Music is essentially a practical subject and all children are encouraged to join in a wide range of singing and instrumental activities. The aim is to promote enjoyment and to develop important skills of listening, composing and performing. At the same time, we aim to help children explore an understanding of the basic elements which make up the language of music; sounds, silence, pitch, rhythm, time and notation.

We believe in keeping alive the traditions of class singing, enjoying a variety of local and regional songs, but also many from different musical and world cultures.

The requirements of the National Curriculum are addressed in an integrated way through musical projects designed to develop skills in keyboard and instrumental playing as well as to foster the ability to compose music through understanding the workings of melody, chords, rhythm and musical notation.

We have established ensembles such as drum, brass group, Y5/6 orchestra, Y7/8 orchestra, school choir, string and jazz group  which give concerts during the year. These groups are a great encouragement to children learning instruments. Individual and group tuition is given by visiting teachers of violin, singing, 'cello, guitar, woodwind, brass and percussion, and children learning these instruments are encouraged to play together as often as possible, for music groups or in class.

Our newly refurbished music room includes 16 keyboards which help to fulfil the National Curriculum requirements in performing and composing. There is a great emphasis on music as an important element in promoting the corporate life of the school, so musical productions, concerts and acts of worship all foster a valuable sense of belonging and being involved in creative expression.


Throughout KS2 and KS3 music lessons at St Joseph’s pupils will study various aspects of music which are linked with the key elements of the subject which are performance, composition and listening skills.  In addition to this pupils develop their appraisal ability using musical vocabulary and how to apply theory in practical activities.



Pupils will be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. Over the two years they develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds. Pupils are taught to play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression.  They will understand staff and other musical notations and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions.

To cover these aspects pupils will study the following themes:

Year 5

  • Elements of music
  • Notes on the stave
  • Keyboard skills
  • Musical clichés
  • Singing skills
  • Graphic scores
  • Form and structure

Year 6

  • Rhythm and time keeping
  • Programme music
  • Dance music
  • Keyboard skills
  • Singing skills
  • Step and leap melodies
  • Playing in an ensemble


Pupils should build on their previous knowledge and skills through performing, composing and listening. They will develop their vocal and/or instrumental fluency, accuracy and expressiveness; and understand musical structures, styles, genres and traditions, identifying the expressive use of musical dimensions. Pupils will listen with increasing discrimination and awareness to inform their practice as musicians.


Over the two years in KS3 they will play and perform confidently in a range of solo and ensemble contexts using their voice, playing instruments musically, fluently and with accuracy and expression improvise and compose; and extend and develop musical ideas by drawing on a range of musical structures, styles, genres and traditions. Like in KS2 they will further develop their knowledge of staff and other relevant notations.  There will be a focus on a range of musical styles, genres and traditions.  Pupils will use different types of scales and other musical devices to listen, compose and perform with increasing discrimination to a wide range of music from great composers and musicians develop a deepening understanding of the music that they perform and to which they listen, and its history.

To cover these aspects pupils will study the following themes:

Year 7

  • African music
  • Form and structure
  • Keyboard skills
  • Chords and scales
  • Japanese music

Year 8

  • The blues
  • Hooks and riffs
  • Keyboard skills
  • Periods of music
  • Film music