Benedict Biscop Prince Bishop School Teaching Alliance Leading School
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With God All Things Are Possible

At Benedict Biscop we want our children to learn that with God all things are possible.  We want our children to aspire and to achieve highly. We want our children to develop as musicians, developing music knowledge and skills.


The National Curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
  • learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence. To understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations

We believe that music should develop children with the following essential characteristics to help them become musicians:

  • A rapidly widening repertoire which they use to create original, imaginative, fluent and distinctive composing and performance work. 
  • A musical understanding underpinned by high levels of aural perception, internalisation and knowledge of music, including high or rapidly developing levels of technical expertise. 
  • Very good awareness and appreciation of different musical traditions and genres.
  • The ability to give precise written and verbal explanations, using musical terminology effectively, accurately and appropriately.
  • A passion for and commitment to a diverse range of musical activities.

Where does it start?

  • Our early years curriculum is the starting point for all subjects within the Curriculum.
  • It ensures that all 7 areas of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage are covered within each National Curriculum subject area and the Early Learning Goals within each of these areas are able to be achieved.
  • Development Matters – Non-statutory curriculum guidance has been used to support the development of progression within our curriculum.  Staff are able to use the observation checkpoints to help identify any child who is at risk of falling behind, so they can plan effectively to ensure they reach age-related expectations and end of EYFS.  
  • In the curriculum below learning objectives have been identified to support the development of key knowledge to ensure our children are school ready for Year 1.
  • In order to challenge our pupils, we aim to provide a language rich environment, therefore subject specific vocabulary has been identified to support the development of communication and language across our full curriculum.  Within EYFS we use the EEF recommended tiered vocabulary approach.
  • Key texts have been identified through our reading spine and story cycle as a method for supporting our pupils to learn through stories.

Curriculum overview and design

Year GroupAutumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
EYFSWhat can you hear?   Can I sing familiar songs and rhymes?   Charanga unit: Little angel gets her wingsWhat sounds can I make with my body?   Can I sing familiar songs and rhymes?   Charanga Unit: Musical activitiesCan I explore instruments?   Can I sing familiar songs and rhymes?   Charanga Unit: Our world
Key Stage 1   Pulse, rhythm and pitchBells ring outInventing a Musical StoryExploring ImprovisationGlockenspiel Stage 1Glockenspiel Stage 2
Year 3Writing music downClass instrument – Recorders   Playing in a band  Class instrument – Recorders   Compose using your imaginationMore musical stylesEnjoying ImprovisationRec suggested pathway
Year 4Musical structuresClass instrument – Ukulele   Exploring feelings when you playClass instrument – Ukulele   Compose with friendsFeelings through music.Expression and improvisation.The show must go on.
Year 5Melody and harmony in music.Sing and play in different stylesComposing and chords.Freedom to improvise.Music technology unit – Garage Band   Freedom to BattleMusic technology unit – Garage Band   Battle of the bands  
Year 6 Music and technologyDevelop ensemble skillsCreative CompositionMusic styles connect usMusic technology unit – Garage Band   Improvising with confidenceMusic technology unit – Garage Band   Farewell tour

Following on from EYFS, we follow the National Curriculum with a personalised Model Music Curriculum from Charanga [meeting the expectations of the DFE Model Music Curriculum). The scheme ensures learning in music is sequenced throughout each year group and supports staff well to deliver the music curriculum. The interrelated dimensions of music are mapped out clearly to ensure that they are revisited constantly (see below). This provides an effective base on which all other musical learning can be built.

The following learning sequence/activities allow both substantive and disciplinary knowledge to be developed across the 3 pillars of music.

  1. Listen and Appraise
  2. Musical Activities (including pulse and rhythm)
  3. Singing and Voice
  4. Playing instruments
  5. Improvisation / Composition
  6. Perform and Share

This ensure that the key elements of the DFE Model music are covered [e.g. Musicianship, Singing, Listening, Composing and Performance].

“Music is all around us. It is the soundtrack to our lives. Music connects us through people and places in our ever-changing world. It is creative, collaborative, celebratory and challenging. In our schools, music can bring communities together through the shared endeavour of whole-school singing, ensemble playing, experimenting with the creative process and, through the love of listening to friends and fellow pupils, performing. The sheer joy of music making can feed the soul of a school community, enriching each student while strengthening the shared bonds of support and trust which make a great school.”

DfE’Model Music Curriculum

Additional Music Opportunities

As we want our children to have a rich cultural experience, we carefully plan additional opportunities into our curriculum for children to attend performances and workshops within our locality and region. This helps our children to gain real-life experiences, developing a passion for music they can take with them for life. These include:


Performing Arts Club

Instrumental Lessons

BB Fest

Every year, we host an outdoor music festival on our school field, attended by members of the local community. This has become referred to over the years as ‘BB Fest’. Children are given the opportunity to perform songs collectively as classes and as a whole school – showcasing the talents they have nurtured and developed throughout the year. Several of our pupils learn a musical instrument and perform alongside their peers at the event. In recent years we have hosted staff showcases and our music teacher band – helping to provide positive role models locally for our pupils.

Our Choir is given the opportunity to attend our annual Trust ‘One Voice’ choir event and local Christmas concerts. providing them the opportunity to perform with other schools and to a wider audience.

The Royal Shakespeare Company has supported our Performing Arts Club previously, which has led to some fantastic Summer performances including Matilda. Our pupils particularly enjoyed being welcomed to the Empire Theatre in Sunderland, sharing all the different employment opportunities available for pupils beyond school with a passion for performing arts.


Benedict Biscop promotes a curriculum that puts all pupils, regardless of their needs, at the heart of what we do. By building mutual respect, we accept others for their differences believing that everyone is special and everyone has something to offer. Our inclusive and enriching curriculum, written for all children, provides pupils with meaningful and aspirational experiences as well as promoting personal growth for life-long learning. When the curriculum needs adapting, to suit the needs of individual children, appropriate modifications are made by the class teacher with support of the SENDCo and the Curriculum Subject Lead

Useful links to further learning

Chrome Music Lab –

BBC Bitesize KS1 Music –

BBC Bitesize KS2 Music –

Interested in finding out more?

If you would like to find out more about our curriculum. Please contact the school office by emailing and we will ask a member of staff to get back in touch a.s.a.p.

Helping children to realise their potential. Aspiring to excellence in all aspects of life

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