Our Curriculum Intent for Music

Click here for our Music Policy 2023

 At Avening Primary School, we believe that music enriches the lives of people. Music is a unique way of communicating that can inspire creativity, personal development and motivation. It is a vehicle for personal expression and plays an important part in helping children feel part of a community. Music is an important entitlement to all children at Avening Primary School. We provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music, to develop the skills to appreciate a wide variety of musical forms, and to begin to make judgements about the quality of music.

 “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Plato


‘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 in England, September 2013)

 Our overarching aim for Music is to promote a high level of understanding of skills and knowledge.   

 In line with the National Curriculum, we aim to ensure that all children:

  •  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.


The Music curriculum at Avening Primary School is built around the statutory content of the 2014 National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Music is a foundation subject; the National Curriculum programmes of study require children to be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. By the end of Key Stage 2, they should have the opportunity to develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.

At our school, the content of the curriculum is taught around a rolling programme of cross-curricular themes. Each theme has a guide for time spent on Music, as well as the other subjects, to ensure that the whole curriculum is broad and balanced, and that enough time is spent building music skills throughout the school. Within each theme, teachers decide when Music skills are best taught. Lessons may be weekly, or teachers may decide to ‘choreograph’ a more creative and cohesive pathway through the content, where learning may be blocked.

The school has a carefully planned scheme of work which develops all aspects of the music curriculum. This involves singing, composition and performing in all phases. By the end of Key Stage 1, children are introduced to formal notation and learn to play tuned instruments using the music scheme Charanga as a starting point. These skills are developed in Key Stage 2 and whole class woodwind tuition with peripatetic specialists is offered to all children in Years 5 and 6.

An overview of knowledge and skills taught is below:



Year A

Year B







Key Stage 1

In and Around Avening:

Charanga – Hey You/ Rhythm in the Way We Walk – identify pulse and rhythm


Christmas production - performing


Introduction to percussion instruments; timbre and dynamics -  composition and performance

Dens and Dandelions:

Composition and performance: Introduction to formal Western notation – crochets, quavers, rests


(Charanga – Round and Round/ I Wanna Play in the Band)

Fire and Ice:

Charanga – Hey You/ Rhythm in the Way We Walk – identify pulse and rhythm


Christmas production - performing

Saints, dragons and a Castle:

Introduction to percussion instruments; timbre and dynamics -  composition and performance

Animal Magic:

Composition and performance: tuned percussion


(Charanga – Zootime/ Friendship Song)


3 and 4

The Savage Stone Age:

Charanga – Stop (Anti-Bullying Week) – focus describing music using musical vocabulary


Christmas production - performing

Rotten Romans:

Tuned percussion – formal Western notation


(Charanga – Glockenspiel 1)

Tour de France:

Composition and performance


(Charanga – Blackbird/ Three Little Birds)

Feeling Fit:

Charanga – Lean on Me – focus on describing music using musical vocabulary


Christmas production - performing

Rivers and Mountains:

Tuned percussion – formal Western notation


(Charanga – Glockenspiel 2)

Mighty Olympians:

Composition and performance


(Charanga – Bringing Us Together/ Mamma Mia)


5 and 6


Charanga – You’ve Got a Friend – focus on describing music using musical vocabulary

Christmas production - performing

Vicious Vikings:

Composition and Performance – formal Western notation

(Classroom Jazz 1)

We are the Future:

Class ensemble - woodwind

Star Gazers:

Charanga – I’ll Be There – focus on describing music using musical vocabulary

Christmas production - performing

Hola Mexico:

Composition and Performance – formal Western notation

(Classroom Jazz 2)

Doctor, Doctor:

Class ensemble - woodwind


In addition to the cultural enrichment opportunities identified on the scheme of work, an eclectic programme of music is introduced to the children during assemblies, with powerpoint slides about the genre or composer. The music often supports the value in focus, the time of year, or a topic being studied by the children. Recent choices have included folk music by Jonas and Harbottle - The Headscarf Revolutionaries, Vaughan Williams’s ‘The Lark Ascending’, Allegri’s Miserere and One Republic’s ‘Truth to Power’. The children have regular opportunities to hear Handel’s Messiah, as well as other significant composers.


Every year, all children take part in a whole school musical. In EYFS and KS1, this is a nativity; in KS2, a commercial musical is used. This sees all children sing in a group and perform to an audience, with opportunities for solo performances in all Key Stages, as well as percussion accompaniments.

Enrichment opportunities are also an important part of our musical offer, with children visiting the theatre (in 2019, Matilda at The Hippodrome and A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic) as well as musical recitals (Clare Hammond at Tetbury Goods Shed).



Within the EYFS, the specific area of ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ encompasses a range of early music skills and knowledge.

 In the Revised Early Years Foundation Stage, expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

 Music reflects the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage:

  • playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
  • active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
  • creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things

 Continuous provision in the EYFS is resourced and facilitated to ensure that opportunities for early musical skills and knowledge are developed.

 Within objective-led tasks, children are encouraged to build a repertoire of songs and dances, as well as explore different sounds of instruments.



At Avening Primary School, Music is a key area for enrichment and we encourage as many children as possible to take part in musical activities outside of music lessons.

 The Young Voices performance in Birmingham is also a highlight for our singers, seeing children performing in the world’s largest children’s choir – something we see as an importance offer in a small school. Children eligible for the pupil premium are always offered a space on this exciting experience.

 As part of our peripatetic offer, we have guitar, violin and piano teachers providing lessons. In addition, as Avening has a brass band, a member of the band runs a club open to all children in KS2.


Extra-curricular opportunities include a Young Voices club in the autumn term, then Orchestra club in the spring and summer terms. In our orchestra, we have children playing a variety of instruments such as the violin, trombone, guitar, ukulele and glockenspiel, supported by staff and parents on the flute and cello.


The culmination of our work in music is our annual Musical Soirée, which sees children perform on their instruments and singing. The school orchestra performs. In 2019, this included performance of an extract from one of the BBC ten pieces this year: DvoÅ™ák’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor.