Dovedale Primary School Dovedale Primary School Dovedale Primary School

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Music Curriculum statement:


At Dovedale Primary school we understand our responsibility in preparing children for all aspects of their curriculum and for the next phase of their education. We aim to lay the foundations for our children to be able to take on the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life enabling them to be successful citizens in modern Britain and the wider world.



Our Music Curriculum aims to develop our pupils’ ability to appreciate the wide variety of music, to make critical judgements about musical quality, and to develop musicianship, through listening, appraising, singing, playing, creativity, collaboration, experimentation, performance and celebration.


Our children are taught how to listen and to appreciate different forms of music across different time periods, cultures and traditions. They are encouraged to actively participate in a variety of musical experiences with the aim of increasing expressive self-confidence, creativity, and a developing love of music as well as confidence in their talent as musicians.   It is an essential platform to develop a sense of group identity and cohesion, through a shared sense of purpose and musical comradeship.


Sharing a knowledge of music is crucial cultural capital that will enable our children to appreciate how the events in our history have influenced and shaped our musical identity and how these also fit into the greater world of music.  Our music curriculum will enable our children to recognise that modern British identity is rich and diverse, and to appreciate how music represents our many communities.


By the end of Early Years Foundation Stage our children will be able to:

  • Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs
  • Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others and move in time with the music


By the end of Key Stage 1 our children will be able to:

  • Use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
  • Play tuned and untuned instruments musically
  • Listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality music
  • Experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the interrelated dimensions of music


By the end of Key Stage 2 our children will be able to:

  • Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and by 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
  • Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
  • Develop an understanding of the history of music



How Music is taught and implemented at Dovedale Primary School

Dovedale Primary School uses the Model Music Curriculum version of the interactive Charanga scheme to teach music, thus ensuring full coverage of both the Early Learning Goals, the National Curriculum Programme of study and recent non-statutory guidance.  In KS1 and KS2, music is taught once a week and in the Foundation Stage music forms part of the planned provision for Expressive arts. 

English Model Music Curriculum scheme from Charanga

Our musical curriculum is concentrated on the following strands:

  • listening critically to and appraising music in order to gain a wider understanding and deeper appreciation of different musical genres and periods
  • singing in order to develop vocal potential and singing techniques
  • understanding musical notation and key elements of music
  • developing competence and skill in playing musical instruments
  • understanding and developing confidence in improvisation
  • building independent and collective composition skills
  • developing performance skills and developing stagecraft in collaboration with a group


Our teaching focuses on developing the children’s ability to understand rhythm and follow a beat through performing on a range of musical instruments. By singing and playing along to songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music. We teach technical vocabulary such as volume, pitch, pulse and rhythm and children are encouraged to discuss music using a progressive musical vocabulary, and share a greater understanding of the style indicators for particular genres of music.


Every music block is based on a particular theme enabling children to develop an awareness of specific musical genres or periods and enables them to practise and perfect the skills of listening, appraising, singing, playing, performing and sharing, with improvising and composing being repeated in each block once a piece has been learnt.


Enrichment opportunities


Peripatetic staff teach lessons weekly to children who request them: including guitar and drumming.  These children are also given the opportunity to perform what they've learnt to an audience of children and parents.

Visiting groups are encouraged such as from The Derbyshire Music Partnership who have been teaching our Year 4s the violin to great success. Our school also encourages Arts and Music ambassadors and incorporates opportunities relating to the Arts throughout the year.  We are also proud to have a school choir which enjoys performing at events within the school.


Each department normally performs a ‘large scale’ performance during the school year:-

•             EYFS and Key Stage one – Christmas

•             Lower juniors – spring term.

•             Upper juniors – summer term.

•             Year six showcase their leaver’s assembly at the end of the summer term.

•             Children have also had the opportunity to take part in Dovedale’s got Talent in the summer term.

•             Each class performs a class assembly to the whole school and their parents once a year.

National Curriculum Purpose of study


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


National Curriculum Aims

The national curriculum for music aims 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 interrelated dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations


The Model Music Curriculum (MMC)

This non-statutory guidance for the national curriculum was published in March 2021 by the Department for Education to support the delivery of music in schools during Key Stages 1 to 3 and to set out a model of how the curriculum can be delivered by specialists and non-specialists.


