" /> " />
Message sent from:


At St Mark's we are passionate about music education and believe every child has the right to experience as many different styles of Music as possible, while they are with us and develop a passion for learning Music. Music is a very important part of every child’s learning journey and increases self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. Music is taught following the strands of singing, performing, listening and appraising and composing and each year group develops their skills across each of these musical strands.

We aim to inspire a life-long love of Music, focusing on developing skills, knowledge and understanding children need in order to be confident musicians. Our curriculum introduces children to a wide variety of musical styles from different times and places, which enriches each pupil’s musical experiences and teaches children to respect and appreciate the music from all traditions and communities.

Children have many opportunities to sing and perform on a range of instruments, while developing improvising and composing skills. Pupils develop an understanding of the history of music and how important the cultural context of the music that they listen to is. Through our Music curriculum many transferable skills are learnt: working in a team, taking leadership roles, problem solving as well as learning to perform many different pieces of music.

All pupils are encouraged to participate in musical performances in and outside of school. Musical achievements are celebrated through performances, assemblies and annual events including our Easter and Christingle services and our Year 5/6 end of year production.



Music lessons are very “hands on” and singing and performing are at the heart of every lesson. A ‘sound before symbol’  approach is used in all musical learning at St Mark's. Through listening and singing, pupils learn to hear and identify the sounds in their heads, before seeing them as symbols on the pageMusic lessons link with class topics as often as possible. Each term pupils have the opportunity to sing songs and play a variety of tuned and untuned percussion instruments, performing and composing music from a wide variety of cultures and periods in history.


Outline of skills learnt

Children in Early Years are exposed to music and sound daily. Through continuous provision and exploration, they have opportunities to listen to and join in with songs, chants and rhymes; learning how to use their voices expressively and creatively. There is always an emphasis on feeling a steady pulse while singing and performing. Pupils will learn about some of the key elements of music, focusing on pulse and rhythm. Through body persussion and the use of tuned and untuned instruments, children in Early Years are encouraged to experiment and create their own music.

In year 1 and 2 pupils begin to read from simple notation, follow lettered notation and later develop an understanding of graphic notation. Pupils go on to use these notation systems to begin creating their own compositions. They listen to a wide variety of music including orchestral and begin to appraise music in more detail, identifying some of the instrumental family groups in the orchestra. Through body percussion and movement exercises pupils explore finding, copying and creating ryhthms. They have the opportunity to use tuned and untuned instruments to create soundscapes and melodies, using visual images as a stimulus.

In Year 3 and 4, pupils work on controlling their voices with good intonation and focusing on developing a smooth tone and singing more confidently and expressively. Pupils also begin to learn to improvise and compose with increasing confidence, covering a wide range of styles from traditional orchestral music to modern popular styles. Stronger emphasis is placed upon pupils learning to read rhythms from musical notation accurately. 

 The children also complete a six week set of lessons learning to play the recorder. 


In Year 5 and 6, pupils are introduced to a wider range of musical styles in lessons, from traditional classical styles of orchestral music to Rock, Rap and Electropop music styles.

Pupils in year 5 and 6 also sing confidently from memory, including beginning to sing simple two-part harmonies. Through a set of twelve week lessons learning to play the glockenspiel, pupils learn to perform more complex pieces, performing multiple parts as a whole class and taking on solo leadership roles. Year 5 and 6 pupils are introduced to some fantastic musicians, exploring their social as well as historical role in music development. Such as the origins of Rock and Roll and the development of electronic music. 


All pupils are fully supported to achieve their best in every Music lesson and tasks are designed at a range of different levels to suit all pupils' capabilities. Higher level pupils are also given work to support and enhance their learning. 


Music Technology

The use of technology is becoming increasingly important for all music learning and technology is used in a variety of ways at St Mark's.


In KS1 children use the Loopseque app to explore rhythm and pulse. 

In LKS2 children use the Loopseque app to begin to experiment with layering of rhythms and Garageband to explore how instruments can work independently and together to create melodies and harmonies.

In upper KS2 children pupils use pre-recorded samples of music loops on the apps to create their own compositions. They learn how to layer sounds effectively to create more complex compositions.


Charanga Online

All year groups use the online apps through the Charanga website during their music lessons.

These include: Music Explorer - finding out how different instruments sound; Rhythm Grids - using simple notation to create rhythms; Percussion Writer - learning how to layer percussion instruments to create rhythms; Music Notepad - to help children to start writing their own melodies using musical notation; YuStudio - to explore and create music using mixing and sampling.


Children’s work is recorded and appraised during lessons by teachers and pupils. These recordings are also used as evidence to show how well pupils progress throughout the year as is a very effective assessment tool.



The impact of Music at St Mark's is felt most vividly during performances as well as being constantly monitored both through formative and summative assessment.

Performing opportunities within school

Pupil performances show the direct positive impact that music lessons have on their learning, as it gives all pupils an opportunity to shine. There is weekly whole school singing assembly, where pupils sing a wide range of hymns and songs.  There are many opportunities for pupils to perform at St Mark's, such as Harvest Festival, Christingle and Easter celebrations. Year 5 and 6 also perform in their end of year show. 

Assessment in Music

Pupils receive feedback during performing tasks in each lesson and pupils also self-assess their own and others work, suggesting what was effective in performances and what could have been improved. Pupils work is recorded as often as possible and then listened back during lessons as part of the self-review that is important for pupils to become competent musicians. This also forms an important aspect of assessing progression over time. Pupil performances in and outside of lessons are also filmed and do provide a wonderful way to finish a topic. Upon leaving St Mark's, pupils are well equipped with a range of skills from being confident performers and composers to using music as a form of self-expression. Pupils leave St Mark's enabled to succeed in music lessons from KS3 and beyond generating a love and appreciation of music throughout their whole life.



Instrumental Music lessons

Learning to play a musical instrument provides children with an experience that enriches their lives in so many ways and children will learn musical skills that help develop a deep love of Music. All pupils are invited to learn to play an instrument and lessons at St Mark's are provided by Create Music who provide staff to teach a wide range of individual and group instrumental lessons.

The following instruments are currently available through Create Music, Violin, and Keyboard/Piano. To find out more about the opportunities available please visit createmusic.org.uk 

Listening Calendar - Caterpillars 

Madness – Baggy Trousers
School of Rock – School of Rock
Sam Cooke – What a Wonderful World
Matilda – School Song
High School Musical – All in This Together

Listening Calendar - Cocoons 

No music lessons this term

Listening Calendar - Red Admirals

Grieg – In the Hall of the Mountain King
Beethoven – 5th Symphony
Offenbach - Can Can
Tchaikovsky – Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Harry Styles – As It Was
Darude – Sandstorm

St Mark's Church of England Primary School – Fresh2o

Hit enter to search