school children children playing guitars

Our music lessons cover the four main aspects of music; performance, composition, notation, and listening to music and history of music. Teaching in all four areas ensures that the children learn a variety of skills, which are built on and developed as they move up through the school. We pride ourselves in giving the children plenty of opportunities to perform for others. Children in all year groups are taught how to play tuned instruments, including the glockenspiel and the recorder, and here they develop their reading and recording of music. They learn how they can change sounds for effect and how to compose their own pieces with focus on pitch, volume and tempo. Furthermore, the children listen to a range of music and are then given the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings.

We work very closely with Newcastle Music Service and therefore each week, children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 take part in singing sessions. In Key Stage 2, all children learn to play African drums and Bamboo Tamboo, and then perform for the rest of the school. They also have the opportunity to learn guitar, violin or keyboard in school at a group rate.

To celebrate music and further the children’s knowledge of music from different times and cultures, a ‘Composer of the Month’ is now chosen. The Brunton Voices share information about our current musician with their class, and the school listen to and enjoy their musical pieces during assembly times.

Our Aim

At Brunton First School, we believe in fostering a vibrant and inclusive musical environment that nurtures each child’s innate musicality and creativity. We encourage pupils to develop a love of music by performing on instruments, singing, composing and listening to lots of different kinds of music in our curriculum lessons. Our music curriculum is designed with the intent to instil a lifelong love and appreciation for music, while providing a solid foundation for musical skills and understanding. We strive to provide a range of other musical opportunities and make sure that families know where to find out about activities that happen outside of school. Our music curriculum is thoughtfully designed to embrace our key curriculum drivers; Oracy, Metacognition, and Community, as we recognise the profound impact that music education can have on a child’s holistic development.


Our music curriculum places a strong emphasis on developing pupils’ oracy skills. Through vocal exercises, discussions about musical concepts, and presentation opportunities, pupils will enhance their ability to articulate thoughts and express themselves verbally. Music, as a language, serves as a powerful medium for communication, and we aim to cultivate confident communicators who can articulate their musical preferences, thoughts, and experiences with clarity and precision.

Successful Lifelong Learners (Metacognition):

Pupils are encouraged to reflect on their musical learning journey, assess their progress, and set goals for improvement. Whether it’s analysing their own musical performances, exploring different learning strategies, or reflecting on the emotional impact of music, metacognition is embedded in every aspect of our curriculum to foster self-aware, adaptable, and independent learners.


Our music curriculum is designed to promote a sense of community through collaborative musical experiences. Group performances, ensemble activities, and shared musical projects are integral components that encourage students to work together, appreciate each other’s contributions, and build a supportive musical community. We believe that music has the power to unite individuals, and our curriculum reflects our commitment to fostering a sense of belonging and shared achievement among our pupils. Additionally, community outreach initiatives are incorporated to connect our school with the wider community, allowing pupils to showcase their musical talents and contribute positively to the local cultural landscape. By instilling a sense of responsibility and empathy through musical engagement, our curriculum aims to nurture not only individual musicians but also contributors to a broader, harmonious community.

At Brunton First School, we believe in fostering a vibrant and inclusive musical environment that nurtures each child’s innate musicality and creativity. Our curriculum is structured to build essential musical skills from the early years. Through a sequential and developmental approach, students will learn the foundations of rhythm, melody, harmony, and basic music notation. Practical activities, such as singing, playing instruments, and movement, will be integrated to enhance their musical understanding.

At Brunton First School we aspire to foster a lifelong love for music while nurturing well-rounded and confident individuals. Our Brunton children will succeed in their next education journey at middle school because they will have experience of cultural diversity, musical technology, performance opportunities and allow creativity to ignite which will develop their resilience, social interaction and ability to cope in different situations.

Connect with the World – Our curriculum embraces the cultural diversity of music. Pupils will explore music from different parts of the world, learning about various traditions and musical practices. This global perspective aims to broaden their understanding of music as a universal language that transcends boundaries.

Performance opportunities – We believe that performing is an integral part of musical development. Pupils will have regular opportunities to showcase their musical achievements, through informal class presentations, assemblies, or more formal events for example Gosforth voices, The Big Gig, djembe drumming ensemble. These experiences aim to boost confidence, self-expression, and a sense of achievement

Inspiring creativity – We aim to inspire and ignite the creative spark within every child. Through a diverse range of musical experiences, pupils will have the opportunity to explore various genres, styles, and cultures. Children are encouraged to play and listen to a range of music and play instruments from glockenspiels, guitar, piano, violin, ukulele to the recorder.


