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Children attending Gainsborough Primary School often have very few experiences of life outside of their local area due to being located in an area of high deprivation meaning that families are not able to visit areas outside of the local area and high mobility rates (23% for 2021-22, nearly ¼ of our whole school cohort were new last year). At Gainsborough, we believe that music ignites all areas of child development as well as being a source of pleasure and contentment. Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon. (The National Curriculum). 

The music curriculum is delivered to ensure children 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. Our objective at Gainsborough Primary School is to develop 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 and cultures.

The Music  curriculum ensures that by the time the children leave in Year 6, they will have:

● Applied their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes

● Opportunities to a listen to range of high-quality live and recorded music

● Experimented with, created, selected and combined sounds using the interrelated dimensions of music

● Played and performed in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression

● Improvised and composed music for a range of purposes using the interrelated dimensions of music

● Listened with attention to detail and recalled sounds with increasing aural memory

● Used and understood staff and other musical notations

● Developed an appreciation a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians

● Developed an understanding of the history of music.

Vocabulary development is a key aspect of our whole school curriculum as a result of the high proportion of children who start Gainsborough Primary School with lower levels of vocabulary than is typical for their age.

Vocabulary is taught explicitly to support the development of key concepts. For example children in the EYFS learn about pulse, pitch and rhythm. This is developed further in Key Stage 1 when the children build upon this with vocabulary including dynamics and tempo. Key Stage 2 further develops the musical vocabulary including dynamics, timbre, structure and notation. This is clearly shown on planning documents; they are taught explicitly within the music lessons.

The music curriculum starts when the children begin their learning journey in the Early Years. Therefore we allow children to explore instruments and sing along to nursery rhymes and content through the ‘expressive arts and design, and communication and language ’ strands of the EYFS curriculum. Children are exposed to a wide range of nursery rhymes and various instruments. Children are encouraged to make sounds using objects and communicate through music. 


Music is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children achieve depth in their learning. Teachers plan lessons using the medium term plans created by the subject leader. 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. To do this we use the Gainsborough curriculum that provides a progression curriculum throughout the school. Learning is revised frequently to ensure that teachers are clear about what has been remembered and children are then able to build upon the knowledge previously learned. 

The music curriculum ensures students sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is through classroom learning as well as various concerts and performances. There are opportunities to make music videos as well as performing to parents and the community. 

Children have music every lunchtime as part of our play provision, which allows them to explore all musical genres linking this into dance and choreography. Educational visits are carefully considered to ensure that the children have the opportunity to see live music in a context that they may not otherwise have access to.

Playlists have been carefully created and given to year groups to use to ensure that the children are listening and evaluating a range of musical genres. These are regularly used in class.

Children have the opportunity to work with specialist music teachers, for singing lessons and to learn to play instruments, such as drums, guitars and keyboards.  Gainsborough also has a choir and is part of Young Voices, a national school choir that unite annually to perform at the O2.

We understand that children have missed opportunities of learning because of the COVID outbreak and the resulting distance and blended learning models that were used in the previous school years. Our current teaching model ensures that any missed opportunities are addressed before teaching new concepts and topics. This pre teaching approach ensures that children are able to access the new learning and build upon their knowledge and skills. Access to live music performances are at the forefront of our music curriculum, and ensuring that children are able to once again attend live performances is given a high priority.

At Gainsborough, we believe that all learners should primarily access the first quality teaching and be immersed in class discussions during geography lessons. Therefore, SEND learners access the same learning as all other children but will be given further support, adapted outcomes and a tailored approach to suit each individual’s needs. Strategies used to support our SEND learners include: 

● A pre-teach of topic specific vocabulary

● Reading support when researching using a range of sources 

● Printouts of work/presentations to scaffold with independent tasks 

● Instructions broken down into manageable chunks and more time given to process the information

Children with high levels of need have a broad curriculum offer, linking into National Curriculum themes, but with scaffolded learning which meets their needs, ensuring they are also making good progress from their initial starting points. The themes are planned to ensure that geography skills and knowledge to be embedded and built upon. 


The integral nature of music and the learner creates an enormously rich palette from which a student may access fundamental abilities such as: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self-reflection. Music will also develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to students individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children are able to enjoy music, in as many ways as they choose - either as listener, creator or performer. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts. They can sing and feel a pulse. They have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.

The impact of our music curriculum at Gainsborough ensures that children are equipped with musical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready to continue their learning journey in KS3 and for life as an adult in the wider world.