Engaging, exciting and empowering lifelong learners through a creative, mastery-based curriculum

Our curriculum is centered around developing the whole child: from their head, to their heart, to their hand.

The characteristics of a musician at East Farleigh Primary:

  • A rapidly widening repertoire which they use to create original, imaginative, fluent and distinctive composing and performance work.

  • A musical understanding underpinned by high levels of aural perception, internalisation and knowledge of music, including high or rapidly developing levels of technical expertise.

  • Very good awareness and appreciation of different musical traditions and genres.

  • An excellent understanding of how musical provenance - the historical, social and cultural origins of music - contributes to the diversity of musical styles.

  • The ability to give precise written and verbal explanations, using musical terminology effectively, accurately and appropriately.

  • A passion for and commitment to a diverse range of musical activities.

Curriculum Ambition: Music

At East Farleigh we recognise the importance of developing the vital role that music has in developing creativity, individuality and self-expression alongside resilience, determination and confidence. We aim to dedicate sufficient and regular curriculum time to enable and excite children to develop their musical skills with a widening repertoire which they can use to create original, imaginative, fluent and distinctive compositions and performances. Musicians at East Farleigh are active participants in lessons, engaging fully with the full music making process developing an awareness and appreciation of a variety of musical genre, mastering the skills to play an instrument and using music technology effectively, accurately and appropriately. By the time children leave East Farleigh, our aim is that they will have gained a love for, and have an excellent knowledge of music, and an appreciation of different musical traditions and genres. Our ambition is that children become passionate, lifelong learners who feel empowered to continue their musical education as they move into the next steps of their education.

Curriculum Design: Music

Our music curriculum introduces every member of our school community to a wide range of music and artists, including those from different periods and cultures with an aim to create world citizens with an understanding of how music impacts and enhances societies and the wider world. BBC Ten Pieces allows children to engage with classical music and develop their self-expression and musical responses.

Opportunities for discussion, commentating on what we have heard, and talking through ideas and plans for our own work are actively encouraged within every learning sequence.

A clear progression of skills year on year, which build on prior learning – such as use of tools and techniques with increasing mastery forms the basis of an adapted curriculum which is, designed and developed to be ambitious and meet the needs of pupils with SEND, developing their knowledge, skills and abilities to apply what they know and can do with increasing fluency and independence.

Progression Pathway - template.pptx

Curriculum Concepts: Music

Perform – Children understand that music is created to be performed. Children are given several opportunities throughout each year and their primary career to perform to a live audience. These opportunities range from in class performances to peers, nativity and end of Year 6 productions to performing in live venues such as the O2 Arena. Children are given opportunities to watch live performances from professional musicians at least once an academic year.

Compose – Children appreciate that music is created through a process which has a number of techniques. Children are encouraged to experiment with physical and virtual instruments.

Transcribe – Children understand that compositions need to be understood by others and that there are techniques and a language for communicating them. Musical transcription is encouraged from EYFS throughout the school in the form of graphic scores to using musical notation to express compositions.

Describe – Children appreciate the features and effectiveness of musical elements. A composer/specific genre of music is chosen weekly to be discussed in assemblies – children are encouraged to spend time appreciating music then describing the sounds/their feelings and the impact that music has.

Meeting Milestones: Music

As part of our curriculum philosophy, built on around the concept of mastery and learning being a change to long-term memory, it is impossible to see impact in the short term. We do, however, use assessment based on deliberate practice. This means that we look at the practices taking place to determine whether they are appropriate, related to our goals and likely to produce results in the long run. We use comparative judgement in two ways: in the tasks we set (POP tasks) and in comparing a child's work over time. We also use lesson observations to see if the pedagogical style matches our depth expectations.


Milestone 1

  • Take part in singing, accurately following the melody.

  • Follow instructions on how and when to sing or play an instrument.

  • Make and control long and short sounds, using voice and instruments.

  • Imitate changes in pitch.

Milestone 2

  • Sing from memory with accurate pitch.

