BerkswichCE Primary School

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Berkswich CE Music Policy


Click on the file below to download our music policy. Alternatively, scroll down to read an online copy. Please do feel free to speak to our music lead or your child's teacher if you would like to discuss any aspect of this policy.

Legal framework

This policy has due regard to statutory guidance, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • DfE (2013) ‘Music programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2’ (please see The National Curriculum page found via the Learning tab on the school website (
  • DfE (2017) ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage’ (please see Early Years area found via the Learning tab on the school website (


The intent of the music curriculum

Our music curriculum is shaped by our whole school vision and curriculum intent, which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability, additional needs, to flourish and excel - to become the very best version of themselves they can possibly be.

At Berkswich CE Primary, we value music because it is a powerful and unique form of communication that can change and impact the way in which children feel, think and act. Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. An engaging music education should inspire children to sustain a life-long love of music and enhance their talent as musicians. Our curriculum is designed to increase each child’s self-confidence and aspirations, recognising the way in which music can play an important role in the personal development of each child. Learning at Berkswich CE aims to inspire and motivate children to continue with a life-long delight and involvement in music.

As children progress, our intent is that the curriculum enables all children to develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose and listen with discrimination to the best in the musical cannon. Children develop a greater appreciation of the world we live in, by understanding both their own and different cultures and societies through music.

Our music planning is cumulative with a coherent progression of interconnected knowledge and skills, purposefully driving forward each child’s musicality. It is ambitious for all groups, including SEND. Greater depth opportunities are available for every learner to reflect our high expectations; indeed, challenge is relished in music, providing opportunities for children to be tenacious and build resilience.

The curriculum is supported by research, recognising that the impact of participation in the arts is positive; improved outcomes have been identified in the core subjects. Practice is informed by findings which suggest that this effect, on average, is greater for younger learners and, in some cases, particularly beneficial for disadvantaged pupils. Wider benefits are reported to include more positive attitudes to learning and increased well-being (Education Endowment Foundation).


The implementation of the music curriculum


  • Meeting the aims of the national curriculum

Berkswich CE delivers a rich, broad and balanced music curriculum, in line with national requirements, which aims to enable pupils to:

  • 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.


  • Key concepts (elements)

Planning in school is structured systematically and in line with the Entrust Primary Progression in Skills Map: this ensures that units are in line with our school approach of a concept-driven curriculum. Although a unit may have a particular context, the learning progress is within all of the inter-related music processes (Performance, Composing and Improvising, Aural Awareness and Reflecting and Evaluating). In this way, knowledge and skills related to the other concepts (elements) in music (e.g. pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations) are progressively developed. We recognise the interconnected nature of the concepts in music and the way in which these weave throughout the units covered each half term.


  • Music in the Early Years (EYFS)

In Nursery and Reception, all children are taught music as an integral part of the learning covered during the academic year. All musical objectives within the EYFS are underpinned by the objectives of the early learning goals (ELGs). The music curriculum in the EYFS is delivered with particular reference to the ELG16 – exploring and using media and materials, which enables children to:

    • Sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of developing the sounds and movements used.
    • Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
    • Use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes.
    • Represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.

The Kodály approach with Solfa (see below for further details) is purposely used throughout EYFS to develop the children’s ability to use their inner hearing. Lessons are well-paced with key elements repeated with increasing levels of complexity. Teachers use each child’s voice as their own instrument to develop their understanding of pitch, pulse, rhythm and dynamics. Provision in the Early Years provides further opportunities for children to test out their learning, apply it in new situations and extend their knowledge and skills further.

  • Music in Key Stage One and Two

At the end of EYFS, Jolly music follows seamlessly into Year One and Year Two where the technical and practical experiences progress repetitively. Alongside this progression, children have further opportunities to compose, learn a wide range of songs for different purposes and refine performances ready for an audience. Throughout Key Stage One, the voice is valued as an internal instrument – one with which children can effectively learn many transferrable skills. In Key Stage Two, all children learn to play at least one instrument. They continue to follow a progressive framework providing breadth and depth to enable all to be involved in building skills and knowledge related to performance, aural awareness, composing and reflective thinking. Please see the school website ( to view our school overview.


