Subject Curriculum Vision

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. 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. At Birley Primary Academy, we are committed to children developing a life-long appreciation of all genres of music and experience the positive effect music can have underpinned by professional live musical experiences to engage and inspire.


Aims of The National Curriculum

The National Curriculum for Music aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
  • learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
  • understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

Teaching of the Curriculum

Details about how Birley Primary Academy deliver our Music Curriculum can be found in the information below:

  • At Birley Primary Academy, Music is taught through weekly 40 minute sessions across Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
  • Music lessons are above all practical in nature and focus on developing musicality through regular engagement in active listening, performing musically, improvising and composing.
  • Each year group completes 4 half termly blocks of work – each one focusing on a different element of music making. These are rhythm, pitch, singing games and playing an instrument.
  • To support consistent delivery and clear progression, we use the Active Music Scheme. This scheme also ensures that once skills are introduced, they are regularly repeated and consolidated throughout all of the subsequent units and applied within a variety of musical contexts. In addition, opportunities to develop understanding of notation, improvisation and composition skills are interwoven within each of the four units.
  • The final two half terms use units selected from the Music Express scheme. This is to enable the children to apply the musical skills and musicality in a more creative way using varied stimuli as a starting point. The units are chosen carefully to enhance and build upon learning in other curriculum areas.
  • The final strand of our compulsory music education is our programme of weekly active listening sessions, each lasting 20 minutes. Each year group follows a carefully developed plan which aims to expose children to a diverse range of musical genres and musical traditions, while gradually increasing their understanding of Western Classical Music.
  • The sessions draw upon the repertoire suggested within the Model Music Curriculum document and are designed to ensure that children revisit some key periods, traditions and composers as they move through school.
  • All sessions incorporate some key repeated questions to support teachers with developing critical analysis and progressive vocabulary banks are used to help children to build their knowledge and skills.

Learning Experiences

What is the breadth of learning experiences provided for our children?

  • Quality First Teaching
  • Quality Resources
  • Playing a Brass Instrument
  • Opportunity for Music Lessons
  • Quality Live Music – Music Hub Musicians
  • Visits / Visitors
  • Experiences – Halle Orchestra, Performances
  • Young Voices Choir


What resources are used to support the teaching and learning of this subject?

  • Range of percussion instruments
  • Schemes of Work – Active Music, Music Express
  • Sheffield Music Hub WOPS


Our music programme encourages children to enjoy music as listener, creator or performer. Children will develop the skills to evaluate music they hear, as well as express opinions using musical vocabulary. They will gain an understanding of how music is created and communicated, and in turn be able to create and communicate their own music. Through music we want the children to develop self-confidence, the ability to interact with and be aware of others and gain a sense of achievement through their musical endeavours. Our varied musical programme allows the children to learn to self-evaluate; discovering areas of strength as well as areas to develop. Music at Ford gives the children the opportunity to discover talents, interests and passions on which to build in their futures.

How do we monitor the impact of our Music curriculum?

At Birley Primary Academy, our music curriculum is planned to demonstrate progression and build on and embed current skills. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills in the different musical components and teaching of vocabulary also 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.

Our music curriculum is high quality, thoroughly planned and delivered to establish progression. We review the impact and progression of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Pupil discussions and evaluations about their progression and learning
  • A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes
  • Termly reporting and tracking of standards across the curriculum
  • Reviewing curriculum coverage and adjusting accordingly
  • Evidence of work through photos, videos, performances. 

Readiness for Next Stage of Education

We endeavour to ensure that the sequence of content enables our children to progress whilst they are with us whilst also providing our pupils with the necessary foundations to build upon as they progress into secondary education and beyond.

Promotion of British Values and SMSC

Through our Music curriculum, we aim to promote British values by making cultural links between musical elements in topic work, and by exposing children to a broad range of music from our country’s rich and varied cultural tapestry.

Further to this, our Music curriculum is also driven by SMSC development and this can be exemplified in the following ways;

  • Promoting communal singing so that children can feel a sense of community, cohesion and teamwork
  • By developing appreciation of music from a wide range of cultures and languages
  • By evoking feelings of awe and wonder through music


Music Overview

Music Listening Overview

Music Skills Progression