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“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” Plato


At St. James’ CEC Primary School we aim to engage, motivate and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and to make it an enjoyable learning experience. Music is a unique way of communicating and a vehicle for personal expression. It can play an important part in children’s personal and cognitive development. 

Our music curriculum aims to reflect the culture and society that we live in, so that the teaching and learning of music enables children to better understand the world they live in. Music also plays an important part in helping children to feel part of a community. We provide opportunities for all children to participate in a range of musical experiences – to create, play, perform and enjoy music in a variety of settings throughout the school year. This aims to build up their confidence, resilience and self-esteem. Singing lies at the heart of good music teaching. Our teaching focuses on developing the children’s ability to sing in tune and with other people. Through singing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music.

We teach children to listen and appreciate a wide variety of musical forms and to begin to make judgements about the quality of music. As the children get older, we expect them to maintain their concentration for longer, and to listen to more extended pieces of music. Children develop descriptive skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent feelings and emotions. It is important that they are given the opportunity to experience and study a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions and cultures. We teach children to make music together, to understand various ways of writing music and to compose pieces.


Music teaching at St. James’ is based on the Charanga Scheme of work, which ensures consistency and progression throughout the school. We recognise that musical teaching and learning is not neat and linear. Therefore, in line with the National Curriculum for music and guidance from Ofsted, the Charanga scheme moves away from the previous levels and learning objectives to an integrated, practical, exploratory and child-led approach to musical learning. The interrelated dimensions of music weave through the units to encourage the development of musical skills as the learning progresses through listening and appraising, differing musical activities (including creating and exploring) and performing. The Charanga Musical School Scheme provides teachers with week-by-week lesson support for each year group in the school. It is ideal for specialist and non-specialist teachers and provides lesson plans, assessment, clear progression, and engaging and exciting whiteboard resources to support every lesson. The scheme also provides support and professional development for less confident teachers to deliver lessons.

How the Scheme is structured 

All activities are based around a song. 

  • Games embed the Interrelated Dimensions of Music through repetition 
  • Singing is at the heart of all the musical learning. 
  • Playing instruments with the song to be learnt - tuned/un-tuned classroom percussion and an option to play any instrument. A sound-before-symbol approach is used but scores are provided as an understanding of notation is introduced to the children. 
  • Improvising with the song using voices and instruments occurs in some Units of Work.
  • Composing with the song using instruments occurs in some Units of Work. 
  • Performing and sharing what has taken place during the lesson and work towards performing to an audience.


Performance is a high priority at St. James’ and all pupils participate in our church services and other performances for parents. Singing and playing instruments is an important part of collective worship. We look forward to including live musical performances from visitors now it is more safe to do so.

Music lessons

We currently have children learning to play the piano, violin, guitar and drums with specialist music teachers. As children progress through the school, there are opportunities for whole class instrument learning on tuned instruments. This is currently the glockenspiel and ukulele. We also have a thriving choir who practice regularly and enjoy performing.

Musical Progression 

Progression in the Charanga Scheme ensures the curriculum is covered and the skills, knowledge and vocabulary taught are progressive from year group to year group. 



By providing a Music curriculum that ensures progression and repetition, pupils will develop the skills and knowledge needed to meet the end of key stage expectations. By having access to a varied, inspiring musical program, children can identify their own areas of strengths and areas which they might like to develop. We strive to encourage self-confidence within the children but also self-reflection for the children to understand what they want to achieve through music, therefore understanding how they can take their own learning further. Our impact of music aims to enable our children to enjoy music in a variety of ways; as a listener, performer, creator and a critique.  We believe our pupils develop the characteristics of an effective musician so that they leave us being resilient and independent learners, being able to create original and imaginative compositions. Children have the confidence to perform their work to others. They have an excellent awareness of a range of music and genres, have knowledge of a range of artists who have contributed to the evolution of music and who have contributed to the diversity of musical styles and have a passion for a diverse range of musical activities.


Please click here to view our progression of knowledge and skills in music.