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Barrow Hill Academy

Barrow Hill Academy



At Barrow Hill Primary Academy, we understand that Music is a universal language that can inspire and motivate children, playing an integral part in their personal, social and academic development, also providing opportunities for creativity and expression. It is important for children to learn about the concept of a musical identity to grow as an individual and also develop an appreciation of the world that we live in. Learning in Music provides a gateway for developing this understanding and appreciation of different cultures and societies. Not only this, but being exposed to a wide variety of musical genres and traditions allows a coherent understanding of how music has played an integral part in cultural history and influenced society.

Music Curriculum Intent

In line with the National Curriculum requirements, we use the Charanga Music School Scheme in order to deliver a broad and balanced Music Curriculum across every year group. This scheme of work allows children to:

  • Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of great composers and musicians.
  • Learn to sing and use their voices.
  • Create and compose music on their own and alongside their peers.
  • Have the opportunities to learn a musical instrument, use technology properly and 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 Curriculum Implementation

All children at Barrow Hill Primary Academy are involved in weekly Music lessons from Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to Year 6 using the Charanga Music School Scheme of Work with a class teacher. This is in line with the National Curriculum and Ofsted guidance, which moves away from the learning objective/outcome approach to an integrated, practical, exploratory and child-led approach to musical learning. Instead of segregated learning objectives for each lesson, the inter-related dimensions of music weave through the units to encourage the development of musical skills in a metacognitive approach resulting in a deeper understanding of concepts and skills.

First Hand Approach

Music lessons at Barrow Hill Primary Academy allow children the opportunities to work in a variety of different ways i.e. individually, group or whole class. The aim is for the children to learn through first hand experiences, allowing them to experiment with and develop a vocabulary of music. This all takes place alongside discussion and feedback encouraging the development of critical and evaluative thinking.

Equal Opportunities

All children at Barrow Hill Primary Academy, regardless of race, religion, age, gender or ability are given the opportunity to participate in Music lessons and will be supported and encouraged throughout their learning journey.

Long Term Plans

As a school we use the Charanga Music School Scheme as a two-year rolling programme, which provides continuity and progression across the school. It allows pupils to develop key musical skills. Termly plans are created and shared with staff, detailing the genre of music, key concepts and intended unit outcomes.

Teaching and Learning

Each unit is divided into six sessions allowing pupils to develop a rich understanding of the genre of music being explored. Each session is divided into three sections:

  • Listen and Appraise

Each unit focusses around a particular song that the children will rehearse and have the opportunity to perform. In addition to this, the scheme provides an additional song in each session relating to the genre to listen, appraise and make comparisons. This provides discussion opportunities relating to the inter-related dimensions of music and structural language to develop musical vocabulary.

  • Musical Activities
  • Warm up games
  • (Optional) flexible games – to be used for additional consolidation of skills
  • Singing
  • Playing instruments
  • Improvisation
  • Composition
  • Perform

Teachers should use the one-page lesson plans for each session alongside S plans (to map out the journey of learning) noting down a learning focus area for focussed assessment purposes. For each of the sections it is recommended that Class Teachers highlight the appropriate activities for that session and use the notes to provide reference for specific teaching points and vocabulary. Assessment opportunities should be noted down prior to the session along with focus children. Teachers will then record their evidence and observations as appropriate for the session. Additional guidance about vocabulary and learning intent can be found on the corresponding in-depth lesson plans provided by the Charanga scheme.

Cross Curricular Opportunities

To raise the profile of the subject further, teachers are encouraged to allow the children to apply their skills within other areas of the curriculum, such as:

  • Computing: opportunities to use digital music facilities to compose for a purpose.
  • English: song lyrics as a form of poetry; Non-chronological reports and research based on composers or cultures being studied; using character voice to understand timbre or descriptive narrative based on a piece of music being listened to and appraised.
  • Humanities: Studying music from a particular culture or time period to gain a richer social understanding to compare to their own musical identity and culture.
  • Maths: Understanding pulse and rhythm as patterns; understanding that music has a basis of numerical sequences giving the children security in their counting skills.
  • PE: the use of music in the dance and gymnastics area of the curriculum and recognising how the timbre and other inter-related dimensions of music promotes different types of movement.
  • Art: the link between audio and visual and associating pitch and dynamic through artistic skills such as colour, texture and shape.
  • Science – link to the Sound objectives.
  • MFL – learning vocabulary through music and singing.
  • Through discussions, children will be able to develop their understanding of the fundamental British Values, through increased tolerance and mutual respect of different cultures and traditions as well as the opinions and views of other individuals.

Additional Opportunities

In addition to Music learning within lessons, children are able to participate in additional rich musical experiences such as visits to live performances, school singing assemblies, after-school clubs and school productions. Children are also encouraged to participate in musical activities outside of school such as, learning to play a musical instrument.

Progression and Differentiation

The Music lessons at Barrow Hill Primary Academy are designed to follow all aspects of the National Curriculum for Music. The progression within Music lessons represent an ever-increasing spiral of music learning and follow the Charanga Music School’s Scheme of Work which covers all the requirements of the National Curriculum in an integrated, repetition-based way. Key skills, concepts and vocabulary are introduced, built upon, revisited and developed further throughout the whole school journey ensuring coherence in musical learning from EYFS to Year 6.

Charanga lessons offer a flexible approach and may be adapted to meet the needs of pupils within the class. Meeting individual needs within the class can be offered using the available differentiated tasks, such as an instrumental part with fewer or more notes involved; composing a piece of music in graph form or using musical notation. (The exception is the warm up activities, that should be followed in a systematic way e.g. Bronze, Silver, Gold).


If deemed appropriate by the Class Teacher and SENDCO, Charanga offers a specific SEND Scheme of Work which follows the skills and development defined in the P scales. These sessions are designed to be led in smaller intervention groups for SEND pupils to develop confidence, listening skills, co-ordination skills, be creative and be in a small enough group to meet their individual needs.

Facilities and Resources

Every classroom within school has access to a SMART Board in order to deliver the Charanga Music School Scheme. Where appropriate, the children also have access to iPads in order to access their individual YUMU accounts, as well as music producing apps and digital instruments.

In line with the scheme, the school has a class set of Glockenspiels as well as access to recorders.

In addition to these, the school has access to a class set of Ocarinas, as well as a wide range of tuned and untuned percussion instruments.


Both Formative and Summative Assessments are recorded by Class Teachers and are an ongoing process through the journey of learning and can be evidenced in a variety of different ways such as: written work in Music books (compositions, listening and appraising activities, highlighted knowledge organiser by the children during a unit of work); Teacher observations and discussion that would be noted down on the planning document; or recordings (taken by the teacher of solo, group or whole class performances, warm up activities).

The Formative assessment is used to support high-quality, in-depth teaching and therefore informs subsequent teaching and learning. In order to achieve this depth of understanding, the key knowledge and skills are built into the sessions with a repetition-based approach. For example, in the warm up activities, the bronze, silver and gold challenges within a unit will be worked through systematically at a pace deemed appropriate by the Class Teacher. The Formative assessment will typically involve qualitative feedback within the Music lesson to ensure maximum impact on learning.

Summative assessment will take place alongside the children in class to comply with the child-led approach. Alongside teachers using their evidence to reflect upon the knowledge and skills contained within the unit overview documents, children should also use their knowledge organiser to self-reflect on their learning journey within a unit.

Learning is regularly communicated with staff and parents via Class Dojo, where performance videos, pictures and work that the children have produced will be uploaded.

Music Curriculum Impact


  • Singing is central to Charanga. Each unit allows children to develop singing skills in solo and group contexts.
  • Playing: appropriate use of instruments, with control is part of all units of work. Instrumental tasks are differentiated to challenge each child appropriately.
  • Composing and Improvising for voices and instruments: exploring sounds, choosing, comparing, developing ideas, organising ideas and notation both in a group and individually.
  • Listening and responding: listening quietly; recognising genre, instruments and structure; discussing music and reflection.
  • History of Music: learning about the history of music through the centuries and discussing changes and influences in different styles of music.

Conceptual Understanding

  • Genre – the style or category of music.
  • Pitch: high and low, higher and lower, steps and leaps; pentatonic and diatonic scales; letter names; composing short melodies.
  • Timbre: identifying sounds, instruments; recognising/choosing appropriate instruments or groups of instruments and their qualities; mood.
  • Tempo: fast and slow, faster and slower; responding to music with movement, choosing in relation to the lyrics or title.
  • Duration: long and short, pulse, rhythm patterns and metre; steady beat.
  • Structure: Instrumental, bridge, intro, outro, patterns, repeats, changes, silence, beginning and ending, contrasts; chorus/verse, call and response, rondo, round (cannon); awareness of a need for structure.
  • Texture: single instruments or voices, groups, thick or thin, solo, accompaniment, background.
  • Dynamics: loud and quiet, louder and quieter, silence; choice of instrument; mood.
  • Articulation: accents, staccato, legato, detached.


  • Genre identification.
  • Developing appropriate musical vocabulary based on the inter-related dimensions of music.
  • Notation: traditional and graphic.
  • Names of instruments heard or used frequently.
  • Awareness of intentions behind the music.
  • Names of pieces of music, their composers and performers.
  • Awareness of music from other countries, cultures, periods of history or contexts.


  • Listening: receptive attitudes, tolerance.
  • Respect for music and opinions of others.
  • Appreciating the work of others.
  • Giving and receiving constructive criticism.
  • Forming personal opinions.
  • Developing self-confidence.

Other Outcomes

  • Listening skills
  • Social skills
  • Co-ordination and control
  • Language development
  • Self-expression and creativity
  • Tolerance

Get in touch


Station Road, Barrow Hill, Chesterfield, Derbyshire. S43 2PG


01246 472494