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Music at Firs

Ready For Learning and Ready For Life.

Firs Primary School is committed to ensuring all children are able to access a knowledge-rich, broad and balanced curriculum with teaching and learning being at the heart of the delivery of the curriculum. It aims to be bold, free thinking and rigorous; underpinned by a commitment to the school values, ensuring equity, learner empowerment and encouraging social mobility.  An essential element of our knowledge rich curriculum is the development of a broad and rich vocabulary, and the ambitious and explicit teaching of this.  A renewed focus on speech and language is a key driver of the revised curriculum and this is supported by the Voice21 scheme to develop Oracy in the classroom.


Live:  Children will have the knowledge and understanding to go into their next stage of life appreciating music from around the world, different genres and periods in history.

Love:  Children will develop a love and passion for Music that will last a lifetime. They will have the opportunity to form part of the school choir, the annual concerts and other community concerts.

Learn: Children will learn the basic knowledge of the elements of music and make decisions about the music they hear and play. Some older children will get the opportunity to take part in specialist music lessons with external musicians.

Aims of the Music curriculum:

At Firs children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. We are committed to developing a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music.  We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.

Progression in the Music curriculum:

Music for EYFS pupils has a primary focus on singing and movement, developing the child’s listening abilities, physical co-ordination, inner/outer ears, motor-neuron skills, memory, aural awareness, and singing skills. Each pupil will lead the class in singing, and all will learn to be led by their peers. Songs are linked to class topics when appropriate. Children are accompanied both by piano and a backing track –the piano providing and instant acoustic and more tangible reference point for children, and the backing track allowing for more diverse timbral palette and more direct approach to guiding students with actions.

Key Stages 1 and 2 follow the Charanga scheme of work. The KS 1 programme of study extends learning in EYFS, with further singing and movement. Rhythmic notation is introduced, as well as playing musical instruments. This musical landscape involves singing, movement, body percussion and playing instruments. In KS 2 pupils learn to identify instruments, families of instruments, and musical genres. They analyse timbre, texture, rhythm, beat, pitch and harmony to a basic level. Topics in Key Stage 2 music classes cover body percussion, graphic scores, beat and pulse games, samba, music notations, composition. There are both performances to classmates, and parents. They use body percussion, undertake group work and solo work, engage in active listening, play percussion instruments and compose in small groups. They respond to and analyse and reflect on their own and others’ music, and their own compositions. Year 5 pupils have a year where they learn to play a strings instrument.

Explicit knowledge in the Music curriculum:

EYS children will begin to build a repertoire of songs, explore different sounds of instruments, sing songs, and make music.  Children will represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through music.

Key Stage 1 children will use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes.  Children will play tuned and un-tuned instruments musically, listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high quality live and recorded music.  Children will experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the interrelated dimensions of music.

Key Stage 2 children will 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 interrelated dimensions of music.  Listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory.  Use and understand staff and other musical notations and appreciate and understand a wide range of high quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians.  Finally they will develop an understanding of the history of music.

Curriculum organisation of the Music curriculum:

Whilst in school, children have access to a varied programme, which allows them to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon. The integral nature of music and the learner creates an enormously rich palette from which a child may access fundamental abilities such as: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self-reflection.  Weekly lessons, assemblies and after school clubs allow children to access music through the curriculum and wider curriculum.

Reading, writing and talking in the Music curriculum:

Reading, Writing and Talking has been closely mapped to the Music scheme the school is following.  Music teaching will make links with a variety of other subject areas and children will further develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to children individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children will be able to enjoy music in as many ways as they choose and this will develop them as a listener, creator or performer – developing speaking, language and listening skills. They will dissect music and comprehend its parts using explicit writing and language. They will have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.

Delivery of the Music curriculum:

At Firs our vision for Teaching and Learning is rooted in high expectations and an unconditional belief that every child can achieve and succeed according to their unique abilities. We believe in challenge, engagement and deep learning (mastery). This is promoted through careful curriculum planning, modelled examples of practice and the use of responsive teaching through planned and purposeful checking for understanding. A positive and stimulating learning environment ensure behaviour for learning is central to our vision, as we strive for a warm and productive classroom climate. We carefully plan assessment to ensure we develop retrieval and schema to build on learning and make connections between subjects.  Finally, we explicitly plan for the delivery of Reading, Talking and Vocabulary in all subjects and this underpins our approach to teaching and learning at Firs.

Firs Foundation of Effective Practice ensures we have a whole school approach to delivering our curriculum vision.  The six Foundations provide staff with a learning model to ensure we deliver lessons based on research evidence, the six Foundations we model our Teaching and Learning on:

Foundation 1: Culture and Climate.

Foundation 2: Checking For Understanding.

Foundation 3: Explaining and Modelling.

Foundation 4: Reading, Talking and Vocabulary.

Foundation 5: Curriculum Planning.

Foundation 6: Retrieval and Schema building. 

In summary the impact of a powerful knowledge Music curriculum at Firs will have the following features:

  • Subject driven.
  • Knowledge-rich.
  • Systematic.
  • Progressive.
  • Think creatively.
  • Perform with confidence.
  • Use specialist vocabulary.
  • Appreciate music from around the world.
  • Develops SMSC.
  • Ensure children are Ready For Learning and Ready For Life.