St. John's

Church of England Primary School

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Music Learning Pathway at St John's

At St John's we believe a high-quality music education is the right of every child in our school community.  We aim to develop a love of music whilst increasing self-confidence, creativity and a sense of achievement. We provide a range of opportunities for all children to nurture a love of music and their potential as musicians. Through assemblies, concerts and performances, children are able to express themselves and experience the excitement of demonstrating their musical skills to an audience. 


Music is taught across the school regularly; lessons are lively, interactive and aim to foster a passion for music in children of all abilities. Gifted and talented musical pupils are recognised, and they are encouraged to build on their skills.


Singing takes place daily in worship assemblies with one weekly worship assembly dedicated to teaching children how to sing with a sense of pitch and melody. Children are taught how to warm up their voices, sing in rounds and harmony, and build up a repertoire of Christian songs.


Music teaching at St. John’s aims to provide a broad and balanced programme that ensures the progressive development of musical skills, knowledge and concepts. Learning in music focuses on four key strands: singing; composing and playing; listening and applying; listening and appraising. These strands are not intended to be linear and over time children will develop new musical skills and revisit those already established. Repeating musical skills enables children to make progress as the skill level increases over time.  


Music at St John's is taught using Charanga schemes of work and BBC Ten Pieces resources to ensure that children are exposed to music from different times, traditions, cultures and genres, including the work of great composers, past and present. All children participate in singing, playing tuned and untuned percussion, composing and listening to a wide range of recorded music. A variety of notation is taught progressively through the key stages such as picture, graphic, rhythm and staff notation.  Children develop their understanding of the inter-related dimensions of music and develop skills, knowledge and understanding across the four strands. Regular opportunities are sought for children to share their work as individuals, groups or as a class ensemble. 


Every class focuses on the music of a specific composer for a half term. During this time, children listen to, compose and perform music inspired by the work of this composer, developing their understanding of where the composer's music fits within the historical timeline.


In addition to using Charanga and BBC Ten Pieces, as part of whole class music tuition, all the children from year 2 onwards have the opportunity to learn to play a range of tuned instruments in solo and ensemble contexts, for example, boomwhackers, glockenspiels, ocarina, djembe drums, recorder, ukulele and guitar.


In Key Stage 2 children will also use music technology to capture and manipulate sounds and compose pieces of pieces.


There are also opportunities for 1:1 or small group private instrumental and singing lessons taught by a range of external providers. Lessons are available on all orchestral instruments, guitar, keyboard and voice. Children also have the opportunity to join the school orchestra from Year 4 onwards, once they can play three chords or notes on their chosen instrument. 


There are many opportunities to share and perform music at St John’s including:

  • Christmas Nativity (EYFS)
  • Easter concert (Years 1 and 2)
  • Spring performance (Year 3)
  • Carol Concert (Years 4 and 5)
  • End of year production (Year 6)
  • Young Voices event at the O2 (Key Stage 2)
  • Regular performances from children taking part in private instrumental lessons


We also welcome visitors into school whenever possible so the children can listen to high quality live music.

Music is an integral part of school life, and we aim to enable all children to achieve their full potential as musicians.