  • Sing in tune.

  • Maintain a simple part within a group.

  • Pronounce words within a song clearly.

  • Show control of voice.

  • Play notes on an instrument with care so that they are clear.

  • Perform with control and awareness of others.

Milestone 3

  • Sing or play from memory with confidence.

  • Perform solos or as part of an ensemble.

  • Sing or play expressively and in tune.

  • Hold a part within a round.

  • Sing a harmony part confidently and accurately.

  • Sustain a drone or a melodic ostinato to accompany singing.

  • Perform with controlled breathing (voice) and skillful playing (instrument).


Milestone 1

  • Create a sequence of long and short sounds.

  • Clap rhythms.

  • Create a mixture of different sounds (long and short, loud and quiet, high and low).

  • Choose sounds to create an effect.

  • Sequence sounds to create an overall effect.

  • Create short, musical patterns.

  • Create short, rhythmic phrases.

Milestone 2

  • Compose and perform melodic songs.

  • Use sound to create abstract effects.

  • Create repeated patterns with a range of instruments.

  • Create accompaniments for tunes.

  • Use drones as accompaniments.

  • Choose, order, combine and control sounds to create an effect.

  • Use digital technologies to compose pieces of music.

Milestone 3

  • Create songs with verses and a chorus.

  • Create rhythmic patterns with an awareness of timbre and duration.

  • Combine a variety of musical devices, including melody, rhythm and chords.

  • Thoughtfully select elements for a piece in order to gain a defined effect.

  • Use drones and melodic ostinati (based on the pentatonic scale).

  • Convey the relationship between the lyrics and the melody.

  • Use digital technologies to compose, edit and refine pieces of music.


Milestone 1

  • Use symbols to represent a composition and use them to help with a performance.

Milestone 2

  • Devise non-standard symbols to indicate when to play and rest.

  • Recognise the notes EGBDF and FACE on the musical stave.

  • Recognise the symbols for a minim, crotchet and semibreve and say how many beats they represent.

Milestone 3

  • Use the standard musical notation of crotchet, minim and semibreve to indicate how many beats to play.

  • Read and create notes on the musical stave.

  • Understand the purpose of the treble and bass clefs and use them in transcribing compositions.

  • Understand and use the # (sharp) and ♭ (flat) symbols.

  • Use and understand simple time signatures.

Describe music

Milestone 1

  • Identify the beat of a tune.

  • Recognise changes in timbre, dynamics and pitch.

Milestone 2

  • Use the terms: duration, timbre, pitch, beat, tempo, texture and use of silence to describe music.

  • Evaluate music using musical vocabulary to identify areas of likes and dislikes.

  • Understand layers of sounds and discuss their effect on mood and feelings.

Milestone 3

  • Choose from a wide range of musical vocabulary to accurately describe and appraise music including: pitch, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, lyrics and melody, sense of occasion, expressive, solo, rounds, harmonies, accompaniments, drones, cyclic patterns, combination of musical elements, cultural context.

  • Describe how lyrics often reflect the cultural context of music and have social meaning.

End of year teacher assessments, which take into account engagement in lessons, quality of outcomes and results from any POP/ summative tasks, help to form a judgement about a child's attainment within the subject. These judgements are made in relation to a child's progress towards mastering biannual milestones against four essential threshold concepts (see above).

What do our pupils think?

Music isn't just about lessons at East Farleigh, we also get to compete in competitions, sing at venues like the O2 and take part in productions.

Year 6

I love learning to play the drums and I use my skills in my music lessons in class.

Year 5

I love being able to learn any instrument that I want and the teachers adapting it to my style of music.

Year 4

I love singing, we sing all of the time, our teacher sings too which is amazing.

Year 6

Aspirations for the future

As a Musician, you could become a:

  • Theatre performer

  • Audio designer

  • Casting director

  • Performer

  • Song writer

For more careers, please visit First Careers

For more information on what East Farleigh has to offer budding musicians, please use the buttons below: