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Music Curriculum

We were awarded the Sing-up Gold Award in 2013 - congratulations to St Mary's!  Music is a powerful, unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. It brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of culture, past and present, it helps pupils understand themselves and relate to others, forging important links between the home, school and the wider world.

At St Mary’s, our aims and objectives in teaching music are:

  • To develop all pupils’ ability to listen and appreciate a wide variety of music and to make judgements about musical quality.
  • To encourage active involvement in different forms of amateur music making, both individual and communal, developing a sense of group identity and togetherness.
  • To increase self-discipline and creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfilment.
  • To develop the singing voice and other musical skills (listening skills, aural memory and physical skills).
  • To identify different sounds and change and use sounds expressively in response to a stimulus.
  • To be able to discriminate between longer, shorter and higher and lower sounds and use them to create interesting sequences of sound.
  • To recognize the difference between pulse and rhythm and to perform with a sense of pulse.
  • To recognize different ways sounds are made and changed and to name and know how to play a variety of classroom instruments.
  • Be able to create, perform and analyse descriptive compositions that combine sounds movement and words.

How music is taught at St Mary's

Music in the Foundation Stage is taught through the Early Learning Goal “Creative Development” and is an everyday part of activities in the classroom as well as specific music sessions.

The children in Year 6 have weekly trumpet lessons, Year 2 children are taught recorder lessons every Friday and Year 3 and 4 children participate in African Drumming lessons on a Thursday.

In the rest of the school, music is usually taught in a whole class situation. Content is often linked to the topic being studied if at all possible. Each year group in school is involved in a major performance at some point in the school year and skills of performance will be covered in depth. YR,1 and 2 from Autumn half term working for the Christmas Presentation, Y3 and 4 from Spring half term working for the Easter Story and Y5 and 6 from May working towards the end of term musical.

The school practises and sings new hymns and songs together, especially for Mass, and listens to a wide variety of music at the beginning of each assembly.

It is our policy to encourage visits from musicians able to provide lessons for individuals on a “private lesson basis”. This has resulted in children learning to play flute, brass instruments, strings, guitar and keyboard. There are also lots of children learning to play the recorder with a visiting teacher.


School Choir

At St Mary’s, we have both a Key Stage 1 and a Key Stage 2 choir. The Key Stage 2 choir take part in many singing events throughout the year including ‘Young Voices’, the Junior Music Festival and singing competitions.

More recently, they were asked to perform on BBC Radio Swindon and were even invited to sing at a wedding! The Key Stage 1 choir is formed every year to take part in the Infant Music Festival in July.

Singing plays an important part of a child’s musical development and energises a range of activities throughout the school day. These include learning songs to aid learning as well as singing hymns and singing the daily meditation song. St Mary’s are currently working towards achieving the Gold Sing Up Award. In order to achieve this award, teachers are encouraging the children to be more reflective about their singing, thinking about ways to improve their technique and asking questions such as ‘was that good?’, ‘did we sing together? ‘Did we sing in tune?’ and ‘what can we do to make it better?’ The children also have the opportunity to create and compose original songs in a songwriting club.

The primary National Curriculum for England document and Policy for Music: