Music Policy


Parklands Primary School

 Music Policy





Music contributes to a broad and balanced arts provision for all pupils and is taught as part of the National Curriculum. It will outline the purpose, nature and management of how music is taught in our school and will inform new teachers of expectations.



Aims and objectives


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.


It is the aim of this policy that the needs of all children are met so they can reach their full potential in music and enhance their understanding of related subjects such as dance. Pupils should be enabled to grow in their awareness of music and the ground should be laid for the further development of skills in the future. In order for children to fulfil their full potential, a music specialist teaches music lessons across the school.


Music is a unique way of communicating which can both inspire and motivate children. At Parklands Primary School, staff members encourage children to be creative, imaginative and responsive. Music provides the opportunity for personal expression and it can play an integral part in the personal development of an individual. Music reflects our culture and society and the teaching and learning of it enables children to better understand the world in which they live. It is also important in helping children to feel that they are part of a community.


Music is a subject which complements and supports other areas of the curriculum. It is known to improve children’s memory, concentration, co-ordination and confidence.

At Parklands Primary School, we provide many opportunities for children to experiment for themselves and contribute to the musical life of the school. All children are involved in performances, which enhance self-esteem.


Curriculum organisation




Music for EYFS students has a primary focus on singing and movement, developing the student’s listening abilities, physical co-ordination, inner/outer ears, motor-neuron skills, memory, aural awareness, and singing skills.


Each student will lead the class in singing, and all will learn to be led by their peers. Songs are linked to class topics when appropriate. Students are accompanied by a backing track allowing for more diverse tumbrel palette and more direct approach to guiding students with actions.


There is an annual Christmas show that the students rehearse for and perform in. This involves singing, actions and speaking. It is an integral part of the EYFS curriculum.





In KS1 we currently use the Music Express scheme of work for music as the basis for our curriculum planning.  The Music Express scheme builds upon prior learning.   While there are opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each teaching unit, the progression planned into the scheme of work means that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school.


The Music Express scheme of work links to the objectives in the 2014 National Curriculum.  Teachers also have access to other ideas and resources and are expected to adapt any published materials used to meet the needs of their pupils.


We also encourage cross-curricular links, ensuring music is taught as a holistic part of the curriculum where possible. Children are also given the opportunity to develop their understanding of the styles, genres, history and traditions of music through the creative thematic approach taught in KS1.




The Music National Curriculum is delivered through the activities of performing, listening, appraising and composing. Lessons seek to provide a balanced programme that ensures the children progress from year to year.


All children, have the opportunity to learn instruments within their lessons: year 3, recorders; year 4, the ukulele; year 5 and 6 drums and ukulele.


Children are actively encouraged to read music as well as playing by ear and from memory. Music is taught weekly throughout the year by a music specialist and provides strong links to other areas of the curriculum, particularly through singing and composition.


The emphasis is upon performing, composing, listening and appraising. Through these activities, pupils develop their skills as performers and as informed members of an audience. Using a range of instruments, children are able to experiment and links are made between this and pupils’ previous musical experience, ensuring progression. Pupils may work as a class, in groups or individually in these lessons.


Listening to recorded music is an important aspect of every lesson. At times the music selected may take foundation topics into account, but musical progress is paramount. Pupils have chances to compose using the same programme and various internet websites. Throughout Years 4, 5 and 6, children are taught about major composers and significant historical periods in music (eg: baroque). They also learn about music from other cultures.


The National Curriculum for music offers opportunities for performance and pupils are encouraged to present their work with an audience in mind. Other children, who are the audience, are encouraged to listen attentively with consideration for performers. Compositions may be recorded and performed in class, in assembly or as part of other performances for children and parents.


Teaching and Learning


Our children are given as much practical experience of music as possible, supported by factual, informative teaching. The children have access to regular opportunities to learn about and explore music through performing, composing, listening and appraising. We provide all pupils with a supportive atmosphere in which to develop their music skills.

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 inter-related 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.


We offer learning opportunities that build on pupils’ previous experiences. Children can link their experiences of composition to those listening to recorded or live music and learn with confidence and curiosity about the music of various ages and origins.

Children who already receive more formal instrumental tuition, often from peripatetic staff at school, are happy to improvise and compose using their instrument, or any other instruments.


Where possible, and where relevant, links should be made to other curriculum areas. Links should only be made, when the links will enrich the music curriculum.



Roles and responsibilities of the subject leader


  • To support and guide the practice of the music specialist;
  • To ensure coverage, continuity and progression in planning;
  • To monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of music teaching and learning;
  • To update documentation where necessary;
  • To produce action plans for the School Development Plan, prepare bids and manage the music budget effectively;
  • To liaise and consult with outside agencies where appropriate;
  • To prepare and lead INSET;
  • To attend relevant INSET training;
  • To review regularly the contribution made by music to a meaningful curriculum;


Equal Opportunities and Inclusion


Music plays an important part in the life of our school. It is available to every child and all children take part in musical activities; making a positive contribution to the life of the school and local community. Activities both within and outside the classroom are planned in a way that encourages full and active participation by all children, matched to their knowledge, understanding and previous experience. Children have equal opportunities to develop their understanding and enjoyment of music regardless of race, gender and ability. Equal emphasis will be given to the roles of both girls and boys in music. Every effort will be made to ensure that activities are equally interesting to both genders.


