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Petham Primary School

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At Petham Primary School our music curriculum is designed to engage, inspire and challenge children to become involved with and develop a lifelong interest in and passion for a wide range of musical styles and genres. 


The music curriculum is based upon a foundation of developing essential knowledge, understanding and key skills which is built on year by year.  The curriculum supports the children to explore and develop skills through a range of practical activities which encourage them to confidently take on the role of composer, performer and audience. 


We aim to provide the children will a multitude of opportunities to explore a wide variety of musical genres by listening, composing and performing.  The children progress from the most fundamental starting point where they experiment with untuned percussion and using simple symbols to ‘read and write’ musical instructions, to learning to read a convential graphic score.   They have access to a range of instruments and are also encouraged to use their voices to sing in larger groups. 


Our school core values are interwoven through the music curriculum.  Our pupils are actively encouraged to demonstrate leadership by having opportunities to help to lead whole school singing assemblies.  Organisation skills are developed when children are required to work together in small groups to compose and perform a piece and there is a need for them to collaborate effectively as a small team, often with a ‘leader’ taking responsibility for ensuring that the group works together.  A degree of resilience is expected and encouraged as the children need to overcome perhaps shyness or lack of confidence at performing to peers or a larger audience, and to accept that mistakes often need to be made and responded to along the route to the final piece of work.  The children are encouraged to use their initiative to consider alternative ways of creating certain effects or how to convey different moods and feelings through perhaps deciding which instruments to select or which kinds of sounds would be appropriate to which themes.  Within the music curriculum there are numerous opportunities for the children to develop their teamwork skills.  Listening to others’ ideas, contributing their own, working as part of a group rather than individually and experiencing the effect of sharing skills and ideas together all help to create well-rounded individuals. 



Our Music curriculum is built around essential knowledge, understanding and key skills, which are broken into year group expectations and show clear continuity and progress.

In line with the National Curriculum, we aim 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


Our children are actively encouraged to develop creatively both within and beyond the confines of the curriculum, and our continual and passionate engagement with  music is evidenced in our long-standing Music Mark status and our recently acquired Silver ArtsMark Award, which underpins the school’s commitment to providing an enriching and inspiring creative experience for all pupils.  In addition to our curricular music lessons in class, there are also opportunities for parents to invest in individual private instrumental lessons which are delivered by external agencies during the school day, as well as special events such as local singing and instrumental concerts, church and community events, and the annual Young Voices concerts at the O2 Arena.




The children’s musical journey is recorded in photographs and video format, clearly demonstrating the progress that they make from their first ‘action songs’ in Reception to perhaps singing rounds or 2 part harmonies in Year 6. 

The progression across the units of study and from one year group to another is gradual but obvious with the every child having an opportunity to learn to play at least one instrument (in addition to tuned and untuned percussion) during the course of their Primary school journey.  The children take pride in their work and there is a high expectation of effort and presentation, with every opportunity given to them to frequently perform to an audience, whether that is to their peers, whole school, parents, or the wider community.  The children are given constant verbal feedback and opportunities to share their learning with others.  The Key Stage 2 Choir is a popular lunchtime ‘extra curricular’ club, and is an opportunity for this group of children to prepare for ‘special’ performances either in school or externally.



Music progression Document