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Ripley St. John’s CofE

Primary School & Nursery

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Subject Information:



At St John’s it is our intent to encourage a deeper understanding and enjoyment of music and for the children to be able to express feelings, emotions and ideas through the medium of sound.


Music increases creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfilment. It plays an important part in the personal development of the individual, developing their ability to work independently, in a team and to increase resilience.


Children will develop the ability to listen to and appraise a wide range of music from varied musical traditions and cultures- from the past up to the present day. They will learn to sing in tune with others and take part in many musical presentations.


We have a range of musical instruments at St John’s which the children will have access to during their music lessons. They will be taught the skills to play these instruments alongside developing the understanding of the interrelated dimensions of music: pulse, tempo, rhythm, timbre, harmony, melody and pitch.




Here at St John’s we follow the Charanga music scheme. This provides the children with opportunities to perform, compose and appreciate different genres of music.  They will listen and appraise music from different traditions, times and cultures.


Planning is organized into 6 units for each year group to be taught across the year.


The interrelated dimensions of music weave through the units to encourage the development of musical skills as the learning progresses through listening and appraising, differing musical activities (including creating and exploring) and performing.


Class sets of the following instruments are available: Ukuleles, Glockenspiels, handbells and recorders along with a wide range of un-tuned percussion instruments. An extensive range of digital resources are accessed through the Charanga website including all the resources needed for each lesson as well as additional song banks.


Pupils will be as musically active as possible during lessons. Each lesson will begin with a listening and appraising session. Pupils will discuss what they hear and extend their understanding of musical styles. Engaging musical activities will form then next part of the lesson, with all pupils taking part at their own level, but always being encouraged to develop appropriately. As appropriate, there will be a performance section where peer response will take place.


Each child will take part in a performance during the year: 

EYFS and KS1: Nativities 

KS2: Carol Service 

LKS2: Easter Performance 

UKS2: End of Year Show


We are involved with the Wider Opportunites music scheme in which all children receive free violin lessons (which includes the use of a violin) across years 3 and 4 , culminating in a concert for parents. 


Children from years 4, 5 and 6 are offered cut -price instrumental lessons – on a preferred instrument (e.g. violin, cello, flute, clarinet, ukulele etc).



Video evidence is saved during each unit, either as a finished performance or smaller sections. Staff assess the children’s progress during each lesson and identify those children working below and those children working at Greater Depth.


Pupil and staff voice questionnaires are used to help assess the impact of the music provision. We also have discussions with pupils from each year group and those who take part in any peripatetic lessons as part of our enrichment programme in music.

What do Music lessons look like in school?


There are six units of work for each Year group (one to be competed every half term) plus extra add on units which are used to delve deeper into a topic, for example learning the ukulele.

Each Unit of Work comprises the strands of musical learning which correspond with the national curriculum for music:


1. Listening and Appraising


2. Musical Activities:

  • Warm-up Games and Optional Flexible Games - embed the Interrelated Dimensions of Music through repetition
  • Singing - is at the heart of all the musical learning
  • Playing instruments - instruments with the song to be learnt – tuned/un-tuned classroom percussion and an option to play ukulele, glockenspiel or recorder. A sound-before-symbol approach is used but scores are provided as an understanding of notation is introduced to the children
  • Improvisation - with the song using voices and instruments
  • Composition - using instruments o​​​​​​​


3. Performing:

  • Share what has taken place during the lesson and work towards performing to an audience.​​​​​​​

What will the children be learning this year?


Extra-Curricular Musical Activities


There is a school choir for pupils from Year 2 upwards. Alongside other performances the choir also takes part in the Ripley Music Festival which takes place in Crossley Park in July. 


Other lunchtime music clubs running at some point during the year include:  

  • Karaoke club
  • Recorder club
  • Guitar club

Music at Home


From year 4 upwards the children are able to take advantage of cut-price peripatetic music lessons in which they can choose an instrument from an extensive list: violin, cello, ukulele, flute or clarinet. The instrument is provided free of charge and tuition takes place at school. Children are encouraged to practice at home and then take part in a school concert at the end of the year.


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