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St Mary’s Catholic Primary School ‘Faith in Education’


Music at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School  


At St Mary’s’ Catholic Primary School we recognise that music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. Through our music curriculum children will develop the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to become confident performers, composers, and listeners. Children will develop the musical skills of singing, playing tuned and untuned instruments, improvising and composing music, and listening and responding to music. They will develop an understanding of the history and cultural context of the music that they listen to and learn how music can be written down. 

Our curriculum introduces children to music from all around the world and across generations, teaching children to respect and appreciate the music of all traditions and communities. 

Through music our children develop transferable skills such as team-working, leadership, creative thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, and presentation and performance skills. These skills are vital to children’s development as learners and have a wider application in their general lives outside and beyond school. 



At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, we take a holistic approach to the teaching of music, in which the individual strands below are woven together to create engaging and enriching learning experiences: 

  • Performing 

  • Listening 

  • Composing 

  • The history of music 

  • The inter-related dimensions of music 

We use the Kapow Music Scheme as our vehicle for delivery and each five-lesson unit combines these strands within a cross-curricular topic designed to capture pupils’ imagination and encourage them to explore music enthusiastically. Children will be taught how to sing fluently and expressively and play tuned and untuned instruments accurately and with control. They will learn to recognise and name the interrelated dimensions of music – pitch, duration, tempo, timbre, structure, texture and dynamics – and use these expressively in their own improvisations and compositions.  

Use of a spiral curriculum model where previous skills and knowledge are returned to and built upon. Children progress in terms of tackling more complex tasks and doing more simple tasks better, as well as developing understanding and knowledge of the history of music, staff, and other musical notations, as well as the interrelated dimensions of music and more. 

Strong subject knowledge is vital for the delivery of a highly effective music curriculum. We have chosen the Kapow Music Scheme because each unit of lessons includes material to support subject knowledge aiding teachers own acquisition of musical skills and knowledge. Additional CPD opportunities can also be found via webinars with Kapow music subject specialists. Using Kapow ensures that all teachers at St Mary’s confident in delivering the music curriculum and feel supported to deliver lessons of a high standard that ensure pupil progression. 

In each lesson, pupils will actively participate in musical activities drawn from a range of styles and traditions, developing their musical skills and their understanding of how music works. Lessons incorporate a range of teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired and group work as well as improvisation and teacher-led performances. Lessons are ‘hands-on’ and incorporate movement and dance elements, as well as making cross curricular links with other areas of learning. 

Music has a unique way of communicating that can inspire and motivate children. It is a vehicle for personal expression and plays an important role in the personal development of our children. We believe that music should be accessible for every pupil in our school. Making music provides opportunities for physical, intellectual, imaginative and spiritual development. Successful participation in music develops pupils’ self-esteem, confidence, well-being and learning skills. It is an effective medium for self-expression and creativity. 

The children in upper Key Stage 2, years 5 and 6, receive weekly instrumental tuition with a music specialist developing their musical knowledge and fluency in playing either the pocket trumpet or the Ukulele, which ensures that every child in St Mary’s is given the opportunity to learn to play an instrument.  

We also have a number of peripatetic music teachers who offer lessons in a range of instruments such as Cello, Piano, Keyboard, Violin, Flute, and recorder. These sessions are arranged by parents through the office and support the children at St Mary’s to really develop their music proficiency.  



Our music curriculum is constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Each lesson includes guidance to support teachers in assessing pupils against the learning objectives and at the end of each unit there is often a performance element where teachers can make a summative assessment of pupils’ learning. Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils by providing a highly visual record of the key learning from the unit, encouraging recall of practical skills, key knowledge and vocabulary. 



Engagement with our music curriculum will enable pupils to 


  • Demonstrate and articulate an enthusiasm for music and be able to identify their own personal musical preferences. 

  • Be confident performers, composers and listeners and will be able to express themselves musically at and beyond school. 

  • Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression 

  • Improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music 

  • Listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory 

  • Understand the ways in which music can be written, including notation, to support performing and composing activities  

  • Show an appreciation and respect for a wide range of musical styles from around the world and will understand how music is influenced by the wider cultural, social, and historical contexts in which it is developed. 

  • Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians whilst developing an understanding of the history of music.  

Pupils will leave St Mary’s equipped with a range of knowledge and skills that will enable them to succeed in their secondary education and be able to enjoy and appreciate music throughout their lives.