  • Teacher subject knowledge

We do not follow a scheme; instead, the needs of our children are met through using the best of resources such as the BBC Ten Pieces, Music Express, Jolly Music (Kodály approach with Solfa). The support materials that have been chosen ensure that teachers have full access to expertise when planning; these can maintain the integrity of the music curriculum whereby the children’s increasing musicality remains at the heart of all planning.

Through CPD provided by the music lead, support from members of the musical community and self-learning, teachers are equipped with the necessary subject knowledge. For example, members of the Manchester Camerata work alongside staff and pupils to compose and perform, bringing with them a wealth of experience and technical expertise.


  • Learning sequence and repetition

Teachers know their children’s prior learning, and are mindful of their own end points in relation to the expectations contained in subsequent years. Please see the school website to view our whole school overviews.

To ensure that pupils embed key concepts in the long-term memory, these are repeated within each year and throughout every year group. This repetitive approach means that children have opportunities to revisit, apply and extend what they have already covered to ensure that learning is both cumulative and permanent. We believe that this is the best way for children to develop the knowledge and skills needed for mastery of a subject.

In EYFS and Years One and Two, children have access to a structured and consistent Kodály approach with Solfa which enables them to develop their musical ‘ear’ and better learn pitch relationships. The consistent use of Solfa syllables facilitates memorisation and helps the mind to recall the exact distance between intervals with greater ease. By practicing with Solfa patterns, singers improve their ability to pitch every note accurately. For younger children, Solfa is a good introduction to stave notation (or staff music). They can make more rapid progress than if they start with the musical staff alone. Pairing hand signals with singing helps the children to physically understand the differences of high and low pitch. They start to see that every song follows the same patterns and as awareness increases, the children are able to perfect them more easily.

Please see the school website ( to view our school overview of learning.


  • The language of music

Teachers have high expectations of children to use discussion to further learning. Children are increasingly expected to give precise explanations, using technical and specialist terminology appropriately. Teachers model this practice, using the correct language within all learning. To support genuine understanding of the associated vocabulary, the Kodály approach with Solfa acts as a precursor to more technical vocabulary. For example, using terms such as rhythm names (ta, ti-ti), singing names (sofia) and heartbeat (pulse) means that the understanding is deeply rooted before the technical terms are phased in during Year One and Year Two.


  • Cultural capital

In every year, our school curriculum includes examples of music styles and genres from different times and places, including the classical cannon. These are explored through the language of music via active listening, performing and composing activities, which enable understanding of the context and genre.

Children regularly enjoy rich and meaningful experiences to listen to a range of more experienced musicians. These include performances from:

  • pupils
  • peripatetic teachers
  • visiting groups, such as the Manchester Camerata
  • members of the teaching staff
  • parents
  • high school teachers

Please see the school website ( to view our school overview of wider experiences.


  • Greater Depth

Berkswich CE is ambitious for all pupils; challenge is a part of every child’s learning. We provide Greater Depth pupils with the opportunity to extend their musical thinking through planned opportunities to broaden and apply their learning within contexts of increasing complexity. Greater Depth pupils also benefit from providing peer support and having to problem solve and articulate their own understanding in order to encourage learning in others.

Professional musicians are regularly invited into school to perform in order to encourage the children to be aspirational and understand the impact of practice and resilience.


  • Instrumental tuition

Our peripatetic teachers, who come into school to teach individuals and small groups, give opportunities for children to learn and develop their skills from an experienced specialist teacher. These lessons include: flute, clarinet, violin, cornet, guitar and trumpet. All children learn to play the recorder through Year Three and Year Four; their skills are then applied in Year Five and Year Six through supporting younger peers and through composition.


