INTENT – to what do we aspire for our children?


‘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, 2014

‘Music is all around us. It is the soundtrack to our lives. Music connects us through people and places in our ever-changing world. It is creative, collaborative, celebratory and challenging. In our schools, music can bring communities together through the shared endeavour of whole-school singing, ensemble playing, experimenting with the creative process and, through the love of listening to friends and fellow pupils, performing. The sheer joy of music making can feed the soul of a school community, enriching each student while strengthening the shared bonds of support and trust which make a great school.’

DfE Model Music Curriculum, 2021


What drives our music curriculum at St Werburgh’s Primary School?

We foster a love and understanding of music through listening, appraising, performing and composing. Music making encourages children’s personal expression and emotional development on both an individual and group level. It promotes appreciation of the richness and diversity of genres and cultures. Music celebrates our differences and unites us, connects us with our world, each other and ourselves. It triggers the release of feel-good chemicals into our brains, helps with concentration and affects how we feel. Music is good for us!


Together towards excellence

● We value and celebrate our music education, ensuring that all children have the opportunity to be involved in music together. Musical experiences feature in our ‘Passport of Experiences’ for every year group.

● All our pupils will experience a variety of instruments. The sessions are inclusive, ensuring that no child is left behind.

● Singing, and the development of the voice, takes a priority at our school, with every child involved in singing assemblies and having the opportunity

to join a choir.

● Musical knowledge is developed through an ambitious curriculum which is made accessible to all pupils.

● Composing, playing and performing on an individual, group and school level are at the heart of Music at St Werburgh’s Primary.

● A focus on learning and using musical vocabulary ensures children know, remember and express more.

● We aim to give all children a knowledge and understanding of music which will foster a lifelong love of it.



● At St Werburgh’s our music curriculum is broad, diverse and inclusive; it celebrates musical styles and cultures from around the world. We celebrate our local community with close ties to the Ivy Church and St Paul’s carnival projects. Through exposing our children to a diverse curriculum and creating connections to our local area, we help develop respect and empathy towards others.

● Music requires our children to perform in front of others. Our musicians develop their performance and audience etiquette, and show respect for each other through support and honest, positive feedback. Children are encouraged to reflect critically and listen with respect to what others have to say, as well as play.

● Children learn to cooperate, collaborate, share ideas, develop their ideas and come together to create a piece of work they are proud of. They listen to each other’s ideas, try them out, and come to a collective decision.

● Children are exposed to a wide variety of instruments. They are taught the importance of respecting school resources and the music environment. Children are reminded how to perform respectfully and safely, and how to store instruments. They are taught how to respect their ‘conductor/leader’ and respond respectfully to musical cues.



● From EYFS onwards, children are given the opportunity to explore, respond and create with freedom. Music lessons develop a classroom culture of a safe space where risks can be taken.

● Activities are crafted to be progressive, inclusive and rewarding. Collectively, this affords children the knowledge and skills needed to compose successfully and with confidence, and helps children use and develop their creativity.

● Children understand that there is creativity in performance, not just in composition, and they are encouraged to play around with dynamics, articulation, harmony, layering, accompanying, body percussion to name a few, when learning songs or instrumental works.

● Our curriculum spans continents and genres which allows children to connect with their world through music. Knowledge of Geography and History are deepened through connecting with different places and periods. We aim for our children to listen with appreciation, respect and empathy; to stand united in celebrating differences.
● Our curricular and co-curricular offers give our children experiences which create lasting memories.



● Children are given regular opportunities to perform, through singing assemblies and concerts, performances to celebrate their learning. The resilience needed in the practice for these concerts helps nurture the value of Commitment in all children.

● Our commitment to performance experiences from Reception to Year 6 helps enable children to become collaborative performers.

● We collaborate with schools across our Trust and Bristol through taking part in concerts as both performers and audiences. Children experience and perform in Bristol’s unique venues.

● We are committed to performing both within and for our local community, with concerts at The Ivy Church, and our participation in St Paul’s Carnival experience.

● Children show aspiration in their commitment to improving and developing their performances and compositions. They have the resilience to express themselves musically and have the confidence to share their ideas. Our children believe they are musicians, performers, and composers.


Aims of the National Curriculum for Music:

● 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.

