Music Curriculum

The Power of Music

We aim for our teaching and learning of music to be creative, collaborative and celebratory. Singing, instrument playing, musical performances, the love of listening and appraising music all go towards making a memorable music curriculum.

At Styal Primary School, we follow Charanga music units. These are aligned with the National Curriculum and the DfE's non-statutory Model Music Curriculum 2021. There is a spiral approach to music learning with children revisiting and extending skills and knowledge incrementally. This leads to more secure, deeper learning and musical mastery.

Each unit involves a variety of musical activities centred around given songs:

  1. Understanding music
    Children learn about pulse, rhythm, pitch, dynamics (volume such as forte / piano / mezzo forte / mezzo piano / crescendo / diminuendo), tempo, texture, articulation, timbre.
    Children move to the beat, copy back rhythmic patterns, use untuned percussion, warm up their voices, create melodies on tuned instruments.

  2. Listen and respond

  3. Learn to sing the song

  4. Play instruments with the song
    Children use tuned instruments - glockenspiels (clarinets in Year 5 / 6 with their Wider Opportunities project)

  5. Improvise with the song
    Children make up their own tune. 

  6. Composition 
    Children create graphic scores using shapes, squiggles, letters or pictures. 
    Formal notation is introduced in Year 3 but foundations are laid from Year 1.
    From Year 3, children learn about crotchets, minims, semi-breves, semi quavers and rests. They also use staves, bar-lines and treble clefs.

  7. Perform the song


Each unit has a musical spotlight. It highlights a musical activity to be discussed, learnt about and integrated into each lesson.

The spiral approach allows 6 social questions to be progressively revisited. The questions are intended to stimulate and focus class discussion.

Styal Primary School follows a two year rolling programme.

Our Listening List and Music Timeline

At Styal, we encourage listening to a wide range of musical genres. We have our own Listening List to help us to actively promote a full range of music in assemblies.In this way, this assembly music provides a secure starting point from which to explore further repertoire in Music lessons. Children are supported with the use of our Music Timeline display in the corridor of the main building. We aim to share the joy of music and open our minds to music from around the world and different time periods. 

Extra Musical Activities

Our Music curriculum is interspersed with extra musical activities such as Christmas performances, the local Music Festival, end of year productions and carol singing for the community.

Wider Opportunities

Wider Opportunities are provided to Year 5 / 6 in Spring term where children are taught a musical instrument by specialist music teachers from Love Music Trust. 


At Styal Primary School, we promote singing's benefits. Firstly, it is a fun, inclusive activity. Singing also helps to lower stress, enhance memory and improve mental health.

From 2023 - 24, our choir will be run by Chris McClory who will provide vocal coach support for our children in our after school club. This also benefits our community as the focus of the choir is to perform at the Christmas light switch-on as well as singing 'Carols on the Cobbles'. Therefore, the benefits of singing reaches beyond the children in school.



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Contact Us

Styal Primary School

Altrincham Road
Styal, Wilmslow

Main Contact: Miss Jenny Nolan
SENDCo: Mrs Claire Holliday

Tel: 01625 917280


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