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Barrow Hill Academy

Barrow Hill Academy



The language of music is common to all generations and nations; it is understood by everybody, since it is understood with the heart.’  Gioacchino Rossini

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 end of key stage National Curriculum requirements, we use the Kapow Primary music scheme in order to deliver a broad and balanced Music Curriculum across every year group. This scheme is used first and foremost to help every child feel that they are musical, and develop a life-long love of music. The sequenced learning enables children to gain the essential knowledge and understanding that children need to become confident performers, composers and listeners. The units within our music curriculum introduces the children to music from all over the world and across generations, developing a respect and appreciation for the music of all traditions and communities.

Children will develop the musical skills of singing, playing tuned and untuned instruments, improvising and composing music, and listening and responding to music. They will develop an understanding of the history and cultural context of the music that they listen to and learn how music can be written down. Through music, our curriculum helps children develop transferrable skills such as teamwork, leadership, creative thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, presentation and performance skills.  These skills are vital to children’s personal development and have a wider impact on them as learners but in general life outside and beyond school.

Music Curriculum Implementation

Our music scheme takes on a holistic approach to the teaching of music, in which the individual strands are woven together to create engaging and enriching learning experiences: performing, listening, composing, the history of music (KS2), the inter-related dimensions of music.

Each five-lesson unit combines these strands captures the pupils’ imaginations with contextual and purposeful links to other curriculum areas. The children will be taught to sing fluently and expressively, and play tuned and untuned instruments accurately, with control and respect. They will learn to recognise and name the inter-related dimensions of music – pitch, duration, tempo, timbre, structure, texture and dynamics – and use these expressively in their own improvisations and compositions. Units from the Instrumental Scheme have been added into LKS2 allowing children to develop their expertise of using a tuned instrument for a minimum of one term as recommended by the Model Music Curriculum.

Our knowledge progression document shows which units are covered in each half term and the key knowledge that will be acquired. To complement this, a table outlines curriculum coverage across all year groups. In addition to this, our progression document allows teachers to see how each strand of our music curriculum progresses from EYFS through to Y6, giving a clear view of the sequence of learning.

All children at Barrow Hill Primary Academy are involved in weekly Music lessons from Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to Year 6 using the Kapow primary music scheme of work. Children in key stage 2 will also be given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument annually working in conjunction with the Derbyshire Music Hub.

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 Kapow primary music scheme as a two-year rolling programme, which provides continuity and progression across the school. It allows pupils to develop and revisit key musical knowledge. 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 five sessions allowing pupils to develop a rich understanding of the genre of music being explored.

Evidence is gathered in a variety of different ways from discussion, videos and written work which is uploaded to our school shared drive. Learning is regularly assessed and evaluated to ensure progress for all children.

Strong subject knowledge is vital for staff to be able to deliver a highly effective and robust music curriculum. Each unit of lessons includes multiple teacher videos to develop subject knowledge and supporting ongoing CPD, aiding teachers in their own acquisition of musical skills and knowledge. Further CPD opportunities can also be found via webinars with music subject specialists.

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 Kapow primary music scheme, 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, preparing them for continued music learning beyond primary school.

Music 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 a scaffolded approach, such as an instrumental part with fewer or more notes involved; composing a piece of music in graph form or using musical notation allowing all children opportunities for success.


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 music lessons. Where appropriate, the children also have access to iPads in order to access music producing apps and digital instruments.

Our 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 responding 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).

Provided with each unit of work, is a detailed assessment document which should be used in planning to provide specific opportunities for children to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a particular learning outcome. Each lesson should aim to assess the children in a listening and responding outcome, an understanding and using the language of music outcome and a developing performance awareness and skills outcome. Teachers will fill in the assessment grids to track the progression of knowledge and skills.

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. 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. Recorded evidence of learning outcomes should be uploaded to the class assessment area on the shared drive.

Music Curriculum Impact

The impact is constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Each lesson includes guidance to support teachers in assessing pupils against the learning objectives. At the end of each unit, is a performance opportunity for teachers carry out summative assessments. Knowledge organisers offer a visual record of the key learning from a unit, encouraging recall of practical skills, key knowledge and vocabulary.

After the implementation of our music curriculum, pupils should leave primary school equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education and be able to enjoy and appreciate music throughout their lives.

Children will:

  • Be confident performers, composers and listeners and will be able to express themselves musically at and beyond school.
  • Show an appreciation and respect for a wide range of musical styles from around the world and will understand how music is influenced by the wider cultural, social and historical contexts in which it is developed.
  • Understand the ways in which music can be written down to support performing and composing activities.
  • Demonstrate and articulate an enthusiasm for music and be able to identify their own personal musical preferences.
  • Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the national curriculum for music.

Get in touch


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


01246 472494