● Have exposure to a wide range of diverse musical cultures and styles. The choices we have made support and reflect our local community and develop our children’s sense of belonging. By the end of their time with us they will have a good experience of music from around the world balanced with the musical elements of their local community.


At St Werburgh’s Primary we aim to ensure that all musicians:

● Deepen the understanding of the seven inter-related dimensions of music:

● pitch, tempo, dynamics, tempo, texture, timbre, structure.

● Develop musical skills and an understanding of genre and chronology progressively.

● Connect with each other through collaborative learning and performances.

● Retrieve, deepen and apply musical knowledge.

● Nourish a broad and deep appreciation for musical diversity.

● Nurture the musical capital of every child through co-curricular activities because music is a right for us all.


Vocabulary and Oracy

We recognise the vital role that oracy plays in the lives and life chances of our children, therefore we plan explicit opportunities to develop their oracy skills as well as opportunities to learn through oracy across the curriculum.

We promote oracy through music by modelling and teaching ambitious musical vocabulary. In turn, this allows the children to explain, discuss and share their ideas when expressing their music learning orally.


St Werburgh’s Progression in Music

Our Music curriculum is knowledge and vocabulary rich, ensuring children gain a deep understanding of fundamental musical knowledge and dimensions as well as embedding key music specific vocabulary and terminology. Children are encouraged to develop their musical curiosity and understanding by working as musicians. It is our intention that pupils accumulate, apply and connect substantive and disciplinary musical knowledge. Our curriculum follows the principles of instruction, is guided by understanding how the memory works and cognitive load theory.

Our Music curriculum is organised into units, with each focusing on a substantive and disciplinary knowledge. Our curriculum follows a spiral structure: knowledge of the seven interrelated dimensions of music, genre and chronology is built upon within units and progressively over the year groups with increasing degrees of challenge and complexity. Our curriculum is relevant and exciting, deepening knowledge within a meaningful framework.


Long Term Sequence of Units:


Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Term 4

Term 5

Term 6



building singing repertoire


Christmas Singalong


beat and rhythm

Musical Moments:

pitch and tempo

Handa’s Surprise:

beat with percussion

Minibeast Calypso:

rhythm with percussion



Being together in music


Control the voice:

nursery rhymes

Untuned Percussion / Nativity  Introducing rhythm and pulse


Representing sounds pictorially



Introducing pitch


Identify changes in sounds (high/low)


Untuned Percussion

Introducing tempo and dynamic


Identify changes in sounds (fast/slow, loud/soft)


Exploring emotions through music


Responding to music


Untuned Percussion / Tuned WCET Ukulele

Introducing tempo and dynamic 2


Control and describe tempo and dynamic


Untuned percussion

Experimenting with sounds 2


Representing sounds pictorially


Singing / Christmas Performance

Being together in music 


Control the voice: sing as a choir


Untuned Percussion

Introducing rhythm and pulse 2


Compose short patterns



Introducing pitch 2


Control and describe pitch



Untuned Percussion/ Tuned WCET Ukulele: Introducing tempo and dynamic 2


Control and describe tempo and dynamic


Exploring emotions through music 2


Choose sounds to create an effect




Introducing texture


Sing parts in an ensemble (e.g. rounds)


Untuned Percussion / Christmas Concert

Mastering rhythm


Recognise beats in a bar (time signatures / metre)


The history of singing


Singing for togetherness e.g. folk songs, war chants, hymns



Tuned focus: Musical notation


Introduce the staff



Tuned focus: Composition


Compose in pairs


Range of Instruments Studied

Performance focus: Introducing timbre


Perform as an ensemble (range of instruments)


Untuned Percussion

Mastering rhythm 2


Follow beats in a bar (time signatures / metre)

Singing / Christmas Concert

Introducing texture 2


Sing parts in an ensemble (harmony)


