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At Orchard our primary intent is to have an engaging and inspiring curriculum with high academic ambition for all pupils.  In Music we aim to develop students’ understanding and knowledge of music from different times, places and traditions.  In doing so, we endeavour to build the children’s skills of listening, appraising, performing and composing. 

The 2014 National Curriculum for Music aims to ensure that all children:

  • perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians

  • learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence

  • understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.


At Orchard our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum, with our own additions and enhancements.  It develops both knowledge and practical skills, with frequent opportunities to perform in front of an audience.




Each class from Year 3 to Year 6 has a weekly music lesson, following a bespoke scheme devised by our specialist music teacher.  All classes have two one hour lessons per three weeks. Each week we have a weekly music assembly when we sing a variety of songs, listen to children perform on instruments they are learning, or enjoy the performances of visiting musicians.

Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of Music involves the following;

  • Music units are devised by our specialist music teacher, as well as preparing students for group and individual performances.

  • Children’s knowledge and understanding of musical vocabulary is developed to enable their ability to describe and appraise pieces of music.

  • Children begin learning aspects of music theory, applying them when learning to play a tuned instrument (recorder in year 3).

  • Children have the opportunity to develop skills of improvisation and composition, using their knowledge of rhythm and pitch.

  • Children develop their performance skills through a variety of opportunities (e.g. Christmas performances, year group shows, ensembles such as choir and orchestra).

  • Children increase their cultural capital through visitors and visits e.g. the Southampton Choir festival, visiting musicians.

  • Students are encouraged to learn a musical instrument in school through the provision of  peripatetic music teachers, either individually, in pairs or in groups



As children progress through Orchard they develop their vocal technique, understanding of music theory and performance skills.  Children deepen their understanding of the history of music through exciting and stimulating topics, which enable them to explore a variety of musical genres and styles.  Musical understanding, as well as the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, is further supported by themed lessons and assemblies for special cross-curricular events .

Formative assessment takes place continually in lessons to ensure children’s engagement and development of their skills.  As they progress through the school, more able musicians take increasing responsibility for their involvement in musical activities (e.g. members of orchestra performing in and leading music assemblies).  Our approach to music teaching at Orchard is characterised by active involvement in different forms of music making, both individual and communal, developing a sense of group identity and togetherness.

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