Each lesson is designed to develop children’s appreciation and enjoyment of music and will include opportunities to listen to and appraise a wide variety of music, including nursery rhymes. Teachers will introduce the concepts of pitch, pulse and rhythm.  Regularly music lessons will include freedom and opportunities for the children to experiment musically and compose music with tuned and un-tuned instruments in response to a theme, eg. fairy tales and artworks. Children develop turn taking skills with their instruments and enjoy opportunities to perform for each other.


Each lesson will include opportunities to listen to and appraise music from a wide variety of genres, types and different cultures from around the world. Teachers will explain concepts using clear musical vocabulary which will be built upon throughout the children’s musical education. There will be clear communication of the inter-related dimensions of music, particularly focusing on pitch, pulse and rhythm, while introducing dynamics and tempo.  Children will read simple musical notation and use it to play percussion instruments. Regularly, music lessons will include freedom and opportunities for the children to compose music and choose appropriate instruments to capture an effect. Co-operation and turn taking will also be encouraged through group work as well as the opportunity to perform within the class. This will lead into the children giving and receiving feedback on their own and others performances.


We work very closely with Newcastle Music Service and therefore each week, all Year 2 children learn to play the recorder and all Year 3 and Year 4 children learn to play the ukulele and then perform for the rest of the school. They also have the opportunity to learn guitar, violin or keyboard in school at a group rate.

A typical lesson in EYFS and Year 1: –

  • Listen and appraise music from a wide range of traditions.
  • Body and vocal warmup that develop pulse (moving to the beat), pitch (call and response singing) and rhythm (tapping syllables in words)
  • Practise previously learned songs
  • Teach new song (direct modelling of new song or skill through speaking words then introducing pitch)
  • Time for children to rehearse the song/section or technique taught.
  • Children are invited to create their own music based on a theme and share what they have learned

Additionally, Year 1 pupils:

  • Rehearse and learn to accompany music through playing a simple melodic part on Glockenspiels.
  • Experience regular opportunities to compose using glockenspiels, percussion instruments and digital technologies.
  • Children have time to share what they have learned and reflect on what they did well and what could be improved next time.
  • Begin to follow simple musical notation looking at simple graphical representations of music but progressing to more formal notation of rhythm and melody in Key Stage 2.

A typical lesson Year 2 and KS2: –

  • Active listening exploring a variety of styles of music, followed by questioning around the elements of music
  • Instrumental warm-up reinforcing good posture, correct hand positions and making the best sound possible
  • Rehearsing and performing a couple of different pieces to develop progression in the instrument
  • Short improvisation/composition activity exploring the notes learnt on their instrument.

In Music assessment is continuous. From the beginning of every lesson, teachers will be assessing what their pupils are, or are not understanding and use this to scaffold each segment of the lesson. Target groups will be both planned for and ‘live’, meaning that misconceptions are dealt with immediately and high attaining pupils are challenged appropriately.

EYFS and Year 1

In Reception and Year 1, assessment of music focuses on nurturing early musical exploration and development, emphasising pupils’ engagement in playful musical activities, including singing, movement, and listening, while observing their responses to rhythm, melody, and basic musical concepts.

Year 2 and KS2

In Years 2, 3, and 4, assessment of music evolves to include a broader range of musical skills and knowledge. Pupils are assessed on their growing proficiency in singing, playing instruments, understanding musical elements, and demonstrating creativity through composition and performance, fostering a deeper appreciation for music within a structured learning environment. It also involves evaluating pupils’ ability to play instruments with accuracy, expressiveness, and musicality, fostering their technical proficiency and understanding of musical concepts through hands-on experience and practical application.

The Head teacher and Music subject leader play a central role in the monitoring and evaluation of the quality of teaching and learning across all year groups.

The monitoring strategy:

  1. Pupil voice is conducted to ascertain how children feel about their learning.
  2. Lesson ‘drop ins’ and observations take place in all classes throughout the year.

The subject leader is responsible for monitoring attainment and progress, the outcomes of which are collated in the subject leadership folder and fed back to staff at an appropriate time.

Through this implementation strategy, we aim to provide our children with a high-quality music education that equips them with the knowledge, skills, and values they need to become informed, responsible, and engaged citizens.

Ultimately, our Music curriculum intends to empower pupils to become well-rounded individuals with a deep appreciation for the arts. By providing a rich and diverse musical education, we aspire to lay the foundation for a lifelong journey of musical discovery, creativity, and expression. Through our intentional and comprehensive approach, we aim to cultivate a community of music enthusiasts who carry the joy of music with them throughout their lives.

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Year 2

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Year 4

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