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Church of England Primary Academy

The rock for our community

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Our Vision for Music.

Each child at Peterhouse Church of England Academy has an individual ‘soundtrack’ gained from their own life and experiences.  However, many face a greater number of barriers to their learning compared to their peers nationally. 


Peterhouse’s implementation of the Music curriculum helps to fulfil its role as the rock of our community by nurturing the self-identity of its children.  The Music curriculum has been designed to meet the academic and spiritual needs of all, helping pupils overcome the barriers that many may face, ensuring that the Academy is a place where all can flourish, regardless of background or ability.  Ways that the Music curriculum can help these to be overcome are:


  • Emotional – the children will be able to express themselves through music and appreciate that music can contribute to positive mental wellbeing;
  • Motivational – the children will view school positively as a place of creativity; become actively engaged with music and feel that they can be musical and achieve success;
  • Social and cultural – the children will work cooperatively and feel valued; be exposed to the work of great composers and, through recordings and live performances, experience music that reflects our heritage and a range of diverse cultures.


In addition to music lessons, music should also contribute to the wider curriculum and will play an important role in other aspects of school life.

Our Aims for Music

At Peterhouse we aim to engage and inspire pupils to nurture a love of music and develop their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.


The aims of the music curriculum at Peterhouse are to encourage all pupils to:

  • develop, through listening, appraising, performing and composing, musical skills and an understanding of the concepts of pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and notation;
  • develop social skills through co-operating with others in the shared music-making experiences of creating and composing;
  • develop an understanding of musical traditions and developments across a range of cultures, historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians;
  • be motivated to enjoy and succeed in music, through using voices and instruments and appropriate technology.

How do we deliver Music?

Peterhouse subscribes to the Norfolk Music Education Hub which allows access to a Charanga license, CPD and curriculum support.  Our affiliation also provides us with a Musician in Residence, who delivers weekly curriculum lessons to the children throughout the year on a rota basis, with the key stages alternating on a half termly basis.  During these lessons, based on the Charanga scheme, the children take part in vocal activities, learn an instrument, have teaching on musical concepts and are exposed to a range of musical genres through listening exercises.


In addition to specialist music teaching, the KS1 and 2 classes take part weekly in regular listening sessions with their class teachers, following a timetable of set pieces from the BBC 10 Pieces website.  This allows the children to share their individual responses to different pieces and provides them with background history about a diverse range of composers and genres, extending their experiences of different types of music.  As their skills develop, the children are encouraged to make links with the concepts they have learnt and to use the appropriate musical terms.


Our Music Hub subscription also gives us such opportunities as musicians visiting the school to perform concerts and being able to access to online shows such as Christmas pantomimes.

Curriculum Design in Music

“Music education goes beyond a set of skills, knowledge and understanding that we explain to someone else in the sense that, when acting musically, we embody the learning.” (The Incorporated Society of Musicians.)  With this in mind, the music curriculum has been designed to engage pupils with the subject through the aspects of actively performing, composing and listening to music.   


The curriculum is based upon the Charanga Scheme which covers the inter-related dimensions of pulse, rhythm, pitch, dynamics, timbre, tempo, structure, texture and notation through a spiral curriculum where the strands are revisited and built on over time, using a variety of activities and degrees of challenge. 


The curriculum, delivered through the Charanga scheme by the Musician in Residence, is also supplemented by a weekly listening programme led by the class teacher.  The musical resources taken form the BBC Ten Pieces website have been selected to ensure that the children are introduced to different musical genres and cultures, from musical heritage to modern times, covering a diverse range of composers from different backgrounds and traditions.  The aim of this being, to allow all pupils to believe that they can be musical and inspire a life-long connection with this creative form.

Our Intended Coverage

The music curriculum has been devised using the Charanga Scheme to ensure coverage of the dimensions of pulse, rhythm, pitch, dynamics, timbre, tempo, structure, texture and notation through activities relating to performing, composing and listening.  It is supplemented by listening sessions that allow the children to experience and learn about a diverse range of music and composers.


Our Musician in Residence delivers units on a rota basis in KS1 & KS2 that alternates each half term. The spiral nature of this scheme means the strands are revisited and learning extended throughout the course of the year. During the half terms in which Year Groups are off rota, KS1 & KS2 class teachers will deliver either pre-teaching or recapping/extending sessions linked to the concepts covered by our Musician in Residence. 


Through the delivery of a knowledge rich curriculum children in EYFS build a focused and sequenced body of knowledge which students are able to remember. In the EYFS Music comes under the title of Expressive Arts and Design (EAD). Singing and music forms a key experience across the EYFS, as a precursor to both language and rhythm. The children take part in singing and dancing on a daily basis, it is built into the routine of the day such as the ‘Count to one hundred’ song, ‘days of the week’ song and our ‘special child’ song. Children will be exposed to a variety of different music from nursery rhymes to classical to rap. They will explore how sounds can be changed by experimenting with pitch and tempo, using their voices and body percussion. They will learn how sounds and instruments can be used and adapted to tell a story by studying composers. The children will incorporate musical instruments into our learning. As part of our Christmas Nativity the children learnt a variety of songs and how to sign them as well. There are plans to develop our own ’musical shed’ where children will have independent access to a range of musical instruments and ‘improvised sound instruments’.

By the time children leave Reception they will be expected to:

  • Be imaginative and expressive
  • Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs
  • Perform songs, rhymes and stories with others, and -when appropriate- try to move in time with music.

Assessment in Music

As music is a creative subject, care needs to be taken so that assessment practices do not stifle creativity and narrow outcomes.  Therefore, assessment in music should focus around the development of skills and the building of knowledge.


  • Formative assessment is an ongoing process throughout music sessions, with interaction between teachers and children about learning forming an essential part of the reflective learning process. 
  • Musical learning will be assessed both by the Musician in Residence during sessions, and through evidence collected by class teachers of these sessions. Recording examples of performances at the beginning and end of each rotation will provide evidence of progression, as well as mid-points of processes where appropriate.
  • Where other music curriculum opportunities may arise, these can be recorded as audio or visuals files and photographs.
  • Throughout, the children will be encouraged, through tasks and targeted questioning, to reflect critically upon their own achievements and those of others.