Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. 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. (The National Curriculum)

At St Joseph’s, we are aspiring musicians.  Our curriculum promotes curiosity and a thirst for learning. It is ambitious and we want our children to have high musical aspirations.

We encourage our pupils to be successful and to build resilience.  We want our pupils to: learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another and to appreciate what they have.


Music teaching at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School aims to follow the specifications of the National Curriculum; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum and ensuring the progressive development of musical concepts, knowledge and skills. At St Joseph’s we believe that music plays an integral role in helping children to feel part of a community, therefore we provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music both in class and to an audience. Through assemblies and key stage performances, children display their talent and their understanding of performing with awareness of others. We follow the Charanga Music scheme to provide lessons that enable children to develop their skills, appreciate a wide variety of music and begin to appraise a range of musical genres.

The aims of our Music curriculum are to develop pupils who:

  • Enjoy and have an appreciation for music.
  • Listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, cultures, styles and traditions.
  • Can sing and use their voices to create different effects. · Create and compose music, both on their own and with others.
  • Use a range of musical language.
  • Make judgements and express personal preferences about the quality and style of music.
  • Take part in performances with an awareness of audience.


Music teaching at St Joseph’s delivers the requirements of the National Curriculum through use of the Charanga scheme of work. Teachers follow the suggested scheme of work, although adaptations can be made using the ‘freestyle’ element of the package to substitute units deemed to be more appropriate for thematic learning in other curriculum areas. Music lessons are broken down into half-termly units and an emphasis is placed on musical vocabulary, allowing children to talk about pieces of music using the correct terminology.

Each unit of work has an on-going musical learning focus and lessons usually follow a specific learning sequence:

  • Listen and Appraise
  • Musical Activities (including pulse and rhythm)
  • Singing and Voice
  • Playing instruments
  • Improvisation / Composition
  • Perform and Share

Children in KS2 benefit from whole class specialist teaching, delivered by a skilled musician from Edcentral Music Services. These lessons allow children the opportunity to learn to play an instrument as part of an ensemble and to engender a love of music learning. Throughout the sessions the interrelated elements of music are developed. Once the children have learnt some musical pieces, we then invite their families into school to watch class performances. This gives the children the opportunity to perform their rehearsed pieces to an audience. Through the Edcentral service children of all age groups are also given the opportunity for piano or violin lessons.

Performance is at the heart of musical teaching and learning at St Joseph’s and pupils participate in a range of performances during their school ‘career’. These include nativities (KS1), Easter performances (Years 3 – 6) and our annual Music Talent Show, which allows us to ‘showcase’ the musical talents of our children. We also ensure our children are aware of a diverse range of music and give them opportunities to explore music from around the world. Children partake in ‘African Drumming’ and ‘Indian Dance and Music’ workshops, which give them practical opportunities to explore and perform music from different cultures.


Our Music Curriculum is planned to demonstrate progression, build on, and embed current skills. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills in the different musical components and teaching of vocabulary forms part of the units of work. If children are achieving the knowledge and skills in lessons, then they are deemed to be making good or better progress.

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Pupil discussions and interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
  • Governor monitoring with our subject music link governor.
  • Annual reporting and tracking of standards across the curriculum.
  • Photo and video evidence of the pupil’s practical learning and performances, which children appraise.
  • Use of the assessment tools provided within the Charanga scheme (Plan, Do, Check, Review).

Music in Early Years

Within the EYFS setting, music is an integral part of children’s learning journey. Rhyme and rhythm are utilised throughout the learning of phonics, handwriting and mathematics. Children learn a wide range of songs and rhymes and develop skills for performing together. Singing and music making opportunities are used frequently to embed learning, develop musical awareness and to demonstrate how music can be used to express feelings. We also ensure children have many opportunities to explore the sounds of the natural world around them.