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Home Learning


Education isn't just about feeding the brain. Art and music feed the heart and soul – Julie Garwood

Curriculum Intent

At John Burns Primary School, our intent is to:

  • Provide a high quality, broad and balanced music curriculum.
  • Make musicians out of every one of our pupils, offering opportunities for live performance. Engage, inspire and challenge children through their music education.
  • Develop listening skills to review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, cultures, styles and traditions.
  • Give a voice to our children so that they may sing with confidence using their voices to create different effects.
  • Equip pupils with the skills to improvise and compose music, on their own and collaboratively. Give pupils the ability to make judgements and express personal preferences about the quality and style of music.   

Curriculum Implementation

Music in EYFS:

  • Through Expressive Arts, children are taught to sing songs, make music and dance. Children are given opportunities to experiment with ways of changing sound and develop an understanding of pulse, rhythm and pitch. They are also encouraged to use everyday objects to make music and create sound and to experiment with sound using objects made from different materials such as wood, metal and plastic.

Music at KS1 is divided into 3 strands:

  • Singing: Pupils are taught about pitch, range, responding to visual directions, tempo and dynamics including responding to directions whilst performing such as crescendo and decrescendo. They practise singing skills in fortnightly singing assemblies.
  • Composing and Improvising: Pupils are taught about rhythmic and pitch patterns; how musical notation represents sounds and how to create and improvise music.
  • Musicianship and Performing:  Learning around pulse and beat linked to tempo is taught to children. Pupils are taught rhythm: copying patterns and chants as well as performing their own creations. They are introduced to dot notation in order to recognise and match notes on a simple instrument.

Music at KS2 builds on learning in KS1 and is divided into 5 strands:

  • Singing: Pupils are taught to: sing in rounds, sing in unison, sing different time signatures, perform songs, move on to singing 3 and 4-part rounds and partner songs. They practise singing skills in fortnightly singing assemblies.
  • Improvising: Pupils are taught to: structure their musical ideas, refine the types of sounds made: staccato/legato, create music with a beginning/middle/end, make compositional decisions on their improvisations, incorporate dynamics and improvise in collaboration with other.  
  • Composing: Pupils are taught to: compose song accompaniments, combine known rhythmic notation to create rising and falling phrases, composing music to a specific mood or desire effect, use minor and major chords, explore more advanced features of notation and time signatures, through to composing melodies enhanced with rhythmic or chord accompaniment.
  • Instrumental Performance: Pupils are taught to: play and perform using tuned percussion or melodic instrument such as trumpet (Year 4), play melodies following staff notation, develop the skill of playing by ear and engage with other through ensemble playing or singing. Year 4 trumpet provision is taught by two trumpet tutors over 3 terms.
  • Reading Notation: Pupils are taught to: read music, follow rhythmic scores, read and perform pitch notation within an octave (Year 5), understand getting slower and faster and dynamic contrasts and read and play from notation a four-bar phrase.


  • All pupils develop and build upon their understanding of the history of music throughout KS2.
  • All KS2 classes have regular opportunities to sing in a mass choir performance at Fairfield Halls in Croydon (Winter Sounds and Spring Sounds concerts).
  • The KS1 and KS2 music curriculum is taught and delivered by a special music teacher from the Wandsworth Music Service. 
  • Click here to view the Music Curriculum Progression Map. 
  • Enrichment opportunities are available for all pupils through peripatetic music lessons on piano, guitar or violin.  Assessment is carried out through a range of means: performances, recordings, pupil voice and self-assessment, written work and participation in events.

Curriculum Impact

At John Burns Primary School, our pupils: 

  • Will become confident, proficient, creative musicians who enjoy playing and performing music. Have benefitted from meaningful, memorable musical learning experiences that will last a lifetime.
  • Experience of meeting and working with musicians from the world of music.
  • Develop proficiency with a musical instrument as well as with reading and creating music. Have high aspirations, which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life.