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At Harold Wood Primary School (HWPS) we aim to provide a high-quality music experience which is realistic and aspirational for all pupils. We embed the ethos that “Music is for everyone; we can all achieve in Music”.

We aim to engage and inspire our pupils to develop confidence at practising, performing and sharing music, communicating and experimenting in a creative way. We want pupils to use music to help express their emotions and feelings and to reflect on the impact that music has on their own and others’ lives. We aim to support pupils to develop a critical engagement with music and to celebrate diversity and different cultures.

We provide a balanced curriculum which provides children with the knowledge and skills of the three pillars of music: composing, performing and listening.


The aim of our music curriculum is for pupils to:

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 interrelated dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations


All pupils are taught to

  • play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the interrelated dimensions of music
  • listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
  • use and understand staff and other musical notations
  • appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
  • develop an understanding of the history of music



The Charanga Musical School Scheme is used to deliver music lessons in all Year Groups, on a regular basis. This provides teachers with week-by-week lesson support for each year group in the school. It is ideal for specialist and non-specialist teachers and provides lesson plans, assessment, clear progression, and engaging and exciting whiteboard resources to support every lesson. The curriculum ensures pupils’ progression of skills and knowledge, both within a year and from one year to the next. The Scheme supports all the requirements of the national curriculum and provides an integrated, practical, exploratory and child-led approach to musical learning. The interrelated dimensions of music weave through the units to encourage the development of musical skills as the learning progresses through listening and appraising, differing musical activities (including creating and exploring) and performing.

Each Unit of Work comprises the strands of musical learning which correspond with the national curriculum for music:

  1. Listening and Appraising
  2. Musical Activities: a.) Warm-up Games     b) Optional flexible games   c) Singing    d) Playing instruments    e) Improvisation    f) Composition
  3. Performing

Instruments are well resourced in school and pupils are also encouraged to bring in their own instruments to lessons. Peripatetic lessons of guitar, keyboard, drums and ukulele are also offered to pupils.

Further opportunities for listening to and appraising different genres of music are provided by a structured Listening Calendar in weekly assemblies.


The impact of music teaching at Harold Wood Primary will be shown by an incremental, sequential musical learning. By following the model of a spiral curriculum, the quality of pupils’ musical skills and knowledge will show development over time.


In order to measure the impact of our curriculum, the following are used at Harold Wood Primary:

  • Formative assessment throughout lessons
  • Discussion and feedback from pupils about their learning
  • Evidence folders for each class on the school’s network. Photographs and videos of performances in class are uploaded to these
  • Subject leader monitoring
  • Subject Leader liaises with and supports staff
  • Displays
  • Uptake of pupils participating in peripatetic lessons and Choir, and performing to audiences.


Progression of skills and knowledge in Listening and Appraising, Games, Singing, Playing, Improvisation, Composition and Performance

We had a visit from Chris and Sophie, professional musicians who guided us through 'A Brief History of Music' from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century.

These are the programmes of study for Music in KS1 and KS2.

Want to know how different musical instruments work?

Want to know how Music has evolved over time?