Grazeley Parochial CE (Aided) Primary School

'Be courageous; Be strong; Do everything in love'


We value the importance of music in everyday life and its significance in providing a window into historical events and times, recognising the hope and comfort that music brings people. We understand how music can bring communities together, providing opportunities for collaboration.


National Curriculum Purpose of Study

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.

Whole School Definition of Music

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. It can engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians. Through music pupils will develop self-confidence, a sense of achievement and team work. To learn music is to learn a whole new language. Music is constructed through vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.

‘Music touches the very heart of our humanity and a sense of the wonder of music has touched human societies throughout history’

 I Peretzz and RJ Zatore

How Music is Taught at Grazeley

At Grazeley Primary School, we use Charanga Music School to support our teaching of music.  Lessons are taught through a complete suite of teaching resources catering for KS1 and KS2 children.  We use the scheme to support our curriculum and staff skill set in teaching music.  We believe that music should provide pupils with opportunities to make music, think musically and become more musical as a consequence.  Our music curriculum aims to build on the three pillars of music:

  1. Technical
  • The competence in controlling sound (instrumental, vocal or with music technology)
  • Use of a communication system, such as standard notation and non-standard notation
  1. Constructive
  • Knowledge of the musical elements/interrelated dimensions of music
  • Knowledge of the components of composition
  1. Expressive
  • Musical quality
  • Musical creativity
  • Knowledge of musical meanings across the world and time

The pillars of music are developed through the curriculum which progressively builds pupils knowledge and skills of the following key concepts:

  • Singing (developing pitch, melody, rhythm and control individually and as part of a group)
  • Listening (exploring feelings and emotions in response to music, giving opinions, identifying instruments, structure, musical features)
  • Composing (improvising, composing, notating: representing sounds through symbols, standard and non-standard notation)
  • Performing (singing, playing instruments, individual and groups, practising, rehearsing, presenting, recording, evaluating)
  • Musicianship (understanding music: pulse/beat/metre, rhythm, pitch/melody, tempo, dynamics, timbre, texture, structure/form)

We use glockenspiels, recorders, violin, percussion and pupils’ voices.  This allows the pupils to demonstrate progression in their knowledge and skills year on year.  Therefore, we aim for our children to become more proficient in music. We also work closely with The Berkshire Maestros and other local peripatetic teachers to provide pupils with high quality instrumental teaching in a range of instrument, for those wishing to extend their experiences further.

At Grazeley Primary School the music curriculum is mapped out using both The National Curriculum, alongside the non- statutory Model Music Curriculum. This is taught through the following key concepts of learning that repeat throughout the curriculum to enable children to become musicians.

The Key Concepts of learning glossary:

Children will develop an understanding of history and styles of music and will appraise, experiment, perform, improvise and compose for a range of purposes using the interrelated dimensions of music:

Melody is formed from a succession of single pitches. Melody can be created using steps, leaps and repeated notes. The collection of notes from which a melody is formed is called a scale.

Harmony is the sound made by two or more notes simultaneously. These combinations are sometimes called chords. Harmony can sound pleasing to the ear or clashing, depending on the notes used. We use harmony when we play chords on the ukulele.

Pitch is the sound of a single note in relation to other notes. Words which can describe the pitch include: high, low, treble, bass, sharp or flat.

Tempo is the speed of a piece of music. The tempo can change during a piece. The tempo describes the pulse or beat of the music. Sometimes we use Italian words to describe the tempo such as lento, which means slow, or allegro, which means lively.

Dynamics are used to describe the volume of one or more notes in a piece of music. The dynamic can change gradually or suddenly. Symbols known as dynamic markings, based on Italian descriptions, are often used such as for forte which means ‘strong’ or ‘loud’.

Structure is the overall framework of a piece of music. The structure of a song will usually have an introduction, some verses and a chorus.

Texture of a piece of music describes how the different sounds are being woven together to create a sense of depth. A thick texture uses several musical layers at once. The texture of a piece of music is influenced by factors such as the number of voices or parts, their relative strengths, and the relationships between them. A thinner texture will have fewer parts. A whole class singing “Frere Jacques” is a thin texture.  A few children singing the same song as a four-part round, starting at different times will create a thicker texture.

Timbre is the unique sound quality which helps us to distinguish between different instruments and voices. The different ways an instrument is played can change its timbre.

Rhythm is the organisation of long and short sounds around a pulse or beat. Rhythm within a song would be represented by the syllables in the words.  Some rhythms coincide with the beat; others use syncopation, in which most of the sounds fit between the main beats.

Notation is the method used to record, on paper or on screen, music that is heard or performed. A musician needs to read and write notation to share ideas. There are several different types of standard natation, such as staff notation, graphic notation and tablature.

Composing occurs when you select and organise sounds to make music. Good compositions have an intention which is successfully communicated to the audience.

Performing is the act of making music for an audience at a particular time and place. Most performances need to be practised. Performances can be solo, a duet or an ensemble of performers.

The following second order concepts are also explored:

  • Chronology (history of music and changes over time)
  • Similarity and difference (comparing pieces of music, identifying common/different styles and techniques)
  • Significance (significant composers, pieces of music and musical movements)
  • Written, oral and creative expression: (Using musical terminology, responding, refining, describing, experimenting, exploring

Within the Grazeley curriculum, a variety of knowledge bases are covered throughout the progression from KS1 to KS2 to ensure continuity of learning, thereby re-enforcing and committing knowledge to the longer term memory:

Early Year Foundation Setting

The music curriculum begins in the Early Years where pupils learn to sing and listen to a large repertoire of poems, rhymes and songs, and when appropriate will begin to move in time to the music.

Key Stage 1 children continue to build on using their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs, speaking chants and rhymes. They are introduced to a range of high-quality live and recorded music, whilst exploring and learning to play tuned and non-tuned instruments musically.

Key Stage 2 children, continue to develop their musicianship through the learning of different instruments such as glockenspiels, the recorder and violin alongside their voice. They will play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression. Children learn to use and understand staff and other musical notations, and are encouraged to improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music. Pupils develop their appreciation and understanding of a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians. Children develop an understanding of the history of music, listening with greater attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory.

Throughout their Primary years, pupils learn through:

  • Procedural learning -explicit practical instrument skills- both external and internal opportunities.
  • Tacit (experimental) informal learning- through cultural experiences and listening, throughout the whole school.
  • Declarative (music facts & terms) long term knowledge to build theory & knowledge in different contexts and musical

styles throughout years 1-6.

Whole School Overview

Learning Journey

Memorable experiences are planned in, when they clearly support the learning or provide enrichment. For example, we may attend the theatre or run an African drumming day to compliment certain units. All children will have the opportunity to perform in front of an audience on both a small scale and larger production scale during their Primary Years. Many Spring or Summer units of work also end with an innovate task, which is an opportunity to put learning into context in front of an audience if desired. Each year KS2 perform at the Mayor’s Wokingham Schools Christmas concert and WASMA music festival whilst KS1 children take part in the Addington School singing workshop.

Feedback and Assessment

Summative Assessment is based on the three pillars of learning throughout the year, taking into consideration the technical, constructive and expressive aspects of their learning. Pupils have many opportunities to experiment, express themselves and perform in front of others, either in an ensemble, whole class, duo or solo context throughout each year. These opportunities are often recorded and such performances are considered to support this overall assessment approach. We also use the assessment checkpoints and baseline quizzes made available within the music scheme to support assessment and progress.