  • Performing

Built into each year are numerous opportunities to perform in front of wider audiences and to sing or perform for a purpose. These include:

  • All years perform to parents at St. Thomas’ church at harvest time and Easter through the EYFS and KS1 celebrations, or the KS2 celebrations
  • EYFS and KS1 Christmas performance in school
  • Year One choir at Dora Rose Home
  • Year Three and Year Four Christingle service at St. Thomas’ church
  • Year Five and Year Six Christmas service at St. Thomas’ church
  • Year Three singers support the local community fun day
  • Year Five and Year Six musical production in the summer term
  • Year Four Christmas Tree Celebration concert for parents and the Stafford community
  • Every year group’s collective worship (assembly) for parents
  • Year Four recorder concert
  • Choir at Pyramid concert with local schools at Walton high school
  • Year Four Manchester Camerata (starting 2021) in school and at the County Showground
  • Year Four to Year Six Choir in Young Voices at Resorts World Genting Arena
  • Year Two singing to launch the WI annual event for the elderly in the community
  • Instrumentalists celebration performances each Summer term
  • Individuals and groups have regular opportunities to play during collective worship each week

Please see the school website ( to view our school overview of performances.


Roles and responsibilities

  • Governors

Berkswich CE Primary has a designated link governor who meets with the music lead at least once a year to find out about:

    • progress towards whole school improvement priorities
    • the school’s systems for planning units, supporting staff and monitoring progress
    • the allocation, use and adequacy of resources
    • the attainment and progress of all children
    • the children’s experiences of music and attitudes towards the subject


The curriculum governor will report back to the governing board.


  • The headteacher

Overall responsibility for monitoring the teaching of music throughout the school lies with the headteacher who will support the subject lead in continuing to develop:

  • how music should support, enrich and extend the curriculum
  • the provision and allocation of resources
  • the ways in which music can benefit the vision of the school

The headteacher will also be responsible for overseeing the review of this policy with the subject leader.


  • The music lead

The subject leader is responsible for:

  • preparing and reviewing policy documents, curriculum overviews and progressions for the subject which support the challenging demands of the national curriculum, the school’s curriculum intent and drivers, as well as the Berkswich CE Charter.
  • ensuring the continuity and progression from year group to year group and that learning is cumulative and ambitious.
  • keeping abreast of current thinking, research and policy changes which impact music in school and helping to develop colleagues’ expertise in the subject by leading staff training and providing staff members with the appropriate professional development
  • liaising with the high school music lead to ensure that provision is also tailored to the children’s needs when they move to their next school setting.
  • liaising with the named governor to report on progress and attainment in music
  • monitoring the learning and teaching of music, providing timely support for staff where necessary and ensuring that learning time is maximised.
  • carrying out audits of all music-related resources and organising their effective deployment and the purchase of additional resources as necessary.  
  • advising on the contribution of music to other curriculum areas, including cross-curricular and extra-curricular activities.
  • ensuring common standards are met for assessing children’s attainment and progress.
  • collating assessment data and setting new priorities for the development of music in subsequent years.



  • Responsibilities of the teacher

The classroom teacher, in collaboration with the subject leader, will ensure that the needs of all children are met by:

  • acting in accordance with this policy.
  • instilling a love of the subject and the confidence in each child as a musician.
  • being ambitious for every learner, including SEND and other vulnerable groups.
  • aiming to develop technical proficiency and conceptual understanding in parallel.
  • increasing confidence, sensitivity and creativity in pupils’ music-making.
  • taking responsibility to strengthen subject knowledge and seek support as necessary.
  • having a working understanding of the prior learning of children and the needs of subsequent years.
  • writing and constantly reviewing short-term plans, taking into account pupils’ needs and outcomes.
  • ensuring that planning is progressive and cumulative over the year and that it meets the wider curriculum intent for Berkswich CE.
  • focusing on the key concepts (elements) in music to enable the development of a deep structural knowledge and the ability to make meaningful connections.
  • providing opportunities for repetition to build long-term knowledge and skills.
  • guiding teaching assistants to ensure that pupils are effectively supported.
  • monitoring the progress of pupils in their class and reporting this on an annual basis to parents.
  • Reporting any concerns regarding the teaching of the subject to the subject leader or a member of the senior leadership team.