Tuned focus: Musical notation 2


Revisit the staff



The history of singing 2


Singing for entertainment e.g. opera, theatrical, modernism


Performance focus: Composition 2


Perform including an element of composition

Range of Instruments Studied

Tuned focus: Introducing timbre 2


Identify and describe how sounds are combined


Untuned Percussion

Musical stories


One piece, different performers


Singing / Christmas Concert

Introducing structure


Identify parts of a song




Musical notation 3


Follow musical notation



Music technology


Alter pitch and dynamic to create effects


Range of Instruments Studied

Performance focus: Composition 3


Perform including an element of composition


Tuned focus: Improvisation


Improvise using repeated patterns



Bristol Beacon WCET: Steel Pans



Musical stories 2


Cultural and social – lyrics


Untuned Percussion / Christmas Concert

Music technology 2


Alter tempo and rhythm to create effects



Introducing structure 2


Identify cyclic patterns inc. verse/chorus, coda



Tuned focus: Musical notation 4


Create simple notation



Tuned focus: Composition 4


Improvise using melodic phrases


Range of instruments studied / Year 6 Show

Performance focus: Improvisation 2


Perform including an element of improvisation



St Werburgh’s Curriculum Overview:

Our curriculum has been purposefully built around the principles of evidence-led practice. This is to ensure that there is a focus on high-quality development of children as musicians. The curriculum is carefully designed to build pupils’ musical knowledge and develop competence and confidence as musicians. Each block includes the study of significant musicians and musical works, with the intention of exposing pupils to a wide range of music that will inspire them and connect them to the world around them.

Core areas of study include singing, listening and appraising, composing and improvising and instrumental performance. These are built cumulatively throughout the curriculum to ensure that all pupils develop their engagement with, and knowledge of, music over time. This includes a focus on learning to play a range of instruments confidently. Our Music curriculum aims to build a rich musical culture, accessible to all.

Our curriculum has a strong emphasis on the language that pupils need to explore their own musicality. This is carefully and deliberately planned so that pupils revisit and embed this knowledge over time. Clear structures and learning routines underpin music lessons. This allows pupils to direct their cognitive attention to the core content in each block. Knowledge Notes are sometimes used to support instruction and the revisiting of new concepts. This strong focus on cognitive science provides the framework for pupils to deepen and broaden their knowledge of music and become confident, inspired musicians.


IMPLEMENTATION – how will we deliver the curriculum?

Delivery of the Curriculum at St Werburgh’s



We follow a Kodaly-method approach which provides a solid foundation level of music learning. It begins with a repertoire of children’s songs, which are ‘caught not taught’, then introduces and develops knowledge of beat, rhythm and pitch. In addition, we use two units and resources from the Bristol Beacon Music Curriculum.
As well as our taught music sessions, the children in Reception are exposed to a range of singing opportunities and music in play. They create their own songs and music through play such as performing on a stage as a band with instruments they make and listening to a range of genres of music throughout the year. The children perform to parents and other school year groups to build their confidence and love of performing.



We believe every child should have the opportunity to play an instrument. As part of their curriculum learning, our children will learn to play a range of untuned percussion, ukulele, glockenspiel and steel pans.



Each year group has 6 blocks of 5 weeks teaching. An additional week in the term is used for consolidation, revisiting or enrichment. The curriculum is delivered in 30-45 minute lessons. Across the year, each year group will focus on developing singing, playing a range of untuned and tuned instruments and building their knowledge about music. Pupils build their knowledge and musical skills year on year, becoming more expert in playing and appraising a wide range of musical styles.


Expected Outcomes

A list of the expected outcomes for the block provides details of the musical knowledge and skills pupils will be expected to have acquired by the end of the block. Example from Year 2:



Becoming a Musician

Each block covers specific elements of developing pupils’ musicality:
Pitch, Duration, Rhythm and Pulse, Tempo and Dynamic, Timbre, Texture, Structure


Key Pieces

Pupils will study a range of music in each block, which will reference significant musicians and compositions.


Weekly Focus

The expected outcomes are reached through the following sequence:



Overview of the Block

Key concepts studied throughout the sequence of lessons in the block link to the weekly focus. Example from Year 2:



Music lesson design at St Werburgh’s


Each lesson follows the model above.

– CONNECT to prior knowledge

– EXPLAIN new content i.e. vocabulary

– give an EXAMPLE of new learning

– Pupils ATTEMPT new learning with scaffolding

– APPLY new learning independently

– Pupils are CHALLENGED to integrate learning with prior knowledge


Opportunities for working as a musician are built into each lesson.

