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Horizon Academy Trust is an exempt charity regulated by the Secretary of State for Education.

company number 08411590

registered office is C/O Biggin Hill Primary School, Biggin Avenue, Bransholme, Hull, United Kingdom HU7 4RL.

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Gillshill Primary


Music curriculum journey.pdfMusic progression of knowledge and skills.pdf


Music at Gillshill Primary School is informed by the National Curriculum and provides broad and balanced learning opportunities for our children that are ambitious, exciting and creative. Children enjoy their time developing their musical ability and are taught by our own staff or Music specialists.

In line with the National Curriculum 2014, we ensure children from EYFS to Year 6 develop their skills in listening, singing, performing, evaluating and composing. Children appreciate a wide range of genres and traditions throughout history and understand the importance of music in the wider community. The musical opportunities provided at Gillshill Primary inspire our children to develop a real love of music, whilst also building their self-confidence and creativity.

Children build upon their musical knowledge each year by learning the inter-related dimensions of music. They are able to evaluate music using this knowledge and also apply this when creating their own compositions. Children are able to explore and use a wide range of instruments over their time at Gillshill. All pupils receive Samba lessons for a year in KS2; they are always thoroughly engaged in these lessons and it is a fantastic opportunity for them to really develop their musical knowledge and ability.

At Gillshill Primary School, we believe music is an important part of the curriculum and ensure that our children leave school with an excellent knowledge of the subject and a real passion for it. Pupils are given many opportunities to perform to both children and parents within school, as well as performing in events and competitions in our local area. Our performances are always of a high standard. The school prides itself on our musical achievements throughout our history; we look forward to continuing this tradition in the future by developing excellent musicians and nurturing the children’s love of music.


To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in Music, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Music is taught through half-termly topics using the Charanga teaching and learning platform which focuses on the knowledge and skills stated in the Primary National Curriculum 2014.

Teachers plan a series of lessons that are engaging, broad and balanced based on the Charanga scheme of work, as well as our progression of knowledge and skills document. This document, along with the online Charanga programme, ensures the curriculum is covered and the skills, knowledge and vocabulary taught is progressive from year group to year group, in depth. Where possible, teachers, in conjunction with subject leaders, plan purposeful cross-curricular links.

At Gillshill Primary School we provide a variety of opportunities for learning music. The music curriculum ensures students sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom activities as well as the weekly singing assemblies, various concerts and performances and the learning of instruments. Parents/carers are welcomed to watch class assemblies, Christmas productions and our singing concerts. Furthermore, pupils experience opportunities to see live performances such as live theatre.

Key Stage Two children are offered the opportunity to learn a musical instrument via the Music Service, such as: double bass, drums, flute, clarinet, cello and violin. Pupils that learn a musical instrument have the opportunity to sit examinations and partake in performances both in and out of the school setting. As part of the 'Wider Opportunities' scheme from the Music Service, children in Year Five learn to play the Samba drums. These lessons take place weekly throughout the year and culminates in them competing in music festivals in the Summer Term. The children’s work is celebrated through displays around the school, as well as in performances.


The curriculum subject leader is responsible for monitoring and evaluating. The information gathered from this process informs the impact that the teaching has for that curriculum area. Judgements are based upon a triangulation of book scrutiny, pupil voice discussions, outcomes of assessments and the quality of teaching and learning. Governors undertake regular learning walks for their subject responsibility and receive a termly report from the subject leader identifying strengths and areas for development.  Each unit of work is assessed using our 1-3-5 Recap process. This means that the knowledge is revisited as part of the assessment process a week, 3 weeks and 5 weeks after the unit has been taught. The results of the recap are reported within Theme books.


Our aim is that at the end of each school year, pupils will have gained a deepening understanding of musical concepts, knowledge and skills. Music is a unique way of communicating, it is a vehicle for personal expression, and it can play an important part in personal and cognitive development. Music at Gillshill Primary School aims to reflect the culture and society that we live in, and so the teaching and learning of music enables children to better understand their world.

Through discussion and feedback, children talk enthusiastically about their Music lessons and show a genuine curiosity and interest in the genres they have explored. Pupils use vocabulary they have a clear understanding of to interpret and describe music. They appreciate a wide variety of musical forms, and can begin to make judgements about the quality of music. Children can transcribe and compose their own creative pieces in order to reflect their ideas and personalities and they develop excellent performance skills.

By the time our children leave Gillshill Primary School we will have equipped them with a breadth of knowledge, skills and musical experiences to give them a secure foundation for their secondary school learning. Our Music curriculum will have instilled in them a love and enjoyment of learning about music, and an understanding of how important music can be in helping children feel part of a community.


We use Charanga to teach our Music lessons. Through this programme, children have the opportunity to learn about: a wide range of music genres and their features; how to sing and play instruments along to well-known songs; improvisation and composition; the inter-related dimensions of music and also about the history of music, learning about different composers. The planned progression built into the scheme of work means that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school.

Music Long Term Plan

Autumn Spring Summer
Year 1 Hip-Hop Pop Classical
Year 2 Rock Pop Classical
Year 3 Glockenspiel Reggae Classical
Year 4 Pop Glockenspiel Classical
Year 5 Samba Samba Samba
Year 6 Motown Ballads Classical

Within EYFS, children learn to sing well-known nursery rhymes and learn to explore the sounds that instruments make.

As well as following our Charanga programme, we find as many opportunities as we can to bring music into other areas of the curriculum, such as: listening to war songs when learning about both World Wars; listening to traditional music from different cultures around the world whilst learning about them in Geography; listening to music from different religions, etc.

Children also develop their musical skills through weekly hymn singing assemblies, class assemblies, Harvest Festivals and Christmas productions.

In Key Stage 2, children have the opportunity to learn to play an instrument in a small group, taught by a teacher from the Hull Music Service. We currently have children learning how to play the drums, the cello, the double bass, the violin, the flute and the clarinet. Once our children have developed these skills, they are able to take graded exams.

Miss Hunt, from the Hull Music Service, also teaches Samba to pupils in Year 5 once a week and runs a Samba club after school. This creates many exciting opportunities for our pupils. We have previously entered and been very successful in both the Hull Music Festival and the Music For Youth Festival (where we reached the national event in Birmingham in 2018). We have also performed at many different events across the city, particularly during the year of the City of Culture.

We are also fortunate to have had many exciting visitors into our school such as Opera North, Rock Steady and musicians from Freetown in Sierra Leone.

Music Policy