Our Music Curriculum


‘There is music in every child, the teacher’s job is to find and nurture it.’


At St Bede’s Catholic Primary School, our music curriculum intends to inspire creativity and self-expression.  It encourages our children on their musical journeys as well as giving them opportunities to connect with others.   We hope to foster a life-long love of music by introducing them to diverse musical experiences and igniting a passion for music. By finding their voices as singers; expressing themselves as performers and composers; listening and responding to different musical styles; we want the children to become confident, reflective musicians.

The aims of our Music curriculum are to develop pupils who:

  • Can sing and use their voices individually and in a group
  • Have opportunities to play a variety of instruments
  • Listen to and have an appreciation of a range of different musical styles, composers and musicians
  • Create and compose music on their own and with others, including using technology
  • Recognise musical language and include musical features in their own work
  • Have different opportunities to take part in performances
  • Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated



The music curriculum enables children to sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom activities as well as singing in assemblies, various concerts and performances, the learning of instruments, and the opportunity for extra-curricular music. The elements of music are taught in the classroom lessons so that children are able to recognise and use musical language.

Instrument playing is a central part of the music curriculum which follows the concept of a spiral curriculum with fundamental ideas being revisited repeatedly, with incremental sequencing. In EYFS percussion instruments and a keyboard are in continuous provision and there follows a programme of class instrument learning with each class focussing on a different instrument; hand-bells, glockenspiel, keyboard, ukulele, clarinet and recorder. Lessons are ambitious but allow for differentiation and adaptive teaching, with each year group building on the skills they have already acquired.  Children learn the different techniques required for each instrument, as well as how to read basic music notation. They also learn how to compose on their own and in groups and are introduced to the idea of composing using technology, for example using Musiclab. Specialist teaching takes place in Year 5 with the First Access clarinet programme and this progresses into clarinet ensemble in Year 6.  Private instrumental and vocal tuition is available on an individual basis during school time or via online lessons.

The Charanga scheme is used to enhance the instrument provision in school and allows the children to access musical resources at home easily.  Charanga’s singing resources are also regularly used in lessons to ensure development of vocal skills.  Children are encouraged to perform solo and in groups and are given the opportunity to take part in the Carlisle Music and Drama Festival.  Enthusiastic singers are encouraged to develop their talents in the KS2 choir, which performs regularly both in school and within the community, reinforcing the school’s Catholic values by singing at the Cumberland Infirmary, a local care home and at a Community Centre for their annual concert.  The school has links with the renowned choir, The Sixteen, who have held composition workshops at school and involved KS2 in their performance at Carlisle Cathedral.

Music pervades the curriculum; children learn about its links with culture, time and place.  The children’s progress is celebrated on a day to day basis using Seesaw as a performance platform and consolidated in a termly whole school concert. The whole school take part in a musical Christmas performance at the end of the Autumn term and to complete their musical journey at St Bede’s, Year 6 perform a musical play at the end of the Summer Term.



Our music curriculum is designed to ensure progression in learning.  Each unit provides parity for all groups of pupils as they start together from the same point, and teaching is differentiated to allow for children’s experiences outside school.  Formative assessment takes place throughout lessons to show children their next steps and how to achieve them.  Understanding is reinforced throughout lessons through questions and discussion of technique.  Performances are recorded on Seesaw and can be used to track progress.  Children are encouraged to record individual performances on Seesaw and formative feedback is given.  Musical opportunities are inclusive, offering the same opportunities to all children.  Children are encouraged along their own musical journeys, to build upon their strengths and explore new avenues.

Virtual Summer Concert
Our fabulous musicians have kept busy through lockdown. Here is our Virtual Summer Concert, featuring musical photos from this unusual term.  Sit back, grab some refreshments and sing along with us! 

Year 6 Leavers' Song

A huge thank you to all our fabulous performers who recorded themselves as a tribute to our wonderful Year 6 class. It shows just how much we think of them and how much they will be missed.

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Have a look at the wonderful musical things children have been doing at home!

Activity 1

The video shows you how to make your own djembe drum or saucepan drum kit!

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Activity 2

The video shows you how to make your own 'guitar'!

Activity 3
This video shows you how to make your own ‘rainmaker’.

Activity 4

This video shows you how to make your own glass musical instrument. Please do this WITH AN ADULT!

Activity 5

This video shows you how to make your own maraca or shaker.

Mrs. Harris teaches Music throughout the school, introducing the children to a range of musical instruments. 

Music Scheme of Work Overview





Nursery and Reception 

Traditional Nursery Rhymes

Charanga – Me!

Instruments in provision

Traditional Nursery Rhymes

Charanga – Everyone!

Instruments in provision

Traditional Nursery Rhymes

Charanga – Big Bear Funk

Instruments in provision

Year 1

Groovy Music Shapes

Music Express 1

Exploring sounds

Duration of sounds

Charanga – Hey You!

Groovy Music Shapes

Grace Darling Song

Music Express 1

Pulse and rhythm


Charanga – In The Groove

Groovy Music Shapes

Music Express 1

Instruments and symbols

Timbre, tempo, dynamics

Charanga – Round and Round

Learning to play the handbells

Year 2

Groovy Music Shapes

Music Express 2

Exploring duration

Pulse and rhythm

Charanga – Hands, Feet, Heart.

Charanga - Glockenspiel

Groovy Music Shapes

Music Express 2


Charanga – Friendship song

Charanga - Glockenspiel

Groovy Music Shapes

Music Express 2


Making African instruments

Charanga - Glockenspiel


Year 3

Charanga – Let Your Spirit Fly

Charanga - Learning to play the keyboard


Festival song – Ride on a Rainbow

Charanga – Three Little Birds

Charanga - Learning to play the keyboard

Charanga – Bringing Us Together

Charanga - Learning to play the keyboard.

Year 4

Recorder Karate

Charanga – Mamma Mia


Festival song – Haunted House

Recorder Karate Charanga – Blackbird

Recorder Karate Charanga – Lean on me


Year 5

First Access Clarinet

Charanga clarinet

Festival Song – Lazy Sunday

First Access Clarinet

Charanga clarinet

First Access Clarinet

Charanga - clarinet

Year 6

Christmas carols


Singing French

Festival songs – Lin Marsh

School Play – Out of the World


Mrs Dodd teaches piano,woodwind and singing through private tuition and supports our Carlisle Festival Entries.

Mr Tugwell teaches the clarinet to Year 5 and to small groups.

Mr Hart teaches the Groovy Guitar Group and also teaches individual guitar lessons.


The KS2 School Choir are always very busy, rehearsing and performing.  All children in Years 4, 5 and 6 are welcome to join.  We practise after school on Tuesdays.

At Christmas we were very busy!  We sang for the community at Morton Manor, to fund-raise at Asda and to bring Christmas cheer at Applegarth residential home and the Cumberland Infirmary.  Click on the link for a clip of our children singing at Morton Manor!

Year 3 are learning to play the keyboard this year.

In Year 4, when children have achieved their orange Recorder Karate belt they can join Recorder Ensemble who practise on Thursday lunchtimes.  You can hear them perform at our termly school music concerts. 

Click on this link to see them playing the penny whistle in assembly. 


We are proud of all our entries to the Carlisle and District Music and Drama Festival.  Here are some of this year's individual singing and poetry entries.