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Ordsall Primary School



Music is taught at Ordsall Primary School in Years 1- 6 within a contextualised curriculum following the objectives from the National Curriculum. In the Early Years Foundation Stage it is taught as part of expressive arts and design.


At Ordsall Primary School, we strongly believe that music helps to develop a pupil’s creativity, imagination, listening skills, confidence and their ability to express their thoughts and feelings. Developing a musical interest can foster many transferable life skills. Through music, pupils can develop listening, performance and evaluation skills as well as developing the skills required for effective learning such as perseverance and commitment. Music offers pupils the opportunity for children to explore their learning, make mistakes and build confidence to develop as independent thinkers, which links closely to the schools approach to the teaching of metacognition.


Music is taught and assessed at Ordsall using four key areas:

  • history
  • composition
  • performance
  • evaluation


The school’s music curriculum is rooted in the consensus of the school’s leaders about the knowledge and skills that pupils need in order to take advantage of opportunities, responsibilities and experiences in later life. Music at Ordsall Primary School is taught using our long-term and contextualised learning plans, which are derived from the National Curriculum. The key skills and key knowledge for music have been “mapped” across the school so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and progresses learning towards clearly defined end points or “milestones”. The milestones for the end of each term build systematically on prior learning to ensure progression. In this way, the teaching staff are aware of what pupils should ‘know’ by the end of each term, year and key stage.


Our music curriculum at Ordsall Primary School plays a key role in providing a broad and balanced curriculum across the school. We teach music explicitly and practically through the school’s day-to-day teaching, music days and the wider curriculum.  The practical exploration of music alongside the other key areas of music ensures objectives are covered in a way in which our children will retain vital knowledge and skills so that they will be able to transfer and apply it fluently in a range of contexts.


The school benefits from expertise in music from within the school’s teaching staff, and music is such a high priority at Ordsall Primary School that the school employs a specialist music teacher who teaches all children for one half term each year in the classroom as well as in the wider curriculum. Through their use, the teachers own subject knowledge in music is developed so that all of our staff can provide the very best education in music.


The children at Ordsall Primary School also perform to and with their peers using a range of instruments or technology. This not only provides links across the subjects of the curriculum but also provides a valuable opportunities to develop performing, listening and evaluation skills. In order to support the music curriculum singing occurs on a weekly basis because we believe strongly that outstanding music provision has singing as an integral part of it. All of these experiences ensure that our children get first-hand experience of performing alongside live as well as recorded music.


The contextualised plans detail the specific year group objectives which, along with teacher’s short-term plans, ensure that the four key skills of music are taught in a progressive way. By delivering our music curriculum in this way we aim to develop the children’s cultural capital and promote British values such as tolerance and respect by learning about, listening to and performing a variety of music. This helps us to encourage pupils to achieve their very best in music, including challenging our more able pupils and supporting our disadvantaged and SEND pupils such as through the use of Makaton in singing assemblies.



It is our intention that the music curriculum at Ordsall Primary School will be both stimulating and motivating in order to capture the children’s curiosity and fuel their motivation to learn. Learning, Playing and Growing Together in music provides the children at Ordsall Primary School with exciting learning opportunities so that they can enjoy acquiring and developing their skills, deepening their understanding, and committing key knowledge to long-term memory to apply it fluently in a range of contexts.


How do we measure the impact of our work in Music?


At Ordsall Primary School we measure the impact of our work in Music in a variety of ways. The school uses its knowledge and vocabulary progression map for Music to compare the work that the children are doing with key points on the map. This allows the staff to assess where the children are, and check which elements are evident from the progression on the maps. In Music this is done by observing the children performing or completing or starting their work, through pupil discussion (when the children are asked about their work)  the work in the children's books and their work on display and a scrutiny of social media posts about Music. The assessment process, used within Music, enables the school to evaluate the progress that the children are making, inform future work, measure the impact of what we teach and monitor specific groups. The process is tied together through the records of achievement at the end of the year that are shared with parents and carers.


At Ordsall Primary School children also have many opportunities to further their interest in music through extra-curricular activities such as choir and musical instrument lessons. The implementation of our curriculum also allows our children to apply their musical skills purposefully to performances such at Christmas productions, church services and at the annual Young Voices Event, reinforcing the importance of practical first hand experiences. These performances also encourage parental involvement and create valuable community links in music, as parents and children are keen to attend performances and support pupils both in school and in the local area at community events like church services and fayres.


If you would like to see some of the work that we do in music please see our Twitter feed @Ordsallschool or our website, which are both used to share the work that we do with parents and carers, the local community and the wider community of Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire, the region and the United Kingdom.


If you would like to know more about the music curriculum at Ordsall Primary School please see the documents below. If you have any questions about the work we do in music please contact the Design and Technology Subject Leader at the school.


We have a specialist music teacher (Miss Saunders) and school pianist (Mr Star) who work with children from Year 1 to Year 6 to teach music skills and give pupils the best opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in this area of the curriculum. They also lead a weekly singing assembly to allow opportunity for pupils to develop and practise their skills in this area on a regular basis.



Peripatetic teachers come in each week to work with children from Year 1 to Year 6 who are interested in learning a musical instrument including violin, recorders and clarinet.



Celebrating music at Ordsall



Music plays a part in our assemblies at Ordsall. The children are given opportunities to listen and respond to a range of music from different times, cultures and traditions from a variety of famous composers.



Annual Music Day

Whole school music day gives pupils the opportunity to experience as many different ways of making music as possible within one specialised day. This is with an aim to foster the children’s love of music and further develop their interest in this area. There are a wide range of activities that take place on this day such as: junkyard percussion, glockenspiel, Makaton and vocal singing, percussion workshop and samba drumming.




Musical Evening

Musical evening takes place annually and gives the opportunity for children to perform to their parents/carers. Children that have been part of the choir, orchestra or have been learning to play an instrument perform in a variety of contexts. Some perform in groups and others perform solo. Awards, including the John Turner Music Prize, are given to pupils and the pupils’ achievements in music are celebrated with their peers, parents/carers, school staff and governors. 



Year 3 to 6 have the opportunity to perform at church services throughout the year. For example, Harvest festival, Christmas and Easter. Pupils are given the opportunity to practise prior to this and then perform to parents at the local church. Year 1 and 2 do a similar performance based in school. The school choir also often performs at the church Christmas fayre. Pupils are given a range of opportunities throughout the year to perform in a variety of other contexts throughout the school year such as Christmas productions and for Year 6 – the leaver’s assembly and D.A.R.E.