Horsforth Newlaithes

Welcome to our curriculum webpage for Music

"I love music lessons because you can make lots of sounds at different pitches with your voice and when you put it all together it sounds amazing!"

Gabriella H - Year 3

"I like singing in music and playing different instruments like ukulele, recorder and percussion instruments."

Aishlen K - Year 3

Through our teaching of music, we want to encourage children to enjoy and appreciate a wide range of music styles from different origins and time. The musical stimuli we use must pave way to creativity and specific learning of musical skills. Children should be able to listen and appraise others' compositions using perceptive questions and thought-provoking answers. We want to provide a platform for pupils to have the ability to express ideas and feelings through sound. In turn, it is important that this helps to raise self-esteem and confidence in all children. We want children to realise their individual potential that music has to offer, as well as how this can link to a sense of community, job opportunities and working with others. Here at Newlaithes we want to facilitate a lifelong love of music and musical performance.

Our whole school curriculum drivers shape our curriculum breadth. They are derived from an exploration of the backgrounds of our students, our beliefs about high quality education and our values. Below is a description of how our four curriculum drivers shape and design the music curriculum in our school.

A long term plan for music across the school has been planned to incorporate the following threshold concepts: performing, composing, transcribing and describing music. When teaching these threshold concepts, the following knowledge categories will be used: tempo, pitch, timbre, dynamics, structure and notation. A key resource in teaching music at Newlaithes is the ‘Charanga’ music scheme. Cross-curricular topic links, ILT foci (KS1) and a project for each year group in KS2 will also be incorporated. The recent development of the ‘Model Music Curriculum’ (March 2021) will provide us with a further document of guidance, song and music suggestions for years 1 – 6 to refer to. The Charanga scheme will be providing more material to link to this new program, which we hope to incorporate into our future planning.

Our long-term plan is progressive and children build on previous skills from year to year. To ensure this, there is a skills focus on two areas of music e.g. tempo and pitch for each term. All year groups focus on the same skills during the same term but the objectives are progressive.

In Reception/KS1 – there is an ILT focus for each year to help avoid repetition and provide opportunities for progression.
In KS2 – a project focus is given which could be delivered in a block of lessons or over the course of a few weeks. This should happen in a half term when Charanga is not being taught. Events happen each term that incorporate music and these are referred to on the plan or reactive to teaching interests and topics.

We work closely with ‘Artforms’, a local music service, and employ a specialist teacher to rotate the teaching of curriculum music across the school and help model and team-teach with teachers where necessary. This teacher will also support the teaching of singing when necessary. In year 3, the specialist teacher delivers a year of progressive ukulele tuition for all children. The children work towards performances throughout the year.

We aim for all children at Newlaithes to be competent musicians and to reach the expected standard in music at the end of each year. Our curriculum ensures that children develop an interest in and a love of music which enables them to be effective learners throughout their journey at Newlaithes and fully prepared for the next stage of their music education. We want children to leave Newlaithes with a musical knowledge and understanding that excites them and prepares them for future opportunities to develop their musical repertoire.

We have developed our music curriculum based on the National Curriculum, identified the key skills and knowledge which we want children to learn and consequently make judgements against this criteria during and at the end of the year enabling us to measure the impact teaching and learning has. The majority of assessment which takes place is formative assessment allowing teachers to adapt their planning to match the needs of the children.

The music subject leader monitors the impact of the music curriculum through protected monitoring time during which they complete a range of activities: lesson observations; scrutiny of planning and work; speaking to staff and children and analysing assessment data (introduced summer 2022). This process is quality assured by the Senior Leadership Team and agreed actions are added to subject leader action plans.


Threshold Concepts Knowledge Categories




Describe music








Click here to download our long plan plan for music

Click here to download our skills progression document for music