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


What takes place before teaching in the classroom?

At St. Anthony’s the intention is to engage and inspire children to develop an appreciation and understanding of Music which they can carry with them throughout their lives. We aim to support all children to increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement by enabling each child to grow musically at their own level and pace.

Our broad, enriching curriculum aims to encourage children in all key stages to develop listening skills, concentration, creativity, aesthetic sensitivity, perseverance and the ability to work in a group. We develop musical responsiveness through active involvement in listening, singing, performing, evaluating, improvising and composing, across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres.

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. We aim to explore and celebrate music from cultures and countries around the world, developing a rich understanding of the world around us in an expressive and exciting way.

We also aim to develop pupils’ competence in reading graphic forms of musical notation whilst developing skills on key instruments in the following way:

  • Key Stage 1 – Voice and tuned/untuned percussion. Use of ‘Singing Hands’ (Introducing Makaton)
  • Key Stage 2 – Addition of Ukulele
  • KS3 and 4– Addition of keyboards, guitar and drum kits.  

The Senior Leadership Team will:

  • Lead the school staff to develop a clear overarching curriculum intent which drives the ongoing development and improvement of all curriculum subjects
  • Ensure that the curriculum leaders have appropriate time to develop their specific curriculum intent through careful research and professional development.
  • Provide sufficient funding to ensure that implementation is high quality.

The Arts Curriculum Leader will work closely with the subject teachers to:

  • Understand and articulate the expectations of the Arts Department to the Headteacher and Governing Body.
  • Support teaching and support staff.
  • Ensure an appropriate progression of knowledge is in place which supports pupils in knowing and remembering more as musicians.
  • Ensure an appropriate progression of music skills and knowledge is in place over time so that pupils are supported to be the best musicians they can be, and challenge teachers to support struggling musicians and extend more competent ones.
  • Ensure an appropriate progression for vocabulary is in place for each phase of learning, which builds on prior learning.


What does this look like in the classroom?

Teaching and Learning

  • Pupils following the EYFS Curriculum: Music is covered largely within the Expressive Arts and Design section of the E.Y.F.S. curriculum. E.g.  From a child moving to music, progressing to exploring the different sounds of instruments. Rhyme and rhythm in the spoken word is included as part of the Literacy strand of the curriculum as a reflection of how important songs and rhymes are to children’s later language development. Songs and rhyme are part of children’s daily activities and are threaded through their play and story times. Chestnut classes also have a short music lesson once a week which introduces children to a variety of instruments and how they sound.
  • Primary National Curriculum: A holistic approach means that music is incorporated across the day and embedded within the whole curriculum.  Pupils learn to sing, perform, compose and evaluate music using activities that are linked to topics or individual subjects. This ensures all children have opportunities to create, play, perform and enjoy music; develop the skills to appreciate a wide variety of musical genres, and begin to make judgements about different types of music. Example activities may involve: ‘Days of the week’, ‘alphabet’, ‘weather’; playground games and daily routine songs such as ‘washing hands’; songs in French; Makaton songs; PE activities to music and ball pool and activity finishing music. This is in addition to timetabled sessions such as singing and ukulele.
  • Secondary Music provision is overseen by a qualified Music Teacher and Associate Teachers/SSA’s who specialise within the subject and have relevant music qualifications. KS3 pupils have one lesson a week. Music is prioritised through weekly input in Secondary. This enables pupils to access a full curriculum offer.
  • We have a rigorous and sequential approach which develops pupils’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment of Music. Our bespoke Schemes Of Work are exceptional and provide opportunities to learn and build on key knowledge and skills.
  • Transition from KS3-KS4: Pupils experience a range of co-ordinated, progressive musical activities based on the National Curriculum in KS3, followed by the WJEC Performing Arts Entry Pathways exam criteria in KS4. 
  • KS4: The Key Stage 4 curriculum has been developed to support St Anthony’s pupils with their individual development, learning and appropriate level of accreditation. Performing Arts is one of the options available which incorporates Music and Drama.
  • The Music Department has detailed planning which links with our curriculum progression document and assessment opportunities.
  • The Curriculum Progression document is a sequential skills based overview showing how we plan for progression in music and develop competence in a range of skills including rhythm, performing, listening and appraising, improvisation, composition and notation.
  • Pupils explore the inter-related dimensions of music (pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure) and apply these to appraisal, performance, improvisation and composition.
  • Lessons are engaging and pupils are challenged by the curriculum they are provided with.
  • Lessons take account of Rosenshine’s Principles – 17 Principles of Effective Instruction. (see separate document)
  • Children have the opportunity to respond in a variety of ways. These may include, art, dance, movement, drama, written work, Makaton or discussion.
  • Aspects such as music from other times and cultures, our musical heritage and digital learning will be included at relevant points throughout each academic year.
  • Staff ensure that their own speaking, listening, writing and reading of English supports pupils in developing their language and vocabulary.
  • Support staff and teachers use differentiated questioning techniques to engage and reach all pupil abilities.
  • Non-verbal pupils are supported using whiteboards, questioning techniques and symbols to help them communicate their ideas.

