“Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.”



At English Martyrs, our music scheme is first and foremost to help children feel that they are musical whilst also helping to develop a life-long love of music. We focus on developing the skills, knowledge and understanding that children need in order to become confident performers, composers, and listeners. Our curriculum introduces children to music from all around the world and across generations, teaching children to respect and appreciate the music of all traditions and communities. The curriculum has been designed with both the Model Music Curriculum (2021) and National Plan for Music Education (2022) in mind.

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 transferable skills such as team-working, leadership, creative thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and presentation and performance skills. These skills are vital to children’s development as learners and have a wider application in their general lives outside and beyond school.

Our music curriculum enables pupils to meet the end of key stage attainment targets outlined in the National Curriculum (2014).


Our music curriculum takes a holistic approach to music, in which the individual strands below are woven together to create engaging and enriching learning experiences:

  • Performing
  • Listening
  • Composing
  • The history of music
  • The inter-related dimensions of music

Each unit of work combines these strands within a cross-curricular topic designed to capture pupils’ imagination and encourages them to explore music enthusiastically. Over the course of the scheme, children will be taught how to sing fluently and expressively, and play tuned and untuned instruments accurately and with control.

Our curriculum follows the spiral curriculum model where previous skills and knowledge are returned to and built upon. Children progress in terms of tackling more complex tasks and doing more simple tasks better, as well as developing understanding and knowledge of the history of music, staff and other musical notations, as well as the interrelated dimensions of music and more.

In each lesson, pupils will actively participate in musical activities drawn from a range of styles and traditions, developing their musical skills and their understanding of how music works. Lessons will involve independent, pair and group tasks as well as opportunities for improvisation and teacher-led performances.

Lessons will be differentiated to ensure that all pupils can access learning and there are opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning.

Children in KS1 and KS2 will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of extracurricular activities whilst visiting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra to take part in their annual Children’s Concert series.


The impact of our scheme can be constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Guidance is provided (via Kapow) for each lesson to support teachers in assessing pupils against the learning objectives. At the end of each unit, there is often a performance element where teachers can make a summative assessment of pupils’ learning and record said performance as evidence.

After the implementation, pupils should leave English Martyrs equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their primary education and to be able to enjoy and appreciate music through their lives.

The expected impact of our curriculum is that children will:

  • Be confident performers, composers and listeners and will be able to express themselves musically.
  • 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 context in which it is developed.
  • Understand the ways in which music can be written down to support 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.

Updated: 22/12/2023 104 KB
Updated: 22/12/2023 100 KB