The aim of the MMC is to ensure a universal provision of music education, for all pupils in all schools. We are following its recommendations of:

  • A minimum of 1 hour of teaching a week in Key Stages 1 and 2
  • In Years 3 or 4, each class should start a whole-class instrumental programme lasting a minimum of one term, supported by teachers from the Music Education Hub. Opportunities for development should continue beyond the mandatory term.
  • Access to both rhythmic and melodic instruments in Key Stages 1 and 2 as part of a whole-class instrumental programme or other classroom teaching.



Sets out sequences of learning in 4 key areas of singing, listening, composing and performing that all contribute towards the development of musicianship so that each child makes progress. It emphasises the importance of laying the foundation of understanding staff notation in Key Stage 2.  There is a strong intention that pupils are actively creating music and performing their creations.



We encourage good singing principles:

  • Warm ups to help pupils use their voices safely.
  • Breathing – increasing control of airflow to sing longer phrases, adjust dynamics, improve tuning and phrase melodies expressively.
  • Posture – relaxed but stable stance to set the body up to produce a focused sound. 
  • Dynamics – to be used as an expressive tool and to avoid shouting.
  • Phrasing – giving shape to melodic lines and dynamic changes to emphasise important syllables.
  • Context – considering the context in which a song was written and how the meaning of the words can bring the music to life.
  • Vocal health – warming up before singing, staying hydrated, resting voices when there is a lot of singing to do.



We believe that listening critically helps gain a deeper understanding of how music is constructed and helps to develop composing and performing.  A shared knowledge of music is crucial cultural capital in understanding where we came from and our place in the world. Listening to a range of music encourages pupils to be open minded as well as knowledgeable about the breadth of musical genres in the world today.

The MMC suggests pupils experience a broad aural knowledge of Western Classical Music, Popular Music and Tradition Music from around the world.  At Dovedale Primary School, we embrace music from around the world by holding a whole school music event in June where each class focuses on a particular musical genre originating from different countries across 6 different continents.


Familiarity with music in a range of styles and genres is crucial for developing the aural understanding needed to compose music.  Our pupils practise recalling melodic shapes, harmonic sequences, rhythmic patterns and sections of their compositions.  They also practise improvising a response to a simple question with a limited note-range, building towards using a wider range of dynamics, and develop the use of graphic symbols and notation throughout Key Stage 2 within their compositions in order to follow and perform a simple rhythmic score.



Our pupils learn to recognise the tempo and create music to a steady and changing beat as well as practise playing rhythm patterns on tuned instruments from Year 1 onwards.  Children are taught how to listen for varying pitches of sound and to produce music in varying pitches with increasing accuracy.  They also practise playing tuned instruments and from Key Stage 2, start to follow staff notation for a small range of notes, distinguishing between a wider range of note values and rests. They are introduced to major and minor chords futher up into the Key Stage and a year group is given the opportunity to develop instrumental performance of a specific musical instrument over a term from a musical specialist from the local Music Education Hub.



We understand the importance of creating opportunities to celebrate, share and experience music of all kinds to consolidate learning.  We also encourage our pupils to develop principles of performance by:

  • Developing stagecraft – a sense of confidence and ownership no matter the size of nature of the stage or performing space, engaging with an audience and respecting fellow performers, as well as acknowledging applause.
  • Considering the programme – sequencing pieces to maximise impact and maintain audience engagement.  Aiming for a clear beginning, middle and end for any performance activity.
  • Encouraging peer feedback – create an environment where pupils can constructively express their thoughts on performances.
  • Seeking out opportunities for collaboration – through e.g. more than one group or class performing.



How Music is monitored/evidence collected

Music at Dovedale Primary School is monitored using pupil and teacher voice questionnaires, and recordings of pupils' practice and performances, as well as, lesson feedback sheets.  Music is monitored further via class observations and learning walks.


Assessment also involves evaluation of extra-curricular activities, e.g. choir, musical events in the wider community through the Derbyshire Music Partnership, instrumental lessons from the Derbyshire Music Partnership.


How Music is assessed

Traditionally music has been assessed using teacher formative assessment following each step in the subject block of lessons.  Following training on expectations for musicianship related to MMC/Charanga, from 2022 teachers have been tracking the progress of their pupils in main learning strands.


The MMC scheme within Charanga also enables our teachers to carry out baseline assessments on our children's listening and musicianship skills at the start of the Year and at termly intervals in order to adapt activities to bridge any gaps.


Children in each year group gains a better understanding of their musical progress via music Knowledge organisers which offer a means of self-assessment as well as providing teachers with an overview of the different levels of competence for each knowledge block.

Music Curriculum Map