Birkbeck Primary School


The intent statement of our Music curriculum is:

To inspire creativity, self-expression and encourage our children on their musical journeys, giving them opportunities to connect with others. We will foster a lifelong love of music, exposing children to diverse musical experiences and igniting a passion for music.

At Birkbeck Primary school, we believe that a thorough and systematically built Music education is the right of every child. We believe in the power that comes from musical expression as well as seeing music as a fundamental way for children to make sense of and enjoy the world around them. The use of music to both express and explore complex feelings and emotions and to tell stories is an experience that we believe all children deserve to have with, to as great an extent as possible, an expert ear. Because of this, we also believe in the importance of building children's expertise both as musicians, but also as listeners and audiences. Through this, we know that children will not only enjoy music more, but they will also understand it better. 

Our Music curriculum follows the scheme of work set out by Charanga. We have specifically chosen this programme because it offers a thorough and comprehensive coverage of the substantive and disciplinary knowledge that is central to understanding music. We have identified key concept threads that are revisited throughout the Charanga programme as children move through each year group and have deliberately emphasised these in our planning and lesson delivery. This is because we know that when we make explicit links to prior knowledge in this way, children are more likely to remember the new knowledge we are teaching them in the future. 

The key concept threads of our curriculum are:

  • Pulse and beat 
  • Rhythm 
  • Pitch and melody
  • Tempo
  • Dynamics 
  • Listening and singing 
  • Notation 
  • Instruments 
  • Improvising 
  • Composing 
  • Performing

As children move through the school, they develop their understanding of and use of these key threads, gradually increasing the complexity and sophistication of how they are applied. 

We have also cross referenced the National Curriculum programmes of study for Key Stage 1 and 2 against the programme we use and so we know that it fulfils all statutory requirements. details of the National Curriculum programmes of study are published on the DfE's website.

Our curriculum coverage posters provide information about which units are taught in which year groups and the order in which they are taught. You can view the Music one below:

music docx.pdf

Below, you can see the development of our key concept threads in grid form so that you can see how each one is progressed and developed as children move through the school.

birkbeck music progression docx.pdf


Lesson delivery

Every Music lesson begins with a retrieval practice starter which has the aim of activating prior knowledge around the concept thread which the lesson to come is focused on.

Every lesson also includes clarification of any technical vocabulary to be used in the lesson. This always takes place before the main lesson content begins.

All Music lessons are delivered in line with our principles of teaching and learning which are the same for all subjects. These are the principles that we believe underpin truly great teaching and learning. You can read about how these are applied to Music lessons below. The Implementation guide also provides the curriculum map which tells you which units of work are taught in which terms of which year group.

birkbeck primary school music implementation guide docx.pdf



We assess Music once per term. Teachers assess children's body of work against a set of descriptors which match the threads of concept that our Music curriculum is designed by. As such, the curriculum is the model for progression that we follow and assess against. Assessment is reported to parents and carers every term at parents evening.