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St. Paul's CE Primary School

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Forward As One CE Academy Trust


Music is central to the community and culture of the school and permeates many aspects of school life. All pupils, whatever their heritage, status or family income, have access to and participate in aspirational and stimulating musical learning every week. Music education is integral to the whole school curriculum and therefore:

  • All children take part in a whole class curriculum music lesson every week that is underpinned by a comprehensive methodology and sequential skills-based progression framework.
  • A range of topic-linked music enrichment projects are offered to all classes across school.
  • Pupils are encouraged to take part in a range of music clubs, instrumental/vocal lessons and music activities at lunchtime and after school that augment the timetabled whole class curriculum lessons.
  • Specialist teachers are employed to lead and plan the music lessons.
  • Teachers participate in regular professional development opportunities and take an active role in the weekly curriculum music lessons.

Musical learning is based upon a coherent, sequential, and sustained methodology that allows every pupil the best opportunity to take part, express themselves and develop their individual and collective identity. We aim to always ensure that music making is relevant and practical with diversity and inclusion at its heart.

The National Curriculum Programme of Study for Music

Music is the dominant language of every lesson with singing and the song at the core of the learning. High-quality vocal work is used extensively throughout every aspect of musical activity and in every key phase. Lessons are planned meticulously with repertoire carefully matched to the pupils’ experiences, needs, interests, abilities and ages. A culture of whole school singing and deep listening are embedded via the weekly curriculum music lessons.

Children’s understanding of music is focused upon developing their knowledge and skills through the core musical activities of making music as performers, composers and improvisers and responding critically and in an informed way to music from a range of genres, cultures and traditions. Musical learning happens in a holistic manner and units of work and their assessment are not atomistically separated.

  • Every pupil from EYFS to Year 6 has a weekly whole class curriculum music lesson delivered by a specialist primary music teacher. Where appropriate cross-curricular links are identified to support learning, language development & the whole school creative curriculum.
  • Sequential development of musical learning is based upon the ‘ALFA Progression Framework of Music Skills’; a methodology that sets out clear, measurable and developmental learning objectives for each year group. These are developed in spiral form throughout the key phases and link to assessment via specific descriptors for each category of attainment.
  • Skilled pedagogy that includes pupil-led, differentiated musical activities ensures appropriate expectations, levels of challenge and progress for all pupils.
  • Detailed medium term music planning for each year group develops towards an informal ‘class performance’ at the end of each half term of work for the purposes of pupil appraisal and assessment.
  • Music IT and video evidence are key features of the assessment process.
  • There is a focus upon pupil response, reflection and appraisal in developing their own musical ideas.
  • Termly assessments using the related attainment descriptors map pupil achievement and progress. Formative and summative assessment are contained within the framework. Assessment of musical learning is rooted in the musical activity that the children undertake.

Consequently, assessment is the musical attainment they have evidenced in a range of learning activities in which they have been singing, playing, performing, composing, and listening. Progress is made over the year with evidence recorded from a series of six half-termly videos of individual pupils and class ‘performances’.