● Learning objectives show substantive and disciplinary skills.

● Immersive and engaging lessons make good use of a wide range of available resources:

● These include instruments, song banks and video clips.

● Lessons build on previously learned musical knowledge and children’s experiences.

● A focus on the explicit learning of musical terminology and vocabulary linked to each unit.

● An element of individual, group and class learning and performance.

● Children are empowered to compose and improvise within a structured environment.

● A final performance where children collaborate to compose, practise and perform as a group or whole class.


Curriculum enrichment at St Werburgh’s



Our children become confident singers through weekly KS1 and KS2 singing assemblies, learning a rich variety of songs in unison, parts and rounds.


Playing and Listening

Our curriculum ensures our children grow as self-assured performers and interpretive audience members. Whole-classes have opportunities to learn an instrument, including ukulele, glockenspiel and steel pans.


Performing in Bristol

Children have opportunities to perform alongside children from other schools in concerts at large Bristol venues, such as Bristol Beacon, Bristol Cathedral and St. George’s Hall. Children also experience being an audience member at a performance or concert at one of these venues.


Performing in Our Community

Musicians can, and feel empowered to, perform in assemblies, music lessons and at the start of the day at the school gate.



We have two choirs: one for Reception / KS1 and one for KS2. The children sing a range of fun and exciting songs and have opportunities to perform both to their peers and parents.



Musicians have opportunities to perform in orchestra workshops and concerts run by Bristol Beacon and the Cathedral Schools Trust Junior Orchestra.


Visiting Musicians

We are committed to organising aspirational performances for our children. From cellists to trumpeters and blind music therapists, we aim to showcase the inclusivity of music.


Peripatetic lessons

For children from Year 2-6, we offer lessons 1:1 and small-group lessons in piano, violin and guitar delivered by Bristol Beacon and independent tutors.



We also offer Rocksteady ensemble tuition. Sessions allow a band of up to nine children to be formed, who receive weekly tuition. We fund three Pupil Premium children to have tuition which allows a further three spaces to be funded by Rocksteady.


St Pauls’s Carnival

We connect with our local community through our annual involvement with the St Paul’s Carnival Arts Programme. Working closely with the St Paul’s Carnival Association means we can make the most of other opportunities they offer.



As part of the planning and preparation for the delivery of each block, we consider how specific activities or pedagogy may need to be adjusted to ensure that pupils with SEND are able to access the materials and participate fully in the lesson. Providing accessible activities for all, including SEND, Disadvantaged Pupils and EAL learners may include differentiated support, such as using simplified or reduced number of notes or chords when learning an instrument.


Reading Across the Curriculum

Music at St Werburgh’s is enriched with a wide selection of books about artists, particular pieces, periods of music history, genres and instruments. These books are stored centrally and are accessed by our curious children.




We are working towards removing biases, stereotypes and false narratives in Music Education. Alongside the musicians and genres woven into the curriculum, we seek to expose children to a wide range of musical tastes from different cultures. We strongly believe that engaging children with aspirational musicians who look like them, have similar experiences, and come from similar backgrounds is a great source of inspiration and empowerment.


IMPACT – how do we know our curriculum is effective?

Pupil Voice:

We understand that pupils are the best way to show how effective our curriculum is. Pupil voice will demonstrate:

● A passion, confidence and enthusiasm for music.

● Correct use of precise musical vocabulary and terminology.

● The ability to talk about themselves as musicians.

● How they apply their knowledge in their learning.

● Excitement about performance opportunities, and confident in their ability to perform and participate.

● An ability to engage with questions for assessment linked to each block.


High quality outcomes:

● Children take pride in their performances and in their compositions. They are committed to rehearsing and performing to the best of their ability.

● Children’s musical skills will develop and prepare them to continue their musical education at secondary school, potentially at Trinity Academy. They will start their secondary education equipped with a solid understanding of musical literacy and a passion for music.

● Children’s musical appreciation will be broad, and they will have a good understanding and experience of musical styles and cultures from around the world.

● The number of children learning instruments is rising and we hope to continue this trend as well as diversify the instruments we offer lessons in. Our children are proud performers who show brilliant ‘performance etiquette’ when it counts.

● Parents give positive feedback about our performance events.