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Music - 3 I's

Vision Statement

At Hempstalls Primary School, we want all children to enjoy listening, performing, reading, and making music, regardless of background, age or musical experience. Learning how to play an instrument and attending music events outside of school, is a very rare occasion for our children due to the cost of such opportunities. We encourage children to embrace a range of musical experiences that build up the confidence of all children when performing music, whilst developing their understanding of different music types and understanding of how music connects people and links to important moments in our lives. Throughout Hempstalls, we want our children to develop a critical engagement with music and have a deep understanding of different composers and the process of composition.


Teachers expose children to the universal language of music where they can build upon skills and are challenged and supported to unlock their musical potential. Our curriculum allows children to listen and appraise a large array of music from different cultures, periods, genres and styles, rooting knowledge into the performance, reading and composition of music. Hempstalls values the importance of teaching technical vocabulary and concepts of music, encouraging the engagement of these terms during open discussions with the children in lessons, which progress with complexity throughout the years.

From Early Years, children begin to demonstrate a good understanding of music, through singing and exploration of instruments and music making, this starts in cubs by creating music through natural materials and making music with rainmakers. By the end of reception, children leave Early Years with the ability to find the pulse of music, respond to call and responses correctly, whilst having the opportunity to perform music and songs from small groups to larger audiences.

During key stage one, children will have experience with performing and composing with both tuned and untuned instruments, whilst understanding and discussing the interrelated dimensions of music including pitch, pulse, rhythm, dynamics, and tempo. Key stage one will explore listening and appraising different musical periods and a range of composers such as Mozart, Holst, and Anna Clyne, including popular music with styles including pop, rock n roll and blues. They will explore these alongside musical traditions of Indonesian and Brazilian music. Hempstalls’ children will build up their knowledge of performance through singing and starting to model some interrelated qualities into their singing alongside showing an awareness of vocal health and copy back different rhythmic voice, clap and instrument patterns.

Moving through Key Stage Two, children develop the confidence and control in performance whilst becoming more critically engaged into musical discussions. This builds on the use of the interrelated dimensions of music from key stage one, but including specific vocabulary linked to these dimensions to explain feelings towards music and to compare to other pieces. By the end of Key Stage Two, children will know a range of composers from different periods including: early, classical, romantic, baroque, 20th Century and 21st Century composers. Children will also be expected to revisit specific composers from prior learning, and same periods, making comparisons between these. Children will have developed deep understanding of staff and musical notation and able to fluently read and play music from weekly sessions. Children will make links between notation and vocabulary, and able to apply these to improvise and compose increasingly difficult melodic phrases. At the end of Key Stage Two, children will be able to play and sing in ensemble contexts with fluency, diction and a high understanding of good performance habits, working with increasing melody, harmony and multiple parts in their performances.


Our staff are committed to implementing high-quality music sessions weekly - whereby children have a 30-minute session with their classroom teacher using the Sing Up curriculum and a 30-minute either singing session or listening and appraisal session with their class teacher. In year one, children learn how to play an instrument and the dimensions of music with primarily untuned instruments leading to year two with glockenspiels and chime bars. In key stage two, they incorporate their knowledge from previous years into learning the recorder and apply their notation skills into learning the ukulele further up the school. In Reception and Nursery, these skills are taught through the music scheme ‘Sing Up!’ and further down the school, these skills and sessions are facilitated by ‘Rhythm Time’ alongside exploration of composition and performance of music through rhyme and performance opportunities.

Singing is the golden thread of teaching our creative music curriculum, whereby children incorporate vital musical concepts such as rhythm, pulse, dynamics and pitch to apply to their growing knowledge throughout their listening and appraisal sessions, and their making music sessions. We are committed to incorporate our Rosenshine Principles of ‘small steps’ into our music curriculum to ensure children progress together and that all children are capable of progress. Concepts are driven through the curriculum so that these are build prior knowledge on from previous years and extend their knowledge on that strand of music. We assess formatively throughout the sessions to ensure children are developing correct musical technique and can support children’s musical potential.


With our curriculum, we strive for children to leave Hempstalls with the self-confidence of their own ability in performance and discover their own passion for music, so that they are prepared for their next stage of their education. At Hempstalls, we aim for children to leave with the skills to read, play and compose music with fluency, with a breath of knowledge of inspiring composers with an understanding of music from other cultures. We hope to develop our children’s cultural capital through the accumulation of knowledge with music history and develop them as performers and listeners by providing different opportunities for children to become inspired by live and recorded music.



HempstallsPrimary School
Contact Us
Mrs Shutt: 01782 950082Hempstalls Primary Schooloffice@hempstalls.staffs.sch.ukCollard Ave, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Newcastle ST5 9LH
The Creative Learning Patnership Trust