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Holy Family

Catholic Primary School

Living, Loving, Learning as followers of Jesus Christ



At Holy Family, we want our children, first and foremost, to feel musical and develop a life-long love of music. Children will develop the skills of singing, playing tuned and untuned instruments and listening and responding to music. The children will develop an understanding of the history and cultural context of the music that they listen to and learn how music can be written down. We help children develop transferable skills such as team-working, leadership, creative thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, and presentation and performance skills. We want to introduce our children to music from all around the world and across generations teaching music to respect and appreciate music of all traditions and communities. 


Essential characteristics of a musician at Holy Family:

  • Be confident performers, composers and listeners and will be able to express themselves musically at and beyond school.
  • Show an appreciation and respect for a wide range of musical styles from around the world and will understand how music is influenced by the wider cultural, historical and social contexts in which it is developed.
  • Understand the ways in which music can be written down to support performing and composing activities 
  • Demonstrate and articulate an enthusiasm for music and be able to identify their own personal music preferences. 
  • Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the national curriculum for Music.



Our curriculum distinguishes between subject topics and threshold concepts. 

Subject topics are the specific aspects of subjects that are studied e.g.  Ballads, Rock & Roll, Jazz etc. Threshold concepts tie together the subject topics into meaningful schema. The same concepts are explored in a wide breadth of topics. Through this ‘forwards-and-backwards engineering’ of the curriculum, pupils return to the same concepts over and over, and gradually build an understanding of them.


The five threshold concepts of Music are:

  • Performing - play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and musical instruments with accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • Listening - listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
  • Composing - improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
  • Inter-related dimensions of music - these are the building blocks of music and include pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notation
  •  History of music (KS2) - develop an understanding of the history of music


Music is an essential part of learning in EYFS and it is incorporated in everyday learning. The musical aspects of the children’s work relate to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals.


In KS1, pupils are taught to use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes. They will learn to play tuned and untuned instruments musically and experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dynamics of music. They will learn to listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music.


In KS2, the children will be taught to sing and play musically with confidence and control. They will develop an understanding of musical compositions, organise and manipulate ideas within musical structures and reproduce sounds from aural memory. They will also begin to develop an understanding of the history of music and use and understand staff and other musical notations.



Children at Holy Family will be able to know more and remember more about music. Children will develop a life-long love and appreciation for music. They will be able to listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of genres, styles and historical periods. They will develop an ability to create and compose music individually and collaboratively. They will display a deep understanding of our school values by listening to, interpreting and expressing themselves through music.