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The Rissington School
Aspire - Belong - Challenge

01451 820857



At The Rissington School, we value music as an important part of each pupil’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum.  We are committed to ensuring that music provides the pupils with opportunities to practice, develop and refine their skills.  Our pupils are encouraged to re-visit and apply previous knowledge on the understanding that their Musical journeys are unique and reflect their own interests, experiences, feelings and ideas. Ultimately, we want our pupils to be excited by Music and the potential to discover, invent and create.

We believe our high-quality Music curriculum will engage, inspire and challenge pupils.  The children will gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions and musical genres.  We are committed to developing a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music and an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life. We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.

The Rissington School is a split site school and, whilst we embrace the differences this may bring, the children across both sites belong to one school; and as such receive the same Music provision.

In addition to the school values of Aspire, Belong, Challenge the Music Curriculum is planned carefully to represent our school and outlying community.  Throughout the Music Curriculum our key drivers (golden threads) are woven throughout the planning, teaching and learning:

Vocabulary and language- ensuring that our pupils develop the use of a wide and ambitious vocabulary across the whole curriculum.

Resilience and independence- instilling a growth mindset, so that pupils persevere and are independent in both their learning and social skills

Equality and diversity- ensuring that learning encourages connections with both our local community and wider world

Through the Music Curriculum, we ensure that all children are active in the learning process and have implemented common language around good independent learning and characteristics of effective learning, starting from Early Years. Growth mindset is embedded, using the ‘Power of Yet!’, and understanding the importance of the 5 R's (Resilience, Responsibility, Reciprocal, Resourceful, Reflective), Growth mindset is rewarded and recognised when children support each other to overcome challenges and to be proactive in their learning. 

As part of our curriculum we promote and encourage the children to recognise The Characteristic of Effective Learning; these are:

  • Go For it Gorilla - I will have a go.
  • Exploring Elephant - I am an Explorer
  • I know Rhino - I play with what I know
  • Proud Peacock - I am proud of what I do
  • Concentrating Crocodile - I join in and concentrate
  • Persevering Parrot - I keep trying
  • Choosing Chimp - I choose ways to do things
  • Creative Chameleon - I have my own ideas
  • Slinky Linky Snake - I can make links

Our Music curriculum has been designed so that all lessons give the children opportunities to display one or some of the characteristics for example making connections from previous knowledge like a Slinky Linky Snake.


The teaching and implementation of the Music Curriculum at The Rissington School is based on the National Curriculum and is linked to topics to ensure a well-structured approach to this creative subject.

The National Curriculum for music ensures that all children:

  • perform, listen to, review and evaluate music
  • be taught to sing, create and compose music
  • understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated

The children are taught Music as part of their termly topic work and more detail can be found in our Long and Medium term plans. Our young Musicians are given a variety of experiences both in and out of the classroom, where appropriate, to engage in memorable learning opportunities which will further support and deepen their understanding and ability to respond to Music.

 Early Years Foundation Stage

Pupils explore Music through a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities.

They have opportunities to learn to:

Remember and sing entire songs.

Sing the pitch of a tone sung by another person (‘pitch match’).

Sing the melodic shape (moving melody, such as up and down, down and up) of familiar songs.

Create their own songs or improvise a song around one they know.

Play instruments with increasing control to express their feelings and ideas.

Listen attentively, move to and talk about music, expressing their feelings and responses.

Key stage 1

Pupils are given opportunities to:

  • use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes 
  • play tuned and untuned instruments musically
  • listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
  • experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.

Key stage 2

Pupils are taught to further develop their techniques and with further experimentation, they will gain an increasing awareness of different musical disciplines.

Pupils are given opportunities to:

  • play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
  • listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
  • use and understand staff and other musical notations
  • appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
  • develop an understanding of the history of music

The music curriculum ensures children sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom through the structured music teaching as well as various concerts and performances, musical clubs and teaching from specialist music teachers. The elements of music are taught in the classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language of music to dissect it and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. They also learn how to compose, focusing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing or analysing music. Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument.

Assessment of Music is ongoing, throughout the relevant cross-curricular units of work, to inform teachers with their planning, lesson activities and differentiation. Summative assessment is completed at the end of each topic, where an objective tracker on the medium term planning is used to inform teachers and subject leaders of successes or skills that need to be re-visited.


At The Rissington school our pupils are able to talk confidently about what they have learnt in Music, using subject specific vocabulary.

Pupil voice, throughout the school, demonstrates that pupils enjoy Music and are able to recall their learning over time.

Music is taught across each year group with opportunities planned in to support pupils as well as challenging and stretching all learning including those pupils working at greater depth.  Observations of lessons that work is of a good standard and demonstrates that pupils are acquiring knowledge, skills and vocabulary whilst also becoming more confident in experimenting with Music.

There is clear evidence of a progression of skills. 

music at a glance the rissington school.pdf


National curriculum in England: music programmes of study - GOV.UK

Early Years Framework