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Our Music Story


At Old Clee Primary Academy, we are becoming confident, secure, enthusiastic musicians.


At Old Clee Primary Academy we ensure that music is a continuous, integral part of school life, in which all our children become musicians. Our staff and students are enthusiastic and excited about music and have an enduring desire to learn more. All our students gain a wide range of knowledge and skills. They understand and experience the positive impact that music has on social and personal wellbeing. (Did you know that, when singing as a group, our heartbeats synchronise? Amazing!)



The National Curriculum for Music aims to ensure that all pupils:

perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians

learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others,

have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence

understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

As musicians, our children will develop singing, playing tuned and un-tuned instruments and music appraisal skills. We are proud to deliver a range of high quality music opportunities both within and outside of the curriculum.


Our students will hear music in the classroom as a vehicle for learning, and to set the mood and encourage creativity. They will have the skills and vocabulary to appraise music; identifying and assessing what they are hearing and articulating how they feel about it.  



The objectives of teaching music at Old Clee Primary Academy are to enable children to:

  • know and understand how sounds are made and then organised into musical structures;
  • know how music is made through a variety of instruments;
  • know how music is composed and written down;
  • know how music is influenced by the time, place and purpose for which it was written;
  • develop the interrelated skills of performing, composing and appreciating music.


Music is currently led by our Music Lead, Mrs Hunter, and taught by the class teachers. They are primarily taught using the Charanga scheme, an exciting online music programme, alongside more focussed activities to further embed skills. Charanga is invaluable when introducing and establishing basic skills, and can be used by teachers who aren’t necessarily music specialists. We also like to challenge and enthuse our students with music clubs, singing assemblies and workshops delivered by external music groups.


All musical learning in this scheme is built around the Interrelated Dimensions of Music: pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, timbre, texture, structure and notation. These dimensions are at the centre of all the learning.


The children are taught in a “spiral”, which means that all of the dimensions are revisited and built upon in every lesson. When children learn in this way, the information they receive is retained and recalled with confidence. As you can see from the picture below, by Year 6 our children will be able to recall and use a wealth of musical knowledge and be wonderfully equipped, not only for secondary school but they will have the gift of music for life.




Charanga is used for listening to and appraising music. The students are exposed to a wealth of essential musical vocabulary, which is constantly revisited and built upon. They are encouraged to form their own opinions and express them confidently, using the vocabulary they are learning during their lessons.


Children are also shown how to find the pulse in a given piece, and to move their bodies confidently in any way they choose in order to find and respond to the pulse.


They learn how to echo and compose rhythms to play along with the music they are appraising, and to include them in their own compositions. We use chime bars and glockenspiels to support their learning to compose, and sleigh bells, tambourines and other small percussion to enjoy while finding and creating rhythms.


The students are also given opportunities to use ukuleles and guitars as they move through school, both in lessons and in lunchtime and afterschool clubs. They will be able to recall different parts of their instruments and their function, and how to respect and take care of the instruments. They will also be able to hold the instruments correctly, how to strum or pick to get a pleasing sound, and how to fret notes and make chord patterns. Our children who sign up to ukulele or guitar club will also have the opportunity to borrow a school instrument to practise with at home.

The children also receive lessons on reading music, and understanding musical notation and language. They learn how to play/sing what they are reading, and how to compose their own music. They are using 2Simple music and musical whiteboards with staff and notation printed on them as cues. They are being taught to use a range of pitch, tempo and dynamics to create mood in their compositions.


The students will talk freely about a variety of genres and world music, and will be able to ascertain musical origins and genres when listening and appraising. Alongside this they will gain the ability to compose music of a given genre, using the different styles they have learned.


The children will be able to read musical notation and understand sheet music and how that translates into singing/playing an instrument.



We feel very strongly that music is life changing, and that it can and does impact positively on every child’s wellbeing and social and mental health. Our children have a range of opportunities in which to shine, and to learn vital skills to take with them as they grow into adulthood.

Our children will understand what it means to be a musician, and that they can be musicians themselves. They will be confident when talking about music, and use their vocabulary correctly. Discussion will be enthusiastic and positive, and will reflect their learning. They will be able to appraise music in their lives outside of the academy, and will approach learning an instrument with enthusiasm confidence.


Through monitoring:

  • Monitoring of teaching and learning ensures good staff subject knowledge and understanding of concepts being taught. Vocabulary is being modelled consistently through effective use of the Charanga scheme, and pupils are expected to use and understand musical vocabulary.
  • Learning that is tracked and monitored to ensure all children make good progress.
  • Music elements are taught in a spiral, which will consistently consolidate the inter-related dimensions of music and build secure knowledge and understanding of how they work and can be used.


Successes in 18/19

  • More staff delivering quality music lessons. Staff are empowered to deliver consistently high quality lessons through the introduction to the Charanga scheme, which supports staff with low confidence in the subject.
  • Improvement in subject knowledge. Since introducing Charanga, teachers are now able to better understand and approach lessons as an opportunity to “learn with the students”, which has built subject knowledge.


Successes in 19/20

  • Pupils are demonstrating improved understanding of musical elements and using vocabulary with increasing confidence. The musical appraisal sessions present opportunities for the children to voice their views on music they hear and analyse. They are demonstrating continually growing confidence in using the appropriate musical vocabulary.
  • Pupils are demonstrating competence in their musicianship, and enthusiasm to learn more. Children are eager to use instruments, and are able to hold them correctly, name the parts of their instruments, and demonstrate the best methods to achieve quality sounds.
  • Our pupils are independent learners. Children are able to select their own levels of learning, using the Charanga platform, and are eager to select higher challenges that test and improve their musical abilities.


Priorities for 2020-2021

  • Ensure children are given every opportunity to use the musical instruments in their music lessons. We have bought more glockenspiels and stored them in easily accessible areas. Staff understand that instruments are used in every music lesson. We are monitoring the coverage or music to ensure all aspects of music are taught to a high standard.
  • Further develop pupils’ understanding and confidence in using musical vocabulary and instruments competently, supporting them to continually challenge themselves. We are focusing on developing pupils’ confidence and ability in their musicianship.
  • Develop staff ability and subject knowledge with CPD opportunities and training in using Charanga effectively. Staff expressed enthusiasm for more training in order to use Charanga to its full potential. In response, we have arranged for training to take place, both through Charanga and in focused staff meetings. We are ensuring training is continuous in order to maintain and continually improve staff subject knowledge and confidence in delivering high quality music sessions.


When the students leave Year 6, they will be able to:

  • Sing solo, in groups and in parts using clear diction, controlled pitch and sense of phrase
  • Play and perform with accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • Think about the audience when performing and how to create a specific effect
  • Describe, compare and evaluate different types of music, using musical vocabulary
  • To use the inter-related dimensions of music when appraising a piece of music
  • Comment on others’ work and suggest how intended outcomes could be achieved
  • Evaluate the success of own and others’ work, suggesting specific improvements
  • Listen to, internalize and recall sounds and patterns of sounds with accuracy and confidence
  • Use musical vocabulary such as: Pulse, Rhythm, Pitch, Tempo, Dynamics, Timbre,   Texture, Notation, Hook, Mood, Structure
  • Identify and explore the relationship between sounds and how music can have different meanings
  • Compose by developing ideas within a range of given musical structures
  • Create and improvise melodic and rhythmic phrases as part of a group performance


They will take a wealth of musical knowledge with them as they progress through their school lives and beyond. It will mean that they will have their music skills for life, and have the ability to use music to improve their quality of life now and in the future.