  • Responsibilities of The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo)

The SENDCo is responsible for:

  • advising staff how best to support pupils’ needs.
  • organising and providing any necessary training for staff regarding the music curriculum for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
  • advising staff on the inclusion of musical objectives in pupils’ individual education plans as necessary.
  • advising staff on the use of teaching assistants in order to meet pupils’ needs.


Music across the curriculum

In the school, music is taught both as a discrete lesson and as part of cross-curricular learning. When beneficial to both subjects, the music curriculum will provide opportunities to establish links with other curriculum areas, for example, composing using Audacity to refine captured sounds. The integrity of the music curriculum is upheld and furthered through meaningful, purposeful connections. 


The impact of our music curriculum

  • Assessment

Throughout the year, teachers will plan on-going assessment opportunities in order to gauge whether pupils have achieved the key learning objectives. Teachers constantly assess the children’s understanding, correcting misunderstandings. Teachers are responsive and alter planning accordingly to help children embed and use knowledge fluently and develop interconnected understanding rather than memorise isolated facts within a unit.  Formative assessment, which is carried out throughout the year, enables teachers to identify pupils’ understanding of subjects and inform their immediate lesson planning. Summative assessments may also be used at the end of a unit. Teachers will make a judgement about the learning of each pupil in relation to the national curriculum – the outcome of which will be recorded using OTrack (used by school to analyse and act on attainment and progress) and used to inform future planning.

The progress and development of pupils within the EYFS is assessed against the early learning goals outlined in the ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage’. For further information about assessment in EYFS, please visit our Early Years area found via the Learning tab on our school website (

Assessment will be undertaken in various forms, including the following:

  • Talking to pupils and asking questions
  • Discussing pupils’ work with them
  • Assessing children’s written outcomes against the learning objectives
  • Pupils’ self-evaluation of their work
  • Analysis of recordings
  • End of unit assessments

Parents will be informed about their child’s attainment in music during the Summer term every year. This will include information on pupils’ attitudes towards the subject. Verbal reports can be provided during informal meetings with parents throughout the year. The progress of pupils with SEND will be monitored by the SENDCo.


  • Where are we headed?

By the time children leave our school, they will have a rapidly widened repertoire of music history and of musical genres which they will be able to use to create original, imaginative, fluent and distinctive compositions.

This will be evident in our children through:

  • a musical understanding underpinned by high levels of aural perception, internalisation and knowledge of music, including high or rapidly developing levels of technical expertise.
  • a great awareness and appreciation of different musical traditions and genres.
  • an excellent understanding of how musical provenance - the historical, social and cultural origins of music - contributes to the diversity of musical styles.
  • the ability to give precise explanations, using technical and specialist terminology effectively, accurately and appropriately.
  • a passion for, and commitment to, a diverse range of musical activities.
  • a view of themselves as a musician, valuing the role of music within their lives and the world in which they live.
  • having learnt to play an instrument with a high, or rapidly developing, levels of technical expertise.
  • a working understanding of musical notation and how to compose and improvise with tenacity


  • Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
  • Pupils learn to work effectively with their peers and others, and build positive relationships.
  • Pupils learn to build their self-confidence through learning to play musical instruments and participating in musical performances.
  • Pupils learn to reflect on mood and senses through listening to and interpreting music.
  • Pupils develop an understanding of other cultures and develop positive attitudes through appreciating music from other societies.


  • Equal opportunities

All pupils will have equal access to the music curriculum. Gender, learning ability, physical ability, ethnicity, linguistic ability and/or cultural circumstances will not impede pupils from accessing music lessons. All efforts will be made to ensure that cultural and gender differences are positively reflected in lessons and the teaching materials used. Since historical examples from female composers are not as readily available as those for male composers, care will be taken to ensure that female composers are well represented through the curriculum (for example, in the ‘Trail Blazers’ units).

Policy Review

The music policy is reviewed bi-annually or sooner if required. A named member of the governing body is briefed to oversee the teaching of music, and meets with the subject leader to review progress. Any changes made to this policy will be communicated to all teaching staff.