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“Learning for life”  




At Thornton Hough Primary School, it is our intent that we make music an enjoyable learning experience. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build up the confidence of all children. The aim is for our children to understand the relevance of what they are learning within music and to enjoy their musical experiences within school.

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. 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)

It is our intent to;

  • Design a curriculum where children cover different elements of music, learn important vocabulary and develop a good understanding on how music has changed throughout history.
  • To continue to review and update the music curriculum to ensure that staff and children experience good musical experiences and improve their knowledge and understanding.
  • To work on training for staff who teach music to ensure that their subject knowledge is strong in order to inspire future musicians within school as well as let children experience musicians through lessons and assemblies to understand jobs they could have in their own futures.
  • To have after school choir and orchestra clubs to enhance children’s experiences of music.
  • To make music variable within school, and to explain our aims within Thornton Hough.To develop our key values of appreciation, cooperation and self-belief.
  • To display examples of work and famous musicians to inspire pupils – to include musician ambassadors with this too.


The Music curriculum at Thornton Hough Primary School is based upon the EYFS framework and the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England. The knowledge and skills documents we have created, ensure our curriculum is progressive from year group to year group and provides challenge. In Reception, group time activities include the playing of ring games, singing songs, moving to music, rhythm work and exploring sounds. Resources to stimulate musical development are provided for children to use in continuous provision for more independent exploration.

Towards the end of Reception, children will also begin to access the ‘Sparkyard’ scheme. The ‘Sparkyard’ scheme, which is used throughout KS1 and lower KS2, supports all the requirements of the national curriculum. It is an integrated, practical, exploratory and child-led approach to musical learning. All musical learning in this scheme of work is built around the Interrelated Dimensions of Music: pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, timbre, texture, structure and notation. These dimensions are at the centre of all the learning. They weave through the units to encourage the development of musical skills as the learning progresses through listening and appraising, differing musical activities (including creating and exploring) and performing. Children learn to understand musical concepts through a repetition-based approach to learning. Learning about the same musical concept through different musical activities enables a more secure, deeper learning and mastery of musical skills.

Children from Year 3 are encouraged to learn to play a musical instrument and there is a very high uptake across Key Stage 2.  In Year 3 all children learn to play the ukulele as a whole class, as part of the First Access scheme, and year 4 a brass instrument. Following this, or in addition to this, parents can pay for their child to have instrumental tuition as part of a small group. The instruments taught at present include: string instruments, Violin, Woodwind - flute, clarinet, brass - cornet, trumpet, and trombone. We also have an infant and junior choir and a school band that meets during a lunchtime and performs throughout the school year in concerts in school or at a local venue. Each year in the summer term this culminates in a musical evening which children perform learnt pieces and share their development with an audience of parents.

We draw on a range of other resources in order to further enhance the children’s musical development. Musical activities carried out related to topic and English work for example, add a further dimension to each child’s learning. Children have the opportunity to join a KS2 choir, which performs at different local community events across the year. As children move into upper KS2 a music peripatetic music specialist will teach children music. Regular singing assemblies take place in school and all year groups have an annual performance, in which music plays a huge role.


Each unit of music is assessed by class teachers through continuous observations during lessons. Supporting documents from ‘Sparkyard’ scheme is used along with the progression of skills and knowledge documents to guide these judgements. Reviewing and reflecting regularly helps to inform future lessons. Unit assessments then provide the evidence for end of year judgements. The impact of our music curriculum will be assessed using these outcomes and will be assessed and monitored through pupil and teacher voice and through observing lessons. Children will achieve age related expectations in music and will retain knowledge that is pertinent to music. Children will be keen to participate in wider musical activities. Our children will develop an appreciation and understanding of music which they can carry with them throughout their lives.

Further Curriculum Information

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