Music at Finstall First School

Our curriculum leader for Music is Mrs K Harrison and she can be contacted via the school office using the email address


Our Music Rationale 



At Finstall First School, children receive a broad, balanced music curriculum which is accessible for all and follows the aims of the National Curriculum for Music for children in Ks1 and Ks2.


  • 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.


In the Foundation stage, Music and singing are part of the learning area of the Expressive Arts and Design.  The curriculum has been designed for children to explore and be creative with their voice and instruments and learn simple songs and nursery rhymes and to start to discuss their feelings about music


We encourage an ethos where children have the opportunity to be explorative and creative with music in a supportive and caring environment. We aim to inspire children with exciting and fun Music lessons which allow children to develop their love of this subject. We also see the benefits of Music for promoting team work, confidence and improved self-esteem as well as developing their independence and resilient skills which are part of our whole school curriculum philosophy. As a school, we see the importance of Reading and through Music we are able to further develop children’s reading skills by providing opportunities for the children to read song words during class Music lessons or during assemblies. We also acknowledge and value the many benefits of music in helping children’s mental health.


The music curriculum at Finstall First School has been designed around the interrelated dimensions of music which have been identified in the National Curriculum: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure. These are taught in a systematic and sequential way which are progressive.

 (Please see the Whole school Music curriculum map and Music skills map).

The first unit for the start of the academic year is about duration as we believe that understanding this musical element is crucial in order to understand and develop their knowledge of the other musical elements.  Children develop their skills as singers, performers, listeners and composers throughout these interrelated dimensions.  During their school life, they develop their knowledge of a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians.  Children use non-standard musical notations in Year 1 and Year 2 and standard musical notation is introduced during year 3 and year 4.

Children are taught a discrete Music lesson each week lasting 30-40 minutes.  Children are taught the interrelated dimensions of Music in each of these lessons with one/two elements as the focus for the half term.   There is one half term during the year where children are taught the skills of singing and performing as part of their year group production rather than discrete music lessons.  These take place in Reception, year 1 and year 2 in the 2nd half of the Autumn term, Year 3 in the 2nd half of the Spring term and in Year 4 in the 2nd half of the Summer term.

All children have a weekly Singing session. One for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 and a separate session for Years 3 and 4.  These sessions allow for children’s singing skills to be developed and is led by the subject leader.  These sessions also allow the interrelated dimensions of Music which are currently taught in Music lessons to be further developed through singing. 


Instrumental lessons:

 All year 3 and year 4 children have the opportunity to play the recorder and are taught weekly.  In these lessons, children further develop their musical knowledge and the interrelated dimensions of Music and they begin to read standard notation.

Children in Years 3 and 4 are also given opportunities to play the following instruments- violin, guitar, clarinet and keyboard lessons.  Lessons are provided by instrumental teachers from Severn Arts.  Children who play an instrument have the opportunity to perform to their parents at a termly concert in the Spring and Summer terms. Children who have private instrumental lessons outside of school are also invited to perform as well.


School Choir

All year 3 and year 4 children have the opportunity to join the school choir which meet weekly. They perform termly in front of the school, their parents and the wider community.



During assemblies children listen to music from different musical periods including the works of the great composers as they enter and leave the hall at the start/end of the assembly. They are encouraged to listen and reflect on the music they hear and questions are asked and facts given to develop the children’s knowledge of music and musicians from different genres.   

Assessment of Music:

Assessment is carried out on an ongoing basis with a final judgement made at the end of a half termly unit against the key information and skills to be committed to long term memory for that half termly unit.  A judgement is made against whether a child is working towards, working at or working at a deep level of understanding.