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Music at CKIS

Our vision for music at CKIS 

At CKIS we want to engage, inspire and challenge pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians and performers, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.

Purpose and aims of music (Intent statement)





Our curriculum provides a broad range of experiences for our pupils: Our pupils’ backgrounds, our culture and our climate for learning provide the following drivers that underpin ALL areas of our music curriculum:  

- Learning to learn - which helps pupils to concentrate and focus and build resilience as learners

Music is often used to support learning across the curriculum, particularly using songs and rhymes. Music can be used to support memory and neural development and is a tool for promoting mindfulness or more thoughtful/focussed time.  This can include: Songs to support learning in maths; calming music when practising handwriting; listening and mindful drawing to music; music to inspire writing.

- Culture and Diversity - which helps pupils to develop enquiring minds about the wider world

Children learn about composers from different countries, genders and periods of time.  For example: Gustav Holst; Antonio Vivaldi; Claude Debussy; Stan Hugill (an English folk performer); John Williams (film composer); Matilda Casazola (a Bolivian songwriter);Manuel de Falla (Spanish composer and pianist.

 - Environment and Community - which helps to instil in our pupils a respect for our environment and for our local and wider communities

Children are taught about different music traditions within different countries as well as their own. For example: Celebratory music for Diwali and Handel’s ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks;  Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons to explore how the composer uses music to represent seasons through the year; the tradition of sea shanties; British folk music; Holst’s Planet Suite to support our topic ‘What’s Out There?; Victorian seaside music hall

Creative arts and physical development - which helps our pupils to express themselves and excel as holistic learners

Children learn to express themselves through music, using instruments and their voices. They learn to respond physically to music through movement. They create performances using movement, instruments and voices in response to music through the year. For example: Baroque music from the time of the Great Fire of London; creation of rhythm, body percussion and movement in response to stories; pirate dances promoting gross motor coordination; development of hand-eye coordination using untuned percussion instruments.

We offer a thoughtful range of experiences that support our culture: pupils enjoy a ‘full spectrum’ of academic, physical, spiritual, moral, social, cultural activities that enrich their lives. We aim to ensure that all children have the confidence and skills to develop as resilient life-long learners. 

Our music curriculum has been developed over time through:


•          Engaging with Gloucestershire Music Services

•          Using Whole Class Ensemble Teaching in KS1

•          Delivering extra-curricular activities such as Year 2 choir

•          Engaging with the wider community through performances by our choir

•          Networking with other schools and settings


We aim for all pupils to:

  • develop their understanding and appreciation of a wide range of different genres, styles and traditions of music, developing and extending their own interests.
  • acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding to make music on their own and with others, learning to sing and to use their voices as well as performing with musical instruments and to use technology.
  • 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.
  • develop skills, attitudes and attributes that can support learning in other subject areas and that are needed for life and work. These include listening skills, the ability to concentrate, creativity, intuition, aesthetic sensitivity, perseverance, self-confidence and sensitivity towards others.


The teaching of music at CKIS (Implementation)


At CKIS we want all children to experience music and to develop musical skills. We want them all to enjoy the music curriculum, gaining confidence in their own skills, be that individually or collectively.  They will develop their skills of singing, listening, composing and performing through EYFS to KS1, in preparation for KS2.

At CKIS, singing is at the heart of our music curriculum. Children come together each week to sing in assembly, learning new songs together. In class, our ‘Singing Strategy’ ensures that by singing together as part of our daily routine children learn to sing together, in harmony, enjoying a variety of songs, many of which can be accessed in all classrooms through ‘Sparkyard’ and ‘Sing Up!’

In EYFS, children experience music through a wide range of learning opportunities and it is covered by the ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ area of the Early Years Framework and Development Matters. Music is taught in rotation during the afternoons and children have access to musical instruments throughout continuous provision. Children sing songs regularly and are they are encouraged to make music using their voices, bodies, found materials, un-tuned and tuned instruments. They are encouraged to respond creatively to the music they make or hear and experiment with ways of making and changing sounds and music.

In Key Stage 1, music is taught each week. We teach the music curriculum through ‘Sparkyard’, which covers the whole curriculum of singing, listening, composing and performing.  

This is an example of a termly overview in ‘Sparkyard’. Each lesson has clear objectives, key vocabulary and suggested songs for all to follow.



Singing forms a major part of music lessons. Children learn a variety of age appropriate songs and learn to sing in harmony as a group. They learn key skills and techniques through a range of activities. Repetition of techniques is vital to consolidate learning and gain confidence. They learn about pulse/beat, rhythm, pitch, duration, tempo, timbre, texture through listening carefully and singing together. 


Listening to music is fundamental to musical understanding and forms a part of lessons. By learning to listen with concentration and critically, pupils expand their musical awareness and gain an understanding of how music is constructed. Listening to a broad range of music will also help develop other areas of musical activity, including composing and performing.

As part of our listening across the school, and in lessons, we use pieces from a wide range of cultures and traditions. We listen to a broad range of Western Classical Music, Popular Music and Traditional Music from around the world. In celebrating World Music Day each year on June 21, we take the opportunity to explore music from different countries and different cultures and traditions. We recognise that modern British identity itself is rich and diverse and include this accordingly.

Using their oracy skills, children are encouraged to discuss what they hear and express their feelings about music they are listening to. In Assembly, music lessons and ‘minute of listening’, children consider what they are hearing and answer questions about it.


Children compose using first body percussion, then untuned and tuned intruments. Children begin by representing sounds with symbols. Visual symbols and shapes are used to create a graphic score to show musical ideas. Children learn to put together musical sounds and ideas to create a piece of music or a song. Listening to a range of music is important before they can themselves compose.


