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St James' CofE Junior School

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Music is about engaging and inspiring pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians through first hand experiences of learning an instrument and listening to live and recorded music.


It gives children new skills and self-confidence through learning to play instruments and exploring different genres of music and their features. It helps develop their self-expression and creativity through exploring sounds instruments make but also the sounds they can make using their bodies and when composing their own music.


Without it they would not be able to develop their knowledge of music, apply their creative skills and develop a greater understanding of how sounds are made and used to communicate ideas and emotions with others including a large audience.


It feeds into our curriculum intent by giving children the first hand experiences that provide them with opportunities to explore and talk about different musical genres and to give their own opinion on music whilst developing specific musical vocabulary and knowledge. Learning is carefully planned to ensure children are given a chance to learn to play a variety of musical instruments as well as the opportunity to apply the vocabulary, knowledge and skills they have learnt.


Music is taught across the whole school from our youngest children Year 3 to those in Year 6. Our curriculum ensures that children progressively learn new knowledge and skills so that they become competent musicians.


Our curriculum ensures that our children:

  • Perform, listen to and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, style and traditions, including the works of great composers and musicians.
  • Learn to sing and use their voices, to compose their own music with others, have the opportunity to learn an instrument (mainly in KS2) and begin to use technology appropriately.
  • Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notation.

In addition, children are given opportunities to learn a variety of musical instruments and perform what they have learnt to an audience either in school or in a public place. Some of the places that children visit are the local shopping centre, Resorts arena in Birmingham, play with the Halle orchestra in Derby.


As the children progress through the school, they learn simple notation in KS1 and Year 3 and this develops into musical notation in Year 4, 5 and 6 which is applied to musical instruments. So far, the children have learnt hand bells in Year 3, clarinet in Year 4 and brass in Year 5 and some have continued this in Year 6. Music is linked to many other curriculum areas and is used in other lessons such as where a famous musician is from and how they have changed music.


Please click here for our curriculum progression grid for Art and Design, detailing the essential knowledge and skills our children will be taught and assessed from Year 3 to Year 6.


Useful websites this explores classical music for children. It has a tune of the week with some information about it. It also allows children to explore composers, play music game and explore different periods of musical history. Give information about musical instruments in their groups and introduces the children to the orchestra. explore early musical instruments and how these have developed over time. explores world music and instruments. BBC bitesize guide to music and musical terminology. exploring the orchestra and listen to orchestra playing music. general information about musical instruments, genres and how to read notation