Classroom Organisation

  • Pupils work in a whole class, small groups or individually to support them in the development of their skills.
  • Differentiation and personalisation are planned for within activities and allowance is made for ability and experience.
  • We provide appropriate quality equipment and have explored additional funding options e.g. securing bids to purchase drum kits, guitars and iPads to enhance learning.
  • Engaging displays and learning walls are evident.
  • Support staff are deployed effectively to enhance learning.
  • Symbols and visual support are used throughout the lessons with a visual timetable in place and use of boardmaker symbols. Some pupils will use keywords on topic boards to aid communication.
  • Visually impaired pupils may have iPads that link to the whiteboard. This enables them to zoom in on key points.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities:

  • Additional opportunities are provided for those who have a particular interest in learning an instrument with West Sussex Music. We have peripatetic teachers available for recorder, clarinet and keyboard and primary classes receive 1 Term 2 Learn on the Ukulele through West Sussex Music.
  • We run a number of lunchtime time clubs. Key Stage 2 run Choir on a Wednesday. Secondary lunchtime clubs are well attended and involve Choir, Live Lounge, Drumming, Guitar and Rock Band.
  • Gifted and talented pupils are identified in Key Stage 3 and offered the option to study the Trinity Rock and Pop initial exam syllabus.
  • The school choir provide community service singing for the Rotary Club Christmas charity fundraiser and in local nursing homes.
  • We celebrate Performing Arts in our termly assemblies, Festive Soirees and school productions.
  • Each term we run a Rising Stars enrichment programme for pupils who have shown an interest in Music.

How is success in Music measured?

Music contributes to broader curriculum aims by educating the emotional, intellectual and physical development of children. The teaching of Music enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. It also increases self-discipline, confidence, sensitivity and fulfilment as well as helping children to forge links between home, school and the wider world.

Our pupils are:

  • Engaged because they are challenged by the curriculum which they are provided with.
  • Resilient learners who are learning to overcome barriers and understand their own strengths and areas for development.
  • Safe and happy to be active participants in music lessons (having been given opportunities to explore their own creative development in a supportive and nurturing environment).
  • Showing progression of knowledge and understanding, with appropriate vocabulary and technical skills which support and extend learning.
  • Becoming confident in discussing music, their own work and identifying their own strengths and areas for development


  • Pupils are provided with personalised progress trackers showing their subject targets. These are linked to St. Anthony’s Assessment Steps and allow pupils to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon.
  • Our Progress Trackers for Steps and Pre-Steps are in place in pupil’s subject folders.
  • Data is recorded termly onto Classroom Monitor (our online recording system used for data collection). This enables staff to identify pupils who need additional support and develop those meeting or exceeding expectations.
  • We are confident that we are identifying any gaps in attainment through the use of our progress trackers, classroom monitor, tracked pupils list and by base lining all Year 7 pupils and new pupils that transfer from other settings.
  • Pupils gain qualifications that allow them to go on to destinations that meet their interests, aspirations and the intention of their course of study.
  • Pupils are encouraged and nurtured to overcome any barriers to their learning or self-confidence because feedback is positive and focuses on musical skills and knowledge.
  • Assessment shows that pupils develop musical skills and confidence over time because of careful planning, focused delivery and time to practice and hone skills.
  • Observation, listening, questioning, discussing, digital recordings and involvement in the activities are used to make assessments.
  • Assessment in music takes account of the practical nature of the subject in which information is collected and stored while pupils are involved in acquiring and applying musical skills.
  • We monitor the impact of our music provision through termly assessments, lesson observations, learning walks, performances and work scrutiny.
  • In addition to academic achievement, social emotional progress including self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others and self-reflection may be discussed during Annual Reviews, in EOY reports, parent consultation evenings, open evenings and in postcards home to parents.

Supporting Documents

Performing Arts Pathway and Careers

Music at St. Anthony’s Presentation -> HTML5

Music Skills Progression Grid -> PDF

EYFS Curriculum Progression Grid – PDF

For more curriculum information about what pupils study in this subject please visit our curriculum and exams provision page .

Curriculum and Exams Provision Link