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 At Heather Garth Primary Academy, it is our intent that we make music an enjoyable learning experience. We encourage pupils to participate in a variety of musical experiences, through which we aim to build up the confidence of all pupils. Music is a unique way of communicating, it is a vehicle for personal expression, and it can play an important part in personal and cognitive development.

Our teaching focuses on developing pupils’ ability to understand rhythm and follow a beat as there is strong evidence for the positive impact of this on mathematical ability. Pupils also develop descriptive language skills in music lessons, when learning about how music can represent different feelings, emotions and narratives. Through singing songs, pupils learn about the structure and organisation of music. We teach them to listen and to appreciate different forms of music. We also teach technical vocabulary such as volume, pitch, beat and rhythm and encourage pupils to discuss music using these terms.

Our objective at Heather Garth Primary Academy is to develop a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life. We aim to engage, motivate and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians.

At Heather Garth Primary Academy, we recognise that achieving mastery in Music means gaining both a deeper understanding of musical skills and concepts whilst also learning something new. The progression documents ensure the curriculum is covered and the skills, knowledge and vocabulary taught are progressive from year group to year group.



 We follow the specifications of the National Curriculum (2014); providing a broad and balanced curriculum, ensuring progressive development of musical concepts, knowledge and skills. The curriculum ensures pupils sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom activities as well as the weekly singing assemblies, seasonal performances and after school clubs.

In the EYFS, music and movement form a valued part of every-day learning. Through a variety of singing games, songs, rhymes and listening activities, children learn to recognise and recall songs, pitch-match and begin solo and small group singing. EYFS children begin learning ensemble skills by exploring percussion instruments. In the Early Years, listening opportunities are planned to develop children’s ability to listen attentively and to move to and talk about music. Through regular opportunities to listen to music, children are supported to notice and respond to a steady beat by singing, tapping, dancing or using instruments. Children are supported to express their feelings about music and to understand that their response is personal and valued. As they progress from Foundation1 to Foundation 2, children are taught to discuss changes and patterns in music. Children learn a range of songs and develop their ability to match the pitch of another person to follow the melodic shape of the song. In Foundation stage, children are given opportunities to play instruments to express their feelings and ideas. They are encouraged to create their own songs using their own ideas and inspired by familiar songs. In both FS1 and FS2, children are exposed to music from across the world.

In KS1, weekly curricular music lessons allow pupils to learn about pitch, pulse and rhythm. Pupils learn how to play musical instruments correctly and with control. In doing so, they build on their understanding of rhythm and how to read basic music notation as well as the principle of creating notes. Pupils are encouraged to experiment with their own music making through simple picture notations to graphic scores and rhythm patterns. The singing-led curriculum helps pupils to discover and develop their singing voice and ensemble skills on a range of classroom instruments, through opportunities to create and perform their own compositions to the class. The Year 1 and 2 curriculum also exposes pupils to a diverse variety of music.

KS2 music lessons build a strong musical foundation for all pupils. Pupils develop their appreciation for music and the key role it plays in shaping cultures all over the world. A good understanding of musical theory and notation are developed through exploring new genres of music (classical, pop, musical theatre, jazz and blues). They also learn how to compose in KS2 focusing on different dimensions of music and developing their notation skills further. Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument.

Throughout school, pupils are taught to use vocabulary associated with key musical concepts with precision and confidence. Vocabulary related to pitch, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure enables pupils to analyse and reflect on music they listen to and create. Pupils are taught to understand that these elements work together in an interrelated way to give musical expression.

Singing is a highly-valued part of our music curriculum. Pupils are explicitly taught to sing with increasing accuracy, control, fluency and expression through the Barnsley Singing Strategy. Singing together in assemblies is a joyful and intentional practice opportunity and the benefits of singing and music for pupils’ wellbeing are highlighted and promoted. Our KS2 school choir gives pupils opportunities to share their singing skills with the wider school community and beyond.

To support teachers in the delivery of music the Sparkyard scheme of work is used from FS2 through to Year 6 to ensure a wide exposure to different genres of music, with lots of practical opportunities to explore and develop as musicians and singers. Music lessons are broken down into half-termly units and flexibility is provided to enable teachers to choose appropriate lessons and follow pupil’s current interests.

We are also developing good links with Barnsley Music Service and Barnsley Youth Choir. We enjoy welcoming musicians and singers into school to deliver workshops and instrumental lessons. This also encourages pupils to take part in out-of-school musical activities in our local community such as Barnsley Youth Choir.



 Pupils develop a love of music

Pupils develop a good sense of rhythm

Pupils listen to and recognise a variety of music and music styles

Pupils recognise elements of music such a pitch, tempo, dynamics

Pupils perform to others with confidence

Pupils can play untuned and tuned instruments

Pupils recognise different forms of notation from graphic scores to standard notation

Pupils feel confident to experiment and improvise

Pupils can compose their own music

Music is monitored by the music subject lead regularly to ensure intended outcomes are successfully achieved. The music specialist delivers training to staff to ensure teachers feel confident delivering music lessons to their class. Pupils are encouraged to showcase their abilities regularly in assemblies to their peers, at parent events or at seasonal performances. Whilst in school, pupils are encouraged to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon. Pupils have opportunity to enjoy music in as many ways as they choose- either as listener, creator or performer. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts. They can sing and feel a pulse. They have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.


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Heather Garth Primary Academy

Billingley View
S63 8ES

01709 894149

[email protected]

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