Opportunities are made to celebrate, share and experience music of all kinds. It can be to small groups or to the school as a whole. This can help build self-confidence and allow the children to see themselves as ‘performers’.  Children come together through the year to perform as part of their music lessons, but also through the school calendar. This includes class assemblies, harvest festivals, Christmas carols and end of year celebrations.

Our music schemes of work and learning leaves provide details of music to listen to each term as well as songs to learn based on termly topics.

As well as lessons taught by the class teacher, KS1 has the opportunity to take part in Whole Class Ensemble Teaching. Previously Year 1 have learnt to play together as part of a percussion group, for example a Samba band. Year 2 then progress onto learning to play the recorder and to understand simple music notation.

Year 2 children also have the opportunity to join the school choir as an extra-curricular activity. In the past, the choir has performed for the wider community, visiting care homes and singing outside at Christmas, as well as performing at school events such as harvest festivals, Christmas concerts and the Summer Fayre. They also have the opportunity to learn the violin.

We ensure the children are ready for the KS2 curriculum by covering all aspects of the KS1 curriculum, continually referring back to prior learning.  Repetition of singing techniques is vital to consolidate learning and gain confidence. Pupils internalise key skills and techniques through this repetition.

Vocabulary/Texts by year group

Technical vocabulary is used throughout music lessons and is stated on our ‘Learning Leaves’ and Schemes of Work. These include articulation, pitch, duration, dynamics, rhythm, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and notation

Demonstrating learning

Children demonstrate their learning in music through observations and these can be recorded using Seesaw. This takes place during music lessons and in continuous provision. The pupils demonstrate their understanding through enrichment tasks in continuous provision.

Examples of children's participation in music lessons and their learning can be seen in their special books as well as on Seesaw.

Teachers carefully plan and monitor progress and adapt medium term plans to include key questions and checkpoints for children to demonstrate understanding.

Meeting the needs of all pupils (inclusion)

Our school supports the principle that young children learn through play, and through well planned structured opportunities that are relevant, engaging and promote deep level thinking and learning.

Teachers and Teaching Partners competently provide a balance of structured cross curricula learning activities and child-initiated opportunities through high quality indoor and outdoor learning environments. In this way we aim to ensure that children are actively involved in their learning and deepen their knowledge, skills and understanding becoming masters of their learning as:

• Problem solvers

• Resilient learners

• Collaborative thinkers

• Inspired questioners

All pupils are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum that meets their needs.

Music is taught in class groups, and is accessible in our provision with all pupils included. All our teachers know the pupils in their class and their differing needs well. They plan and adapt lessons to help all pupils know and remember more so they make very good progress.  Pupils have the opportunity to work collaboratively in small groups, a whole class, in pairs and individually. Groups can be chosen by either the teacher or by the pupils and this leads to a variety of abilities all working together on a common task.

Some pupils, including those with special educational needs or disabilities, or those with English an as additional language, have extra support in lessons if required.

Some pupils very quickly grasp the main concepts and are able to think more deeply to extend their learning. To ensure they reach their full potential, teachers may:

● encourage these children to take up extra-curricular opportunities

● ask children to demonstrate their learning for others

● explain their understanding of the key objective

Assessment (Impact)

Formative Assessment

At CKIS teachers constantly assess how far their pupils understand key concepts throughout lessons, mainly through questioning and observation. In music, assessment happens in the moment and misconceptions addressed at that time, by modelling for the children and for them to observe and repeat.

End of unit Assessment

Key assessment criteria are written into our school curriculum and medium-term plans.

Assessments of children's learning are made through observations during music lessons. These can be included as evidence on SeeSaw.

Key learning objectives are detailed on INSIGHT, and these are continually referred to as these objectives are continually re-visited through the year.

Teachers and subject leads monitor children’s progress and attainment throughout the year to inform ongoing teaching and learning.

Reporting to families and statutory assessment

Children’s learning in music is shared with parents through Seesaw when appropriate. We discuss their progress at Parents’ Evening meetings and we comment on their learning in our end of year reports.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The subject leader for music monitors the quality of education regularly in accordance with the school’s monitoring timetable. This may take the form of:

 ● learning walks and drop ins, usually with a member of the senior leadership team, and sometimes with a governor.

● book looks – evidence in special books of learning in music lessons/extra curricular activities

● scrutiny of planning, particularly to evaluate coverage and progression within the curriculum as well as the extent to which planning is catering for the range of needs of pupils

● pupil conferencing

● surveys for pupils and/ or staff

● lesson observations


Subject leaders have regular support from the senior leadership team where aspects of the subject policy and action plan are monitored and discussed. Action plans are reviewed and shared with the staff three times a year to ensure all staff are aware of key actions.

Resulting actions may emerge with additional leadership support, resources or policy changes implemented.

Subject leaders routinely have a teacher appraisal objective linked to an aspect of their subject leadership. Following all these activities, strengths and areas for development are reported and discussed with staff. Resulting actions are recorded on the subject action plan and reported to governors.

At the end of each year the action plan for music is fully evaluated. In addition, the subject leader evaluates how far music is meeting our curriculum intent statement. This evaluation feeds into the action plan for the following year. Evaluated action plans and evaluations are reported to the senior leadership team and governors.

The role of the governors

Every subject has a specific governor allocated to it.

This governor evaluates the activities within this aspect and the impact on the quality of education and pupil outcomes.

They meet with subject leaders and review aspects of the subject, including seeing lessons in practice and talking to children.

Their findings are reported to the Governing Board. In this way, leaders are held accountable for the aspects they are responsible for, and subject leaders are able to access the appropriate support and resources to ach