Appleton C of E Primary School


What is Music?

Music is an inclusive and accessible language that develops children’s creativity and self-confidence. Children have opportunities for listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of traditions, genres and periods of time.  

Aims of Music

At Appleton C of E Primary School, we believe that our high-quality Music provision helps children to develop a deep understanding about what music is, and to build a passion for the role that music can play in people’s lives. We aim to generate creative, confident and curious individuals through a combination of classroom activities and a whole-school approach to music. 

In our school, a musical child should:

  • Recognise music as a form of expression.
  • Develop an understanding of the interrelated dimensions of music.
  • Discuss and form opinions on different genres of music with a clear ethos of respect and value.
  • Develop their ability to sing and use their voice.
  • Have regular opportunities to perform and compose. 
  • Develop their own musical identity either as a listener, creator or performer.
  • Recognise the cultural and historical impact of music.

How is Music taught?

Music is embedded within our practices at Appleton C of E Primary School. We teach it through a combination of in-class teaching that uses the musical program Charanga, whole class instrumental lessons, singing collective worships, and school plays and performances. Through the use of Charanga, children can experience a practical and child-led approach to music education. 

Throughout all year groups, each unit of work from Charanga is comprised of strands of musical learning that correlate with the national curriculum for music. These include:

  1. Listening and Appraising
  2. Musical Activities
    1. Warm-up Games
    2. Optional Flexible Games
    3. Singing
    4. Playing instruments
    5. Improvisation
    6. Composition
  3. Performing

The diagram below shows the depth of learning that occurs as the children move through the year groups. As they progress, the colour deepens and the learning widens:

All musical learning in Charanga is also built around the Interrelated Dimensions of Music: pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, timbre, texture, structure and notation. These dimensions are at the heart of all musical learning. The progression in these areas can be seen in the diagram below: 


At Appleton CE Primary School, children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. We are committed to developing a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life. We aim to provide children with the opportunity to progress to the next level of their creative excellence.


The music curriculum ensures children sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom activities as well as singing in Collective Worship and taking part in school plays and performances and learning to play an instrument. 

Teachers mainly deliver music following the Charanga programme, designed specifically for the teaching of music in primary schools. Charanga lessons are planned in sequences to provide children with the opportunities to review, remember, deepen and apply their understanding. 

The elements of music are taught in classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language of music to dissect it, and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. In the classroom, children learn how to play a variety of percussion instruments and in year 3 they learn to play an orchestral string instrument. Playing various instruments enables children to use a range of methods to create notes, as well as learning how to read basic music notation. They also learn how to compose, focusing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music. Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument.


Music enables children to develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to children individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children are able to enjoy music in as many ways as they choose – either as listener, creator or performer. Children have the opportunity to discuss and share their own thoughts, opinions and ideas, acknowledging and respecting that these may vary and that this is positive. They can analyse music and comprehend its parts. They can sing and feel a pulse. 

At Appleton C of E Primary School children are provided with opportunities beyond the National Curriculum to further and support their understanding. These include having visitors with a musical talent, visiting concerts and school productions. External interests and talents are also encouraged and showcased in class, Collective Worships and school events such as MacMillan Coffee morning, ensuring that everyone is challenged, regardless of previous musical experience. Children have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.