraisal and how composers create a multi-layered piece of music.

We want our pupils to use the vibrancy of our great town and wider city to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing strong local contextual links where possible. For example, the curriculum offers a visit to the Bridgewater Hall where learning is hands on and supports the application of musical knowledge in a fun and exciting experience building on the knowledge and concepts pupils have gained.

British Values and our core values are placed at the heart of everything we do. This often feeds into the music curriculum. Cultural capital development is addressed through visits, online exploration, workshops in school and first-hand experiences. We enrich pupils’ time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.

Curriculum Implementation

We effectively develop and invest in our teaching staff to ensure that they are fully equipped with expert subject knowledge in order to support the delivery of the exceptional music curriculum. Teaching is highly effective for all pupils. Teachers present the curriculum content clearly through composites and component parts supported by Junior Jam schemes of work, which break the unit knowledge, concepts and skills down for each lesson in each year group.

The curriculum is delivered through a subject specific approach, which supports pupils to develop the key concepts and knowledge of the music curriculum. Each lesson within a unit of work is carefully crafted and builds upon what has been previously taught from one year to the next.

Frequent audits of the music curriculum take place. Following the findings from these audits, the music curriculum is adapted to build upon the learning opportunities and assessment end points for each year group and ensures progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills.  The way music is taught follows a specific and consistent structure.

Pupils take inspiration from composers and musicians throughout history to help generate ideas for their work. They explore and practice the knowledge, skills and techniques involved in the unit and use their class books to record their observations and to review and revisit ideas before producing a final piece. This process is replicated for each music unit. The way each discipline is taught is revisited in each phase, at a progressively deeper level.

Music subject specific characteristics, which we expect the pupils to demonstrate, have been developed and shared with all stakeholders. These characteristics underpin all work in music and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. These characteristics are:

  • To critically engage with music with a developed love of music and their talents as a musician
  • To develop self-confidence, creativity and a sense of achievement
  • To compose, perform and listen with discrimination to the best in musical canon
  • To evaluate a music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions including the works of great composers and musicians
  • To learn to sing and use their voices to create and compose music individually and with others
  • To explore how music is created, produced and communicated
  • To use and understand the terms: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, structure and appropriate musical notations
  • A passion for and commitment to a diverse range of musical activities.

The teaching of the music curriculum is planned and delivered to support pupils to transfer key knowledge into their long-term memory and therefore improve the progress they make. Essential vocabulary is identified within each lesson and unit of work to ensure that our pupils can discuss and analyse the music content effectively.

Whilst delivering the curriculum, teachers are constantly checking to ensure that pupils are learning the necessary knowledge and identifying and addressing misunderstandings. Assessment is used as a tool to support pupil learning.

The music curriculum is research evidence informed in relation to the content, delivery and process of learning.

Curriculum Impact

We use both formative and summative assessment information in music. Assessment informs learning to ensure that all pupils including disadvantage and those with SEND achieve highly and acquire the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Staff use assessment information to inform their short-term planning and address misconceptions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils. The end points for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down. This means that the essential knowledge, skills and concepts in music are progressive and build year on year.

Our well-constructed curriculum in music leads to pupils’ successful learning. This is evidenced in the outcomes within class books and display work produced. Pupils are well prepared for the next steps and stages of their learning due to the progressive and well-sequenced curriculum. As a result, pupils make excellent progress they know more and remember more as they move through the music curriculum at All Souls’ CE Primary.

At All Souls' CE Primary School, we are


Key Documentation

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.