St Joseph's Catholic Primary Academy, Healds Road, Dewsbury, WF13 4HY

01924 462053

St Josephs Catholic Primary Academy

We are proud to work with all the Catholic schools across our two local authority areas, particularly as the Trust grows and benefits from the expertise and knowledge that other schools joining in the future will bring.

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'Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.'


Our Vision for Music at St Joseph's

At St Joseph's we intend to promote and foster a life-long love of music and help children to recognise that they are musical. Music is a core element of Catholic life and hence, pupils regularly engage in music during their time at school. We place emphasis on the knowledge, skills and understanding that children need in order to become confident and successful listeners, composers and performers.  Through exposing children to a broad range of music, globally and generationally, they develop British values such as mutual respect, tolerance and individual liberty, appreciating music from other cultures and from different periods in history. Children also develop the skills of playing tuned and untuned instruments, improvising and composing their own music whilst learning to listen and respond to music. Through the firm belief that all learners can be successful in music, there are no barriers placed on pupils at St Joseph's. Music enables children to succeed in a way that is personal to them, through exploration and creativity when composing and performing music. 

Curriculum Intent for Music

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon. (The National Curriculum) 

The intention for children throughout their time at school, is for them to develop an understanding of the elements within music, referred to as the inter-related dimensions of music; these include pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and notation. 

Music at St Joseph's is about learning in and through music. The music curriculum at St Joseph's is designed to cover the National Curriculum for music, offering a broad and balanced curriculum whilst providing children with progression of both musical knowledge and skills. Cross-curricular learning enables children to make wider links between what they study in music with what they have learnt and will learn about in other subjects. 

The main aims of the music curriculum provided for children are: 

  • To foster a love and appreciation of music which inspires curiosity;

  • To listen to and appraise music from different periods, genres and cultures;

  • To sing with expression and meaning, using voices to create different effects;

  • To compose (including improvising) music using the knowledge and skills acquired around the inter-related dimensions of music;

  • To perform in solo and ensemble capacities and take leadership roles when working as a group, developing a sense of identify in doing so.

In EYFS, music is integral to the overall development of children.  Pupils engage with music on a regular basic across all aspects of the curriculum.  Across the areas of learning in EYFS, music is incorporated. In Maths Meetings, children sing and follow rhymes and chants to help them retain knowledge around mathematical concepts, whilst in phonics, pupils use rhymes to remember sounds and apply this in their handwriting.  Through engaging with the areas in Reception, children have opportunities to explore and manipulate sounds, using a variety of percussion instruments.

In KS1, children develop the use of their voices in more controlled ways, learning about the many ways their voices can be altered to create different effects. Music has the power to aid in long term memory.  Children in KS1 speak chants, rhymes and rhythms on a regular basis, to help them know and remember more in phonics, mathematics and their handwriting. Children in KS1 have opportunities to learn about and play a variety of instruments.

In KS2, in addition to the curriculum provision through the Kapow scheme of work, Years 3, 4 and 5 receive tuition based instrumental and singing lessons from experts from Musica Kirklees to supplement the knowledge they have learnt and extend the range in which they can apply their musical skills. Throughout the instrumental and singing sessions, the interrelated elements of music are developed further, helping children to make links as well as aiding them to know more and remember more in music.

The long term plan for Music can be found below:

Long Term Plan for Music

The Importance of musical performance

Through performance, children develop a sense of identity, sharing who they are, what they like and express themselves creatively. Children understand that music is personal and although pupils are taught to comment on what they like and dislike about a piece of music, they should demonstrate the British values fostered within school around mutual respect, tolerance and individual liberty. As well as promoting a sense of identity, musical performance increases pupils' confidence. Pupils thoroughly enjoy having opportunities to perform to audiences and have had opportunities to sing Carols outside of school, perform in Nativities and other Key Stage productions amongst other events.

Curriculum Implementation for Music

The teaching of music is inspired from the Kapow scheme of work since it 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 (pitch, duration, notation, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and dynamics)

The Kapow scheme of work was chosen when looking to broaden the music curriculum since it guarantees coverage of the National Curriculum objectives in both KS1 and KS2, covers many areas of the Early Years Framework and establishes clear progression of both knowledge and skills from Reception through to Year 6. Additionally, the scheme provides useful resources and CPD videos for teaching staff to access to aid in their subject knowledge, especially for staff who are non-specialists to provide them with the confidence in the delivery of a successful, ambitious music curriculum.

Each taught unit combines the strands outlined above within a cross-curricular topic to capture pupils' imagination and encourage 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.  They learn to recognise and name the interrelated dimensions of music and the development of their knowledge and skills of these areas are carefully mapped out.

During lessons, pupils take an active role in musical activities drawn from a range of styles and traditions, developing their musical skills and their knowledge of music. Lessons comprise of a range of teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired or group work as well as improvisation and teacher-led performances. Lessons are practical and engaging and encourage movement and dance elements also. 

The music curriculum is delivered to all children at school, regardless of their ability or needs. We embody the belief that all learners can succeed in music and that barriers to learning should not be placed on pupils since music gives children a multitude of opportunities to express themselves and be creative. 


Great emphasis is placed on vocabulary in music, particularly so that children are able to communicate their ideas and opinions about the elements of music effectively and accurately.  Children are able to use musical vocabulary through exposure to vocabulary relating to the inter-related dimensions of music, right from the beginning of their music learning  in EYFS. Through the use of knowledge organisers, children will use specific vocabulary to enable them to communicate their ideas about the different strands they will engage in, through listening, composing and performing. 

The importance of Knowledge

The substantive knowledge taught in the music curriculum explicitly relates to the inter-related dimensions of music. Much of the learning encompasses these concepts. 

Substantive knowledge focuses on developing children’s skills and knowledge required for them to develop as musicians. This is achieved through deliberate practice and allows children to develop and demonstrate fluency of knowledge. It involves learning about music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians. 

Disciplinary knowledge in music is the interpretation on the interrelated dimensions of music and how this knowledge is used when singing, playing instruments, improvising and composing, to develop creative and original pieces and performances. Children work independently and collaboratively to interpret and combine the dimensions of music to create a specific and desired effect. 

Find below the progression of Knowledge in music:

Music Knowledge Progression Grid

Assessment in Music

At St Joseph's we strongly believe that music is a fun, enjoyable experience where pupils are able to spend quality time exploring and making music. Because of this, children are not expected to write or record their ideas in each lesson. Instead, videos are taken of children exploring, composing and performing music, both instrumental and sung, to record the progress being made by children. Class teachers will use these videos to assess the progress being made by each pupil and data will be inputted onto Insight each term.

Curriculum Impact for Music

The inspiring and ambitious music curriculum at St Joseph's results in an inquisitive, engaging, high-quality education that equips all pupils with the knowledge and skills to listen to, compose and perform music in an ensemble and as solo musicians. Pupils are immersed into a world of discovery and fascination through their music lessons through an abundance of opportunities to explore music and develop their curiosity.  Strong knowledge and skills progression means children will be able to retain their prior learning and build on this throughout their school 'career'.


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