Milton St John's Church of England Primary School

Milton St John's Church of England Primary School

  1. Curriculum
  2. Music


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” – Plato


At Milton St. John’s, our intention is for all children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. We are committed to developing a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life. We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.

We aim and strive to foster originality and creativity using Music as a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity as a means of communication. Innovation and sensitivity to personal feelings and attitudes will permeate the school environment to embrace each child's spiritual, moral, social and academic abilities so that they all have the opportunity to SHINE in the love of God.

The musicians at Milton St. John’s will…

• 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

Our curriculum drivers underpin all we do and are an essential part of our learning. The drivers help our children to ‘RISE’ up and play a vital role in their community; locally, nationally and globally. They are listed below:

• Respect for the opinions and beliefs of others
• Independence & Resilience
• Spirituality
• Engagement & Curiosity


At Milton St Johns Primary School our intention is to provide a Music Curriculum which offers our children the opportunity to engage in musical experiences crucial for the development of the whole child. Through playing, creating, singing and performing, our children develop confidence, communication, thinking and creative skills. All pupils can develop their understanding and our music curriculum is designed to be accessible to all, as we believe that all our pupils can achieve in music. At our school, children have access to music through regular classroom activities and formal music lessons, as well as to co-curricular opportunities such as singing practise, assemblies, and peripatetic music lessons, wider performance opportunities with other schools, choir, church services and whole school music events.

Our intent is to:
• Build a music curriculum that is progressive and builds on previous learning.
• Promote a love of music and singing across a broad curriculum.
• Teach music in a progressive and enjoyable way, through Charanga, Kapow and in Key Stage 2 with Music teacher specialists.
• Teach the music curriculum in an experiential, practical way.
• Encourage children to participate in opportunities to demonstrate a love of music and to showcase their skills.

The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all children:
• perform, listen to, review and evaluate music
• be taught to sing, create and compose music
• understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated



At Milton St John’s Primary School, our music curriculum ensures that children sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is implemented in classroom activities as well as through our peripatetic lessons and performances.
Teachers make informal judgements as they observe pupils during lessons and give oral feedback as necessary to inform future progress. Singing and performances are at times videoed to evidence learning and celebrate the pupil’s achievements. Pupils are also encouraged to make judgements about how they can improve their own work.
Our children can experience music in many different ways:
• Whole School Music – hymn practice, collective worship, church visits, choir, assemblies – zoom and in school.
• Class performances such as Christmas carol concerts and Easter service provide an opportunity for children to perform a range of songs through music and also play instruments.
• School events such as Year 6 productions, Christmas Productions, Harvest Festival and School Leavers Assemblies also provide opportunities for whole school shared music making with particular songs being learnt, prepared and performed for these special days.
• Wider world events such as Young Voices.

Classroom Music
In the Early Years, music is incorporated consistently into daily routines, indoors and outdoors and is used to enhance teaching of the EYFS curriculum. In Key Stage 1 year groups follows a variety of projects from the Charanga and Kapow schemes of work, which cover different areas of the music curriculum and this supports teachers to ensure coverage, subject knowledge and skills are being effectively taught.
In Key Stage 2 music specialist teacher are contracted for teaching music who also provide and deliver a range of enrichment sessions throughout the school. These sessions involve lessons with musical instruments, music technology, singing, performing arts, acting as well as the history of music.

As part of the vision for Milton St Johns, every child has an opportunity to experience instrumental playing (tuned and untuned instruments), either as an individual, in a small group or as a whole class.
Tameside Music Service and our Mossley Hollins brass teacher provide whole class lessons across Key Stage 2 and Tameside Music Service also provide small group/individual tuition for Brass, Woodwind and String instruments for parents that wish their children to have extra tuition.

Performance opportunities include school productions, assembly performances and local community performances and events.

The music curriculum ensures children sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom through the use of experts from the Tameside Music Service (TMS) and our Brass Teacher, as well as the weekly singing assemblies, various concerts and performances, musical clubs and teaching from specialist music teachers. The elements of music are taught in the classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language of music to dissect it, and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. In the classroom children learn key aspects of music through cross-curricular links. They also learn how to compose, focusing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music. Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument.

Key stage 1

During KS1, pupils will be taught to:
• Use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
• Play tuned and untuned instruments musically
• Listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
• Experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.


Key stage 2

During KS2, pupils will be taught how to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.
Pupils should be 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.

Early Years Foundation Stage
During the EYFS pupils explore and use a variety of media and materials through a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities. In music, the following Early Learning Goals (ELG) are focussed on.

ELG 16
Exploring and using media and materials: Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.

ELG 17
Being imaginative: Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.


Music assessment is ongoing from specialist teachers from TMS and the class teachers observations. Some evidence is recorded of performances, singing and events.

Music enriches the lives of everyone, and so we wish to involve as many children as possible in musical activities. Through the rich opportunities that our music curriculum offers, when children leave Milton St John’s Primary School they will have built a love of music and have increased levels of self-confidence. The different genres of music they are exposed to will provide great inspiration to help them with their own compositions, developing them as a listener, creator and performer.


Click here to view our Music Progression Map.