At St John’s, every pupil has a weekly classroom music lesson with our specialist music teacher.  From Reception to Year 6, these weekly lessons are an hour long.  We also have a weekly half-hour-long singing collective worship for all children in Years 1 to 6, and there are many other opportunities for children to extend their musical learning throughout the school.

Our music curriculum engages and inspires pupils to develop both in musical knowledge and skill.  Our curriculum is in line with the EYFS Early Learning Goals and the National Curriculum and is informed by the Model Music Curriculum and recent research on classroom music pedagogy.  Following the example of the Model Music Curriculum, our curriculum is divided into four strands: singing, listening, performing and composing.

Singing is taught in every music lesson at St John’s. We want every pupil to leave St John’s with a love of singing and confidence that they can sing well.  We want to ensure that pupils are exposed to a wide variety of vocal music, both sacred and secular, both old and modern.

Listening is explicitly taught in each year group, normally in the Autumn Term.  Pupils are exposed to Western music from the last thousand years up to the present day, and to music from other traditions and cultures.

Performing on particular instruments is taught in every year group, normally in the Spring Term.  At St John’s, pupils are given long periods of time to learn the same instrument, so that they have a chance to develop technique and more automaticity.  In EYFS, pupils have a whole half term to learn each piece of classroom percussion.  From Year 1 upwards, pupils learn four different instruments, each for at least two whole terms.  They are taught different kinds of notation, including staff notation, and are taught that practice is a key part of learning a musical instrument.  We also partner with Tutti Music Ltd., who provide instrumental tuition in pairs and small groups.  Currently, over 70 children are learning a musical instrument either at lunchtime or after school.

Composing is taught in every year group, normally in the Summer Term.  Since composing is a highly complex, composite skill, composition fits into our curriculum only once pupils have already learnt to perform on the instrument for which they are composing.  Children are given creative stimuli and explicitly taught good compositional technique, such a sequences and basic counterpoint, whilst also being given freedom to express themselves through their own compositions.

This is a diagram showing what a typical year in music looks like, including how the four strands of music build upon each other:

These are the instruments and notations that are taught in different year groups and key stages:



What is a Music Mark School?

The Music Mark School nomination system allows music hubs and services across the UK to nominate schools who they believe have shown a commitment to providing high-quality music education. This could mean beginning to incorporate more music into the curriculum, starting an extra-curricular music group, or having a highly active music department; a nomination simply means that your local music service has recognised your school’s commitment to music and wants to celebrate it.