Music from all cultures is valued and teachers ensure that all pupils have access to resources that do not contain racial or ethnic stereotypes. Teachers ensure that the curriculum is appropriate for the needs of the children. Opportunities for music making and performing in public are made available to all, on occasions such as concerts and special celebrations. These help to develop feelings of self-worth and identity. Using pupil premium we actively encourage disadvantaged pupils to learn an instrument and we provide free tuition and free instrument hire.


We strive hard to meet the needs of those pupils with special educational needs, those with disabilities, those with special gifts and talents, and those learning English as an additional language. Where a child’s progress falls significantly outside the expected range, they are provided with an Individual Educational Plan (IEP). This IEP is taken into account in enabling children with special educational needs to access and engage with the music curriculum. Factors such as classroom organisation, teaching materials, teaching style, differentiation are taken into account to enable the child to learn more effectively.


In catering for our gifted and talented pupils we provide them with the challenge and support they need to maximise their potential through teaching and learning activities that specifically cater for their above average musical needs. In this way we offer opportunities for enrichment and extension activities in existing music lessons, and possibly in additional or different lessons.



Assessment, Attainment and Progress


In KS1 the Subject Leader’s plans should indicate the focus for each unit of work and assessment opportunities will be identified. The teacher will assess the child’s work on a continual basis in order to match their ability to the level of descriptions in the National Curriculum. These provide enough information to inform the next teacher of progress made, and to be of use in preparing the annual report to parents.


Before each unit, teachers establish the pupils’ level of knowledge, understanding and skills. These assessments are used to refine planning to make it suitably challenging.

Children are given verbal feedback throughout their unit of work. Comments are written on teacher plans which apply to the learning objective and planning is evaluated. Teachers then adjust plans to reinforce knowledge and understanding or further extend pupils knowledge.


Photographic evidence or pieces of work are kept by each year group. These are used for future plans and to aid the pupils understanding.



In KS2 the music specialist assesses each class on a weekly basis, linked to the National Curriculum requirements for music. This is provided to the class teachers so that they are also aware of their class’ progress in each area of music.


Assessment, Recording and Reporting


Coherence of assessment across the school is supported by discussion and consultation between staff. Gathering evidence of pupil attainment is an integral part of assessment, which is built into the schemes of work. Target Tracker is also a key element of assessment, allowing progression in each class to be clear and concise.


Teachers can also obtain evidence by direct observation of children at work, questioning pupils or listening to their conversations, and by ensuring photographs and recordings of their finished products are obtained during lessons.


In KS1 each class has a music project book which contains examples of work and photographs from music lessons taught.   An example of work is selected from each lesson and presented in this book which is displayed in each class. These demonstrate what the expected level of achievement is in music for each age group in the school.

The music leader monitors teaching and progress in music by:


  • Informal discussions with teachers, LSAs and children;
  • An annual resource audit;
  • Assessing work and progress;
  • Observing lessons;
  • Photographic and video evidence;
  • Assessing through Target Tracker




There is a large selection of instruments available at Parklands. The school is committed to expanding present equipment wherever necessary and possible, and to organising human and physical resources, with the aim of motivating both staff and pupils to take part in musical activities.


Teachers are responsible for ensuring the safety of the children during the lesson by instructing them in the safe and appropriate use of any equipment. The school as a whole is responsible for the general care of the instruments during the lesson by instructing the children in the correct use of the instruments and by replacing them safely after use. The music specialist should report damage to instruments to the Music Leaders as soon as possible.


Health and Safety


The health and safety of our pupils is of great importance. Therefore, the following guidelines will be followed in order to ensure our children’s safety:


  • Instruments will be checked regularly to ensure that they are in good repair and of good quality. All splintered or rusty instruments will be thrown away immediately.
  • Children who are taught to play a wind instrument will have an individually labelled instrument and so there will be no need for sharing.
  • Wind instruments (e.g. recorders) will be sterilized before they are reissued to other pupils.
  • Heavy instruments will be stored at an easily accessible height which will prevent the need for any climbing.
  • The school’s piano will only be moved by an adult member of staff.
  • Where children are to participate in activities outside the classroom, for example external performances and attending musical events (e.g. Christmas Carols in Romford) a risk assessment will be carried out prior to the activity, to ensure that the activity is safe and appropriate for all pupils.





This policy is monitored through:

  • Regular monitoring and evaluation of planning;
  • Evaluation and analysis of assessment evidence;
  • Lesson observations to monitor the quality of teaching and implementation of planning;
  • Pupil interviews and questionnaires


This policy is reviewed by staff and governors every two years. Parents are most welcome to request copies of this document and comments are invited from anyone involved in the life of the school.


Date: 7th October 2021

Updated by Sara Squire and Elizabeth Gilley

Next review: October 2023