High Ercall Primary School


What does Music look like at High Ercall?  

As stated in the 2014 National Curriculum for Music, 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. At High Ercall we want music to be approached with this in mind, linking with our key drivers: to promote positive learning through building resilience while creating opportunities for active learning and diversity. We believe that as music reflects the culture and society that we live in, so the teaching and learning of music should reflect this.  

At High Ercall, we want to make music an enjoyable and fun learning experience. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build the confidence of all children. We want our teaching to focus on developing the children’s ability to understand rhythm and follow a beat. Through singing songs, children will learn about the structure and organisation of music. We teach them to listen and to appreciate different forms of music across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. We want children to develop descriptive language skills in music lessons while 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. 

All musical learning in our scheme is structured around the Interrelated Dimensions of Music: pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, timbre, texture, structure and notation. These dimensions are at the centre of all our learning; they are musical building blocks. This is an integrated approach to musical learning where games, the interrelated dimensions of music, singing and playing instruments are all linked (spiral of learning). Over time, children can both develop new musical skills and concepts. They can re-visit established musical skills and concepts as they travel along the learning journey. Repeating a musical skill does not necessarily mean their progress is slowing down or their development is moving backwards! It is just shifting within the learning spiral.  

We believe that through a variety of activities an understanding of the interrelated dimensions of music will be understood. We believe in ensuring opportunities are built in for the children to revisit and refine their appreciation and understanding of a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music thus enhancing their learning. We want learning to take place through games where children are encouraged to explore and create. By providing opportunities, wwant all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music. They can develop the skills to appreciate a wide variety of musical forms and to begin to make judgments about the quality of music. Besides being a creative and enjoyable activity, we believe that music plays an important part in helping children feel part of a community.   

What do we want children to be able to do by the end of Year 6? 

As stated in the National Curriculumby the end of Year 6, pupils should be developing a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best quality of live or recorded music.  

The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupil should be encouraged 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. 



How will this support the children in lifelong learning? 

  • Link to skills 
  • Transference of skills across subjects 


Implementation (link to policy) 

How is the curriculum for Music organised? 

Music is mostly taught as ********at High Ercall. We plan on a 2 yearly cycle across the school. We plan as a whole staff and ensure that the progression of skills are built in from EYFS to Year 6. Units of work are based round a  

  • Rolling programme 
  • Skills progression 
  • Thematic and links to other subjects 


How do we teach Music 

The Charanga scheme of work is followed from Year 1 - 6 to ensure a wide exposure to different genres of music, with lots of practical opportunities to explore and develop as musicians and singers. Teachers can tailor the Charanga units to fit around key stage performances. They can use the ‘freestyle’ element of the package to provide thematic cross curricular lessons that also follow children’s interests. Music lessons are broken down into half-termly units with an emphasis on musical vocabulary while allowing children to talk about pieces of music using the correct terminology. Each unit of work has an on-going musical learning focus with lessons usually following a specific learning sequence: 

  • Listen and Appraise 
  • Musical Activities (including pulse and rhythm) 
  • Singing and Voice 
  • Improvisation / Composition 
  • Perform and Share 

Our school also has whole class ensemble teaching in Class 3, where children are taught 3 specific musical instruments. These lessons incorporate teaching musical notation, singing, improvisation, performing and evaluating.  

Alongside our curriculum provision for music, pupils also have the opportunity to participate in additional 1:1 music teaching by having the opportunity to learn a musical instrument with a peripatetic teacher. Our peripatetic music teaching is organised by the Local Education Authority.  Instruments in the past have included the guitar, piano, keyboard, saxophone and violin. Pupils that learn a musical instrument have the opportunity to sit examinations and perform at our carol concert, assemblies and other events. 

Performance is at the heart of musical teaching and learning and all pupils participate in a key stage performance: a nativity performance for Key Stage 1 at Christmas and an end of year performance for Key Stage 2 in July. Pupils also take part in Harvest assemblies, singing assemblies and pupils from reception to year 6 perform at our annual carol concert at our local church. Pupils who are confident are also encouraged to take on solo, small ensemble, and harmony performances. Parents are invited and welcomed to watch these performances, whether at school or outside of school. Our key stage 2 pupils attend  a professional performance at one of our local theatres to experience how musical performance can be an engaging and fulfilling acitivity. 


How do we review learning in SUBJECT? 

  • We use observations to assess children’s work in music by making informal judgements during lessons. We talk to pupils about their learning, what they particularly remember, to assess their use and understanding of musical terms. Children are encouraged to record and assess their own and other’s work/performances to enhance their understanding. This takes place through recorded performances, live performances to the class, school and wider community. Assessmentare recorded in the pupils’ end of year report. 
  • Shared planning 
  • Governor review 

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