Gargrave Road, Skipton, BD23 1PJ
01756 709451

Subject Lead: Miss Calow



At St. Stephen’s Catholic Primary School and Nursery, we recognise that music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. We aim to engage and inspire pupils to develop their love of music and encourage individuals to participate in a range of musical lessons to support them in developing their talents.

We make music an enjoyable learning experience. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build up the confidence of all children. Our teaching focuses on developing the children’s ability to sing in tune and with other people. Through singing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music. We teach them to listen and to appreciate different forms of music from different eras. We focus on past and present composers alongside our music scheme CHARANGA.

As children get older, we expect them to maintain their concentration for longer and to listen to more extended pieces of music. Children develop descriptive skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent feelings and emotions. We teach them the disciplined skills of recognising pulse and pitch. Also, we teach the children how to work with others to compose music and perform for an audience.


Aims of 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.


Music teaching at St. Stephen's School delivers the requirements of the National Curriculum, and teachers plan lessons using our school knowledge and skills document and the Charanga scheme of work. Teachers tailor the Charanga units to
fit around key stage performances and can use the ‘freestyle’ element of the programme to provide thematic, cross curricular lessons to enhance other subjects. Music lessons are broken down into half-termly units and an emphasis is placed on
musical vocabulary, allowing children to talk about pieces of music using the correct terminology.

Each unit of work has an on-going musical learning focus and lessons usually follow a specific learning sequence:

  • Listen and Appraise
  • Musical Activities (including pulse and rhythm)
  • Singing and Voice
  • Playing instruments
  • Improvisation / Composition
  • Perform and Share

Music teaching is practical and engaging. Lessons typically involve a combination of the following: listening to music and discussing music, games, songs, playing a range of musical instruments, performing back, finding the pulse and composing music. Music teaching provides our pupils with an understanding and appreciation for music, by studying a wide range of musical styles and genres from a range of musical periods. Glockenspiels are used in music lessons for playing along
to backing tracks and for performing compositions which require pitch.

Performance is at the heart of musical teaching and learning at St Stephen's School and all pupils participate in a key stage performance throughout the year: Early Years and Key Stage One take part in a Christmas Production, Years 3 and 4 do an Easter
Production and Years 5 and 6 do a Summer Production. Pupils also take part in assemblies, singing assemblies and pupils in Key Stage 2 perform at our annual carol concert at St. Stephen's Church. Pupils who are confident are also encouraged to perform in solo performances. 

Alongside our curriculum provision for music, pupils also have the opportunity to participate in additional 1:1 music teaching by being offered the opportunity to learn a musical instrument with our peripatetic teacher. Instruments include: guitar and accordion.  


The children at St. Stephen's School will have developed a love of music. Their skills in all aspects of music will have progressed in order to have made good progress against the National Curriculum objectives. As well as this, they will have had the opportunities to participate in a range of wider opportunities for music both in school and in their local community.
Our music curriculum is high quality and is planned to demonstrate a progression of knowledge and skills in the different musical components as well as the vocabulary used when talking about music. If children are achieving the knowledge and skills in lessons, then they are deemed to be making good or better progress. Teachers use Charanga to inform their ongoing assessment and three times a year it is recorded on O track whether children are working at, above or below expectations.

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Pupil discussions and interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
  • Photo evidence and images of the pupils’ practical learning.
  • Video analysis through recording of performance in lessons.
  • Summative assessment of pupil’s learning three times a year.
  • Exam results from pupils who play a musical instrument.