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Our Lady and St Rose of Lima Catholic Primary School home page

Our Lady and St Rose of Lima
Catholic Primary School & Nursery

Learning, Living, Loving Together in Christ

Music Plan: Whole School

Music Plan: 2024 - 25




Academic year that this summary covers

2024 – 2025

Date this summary was published

September 2024

Date this summary will be reviewed

July 2025

Name of the school music lead

Miss H Elliott

Name of local music hub

Services for Education



This is a summary of how our school delivers music education to all our pupils across three areas – curriculum music, co-curricular provision and musical experiences – and what changes we are planning in future years. This information is to help pupils and parents or carers understand what our school offers and who we work with to support our pupils’ music education.

Part A: Curriculum music

This is about what we teach in lesson time, how much time is spent teaching music and any music qualifications or awards that pupils can achieve.

At Our Lady and St Rose of Lima Primary School, we follow the Kapow Music scheme to teach our children. This scheme takes a holistic approach to music, in which the individual strands below are woven together to create engaging and enriching learning experiences:

  • Performing
  • Listening
  • Composing
  • The history of music
  • The inter-related dimensions of music

Each five-lesson unit combines these strands within a cross-curricular topic designed to captures pupils’ imagination and encourage them to explore music enthusiastically. Over the course of the scheme, children will be taught how to sing fluently and expressively and play tuned and untuned instruments accurately and with control. They will learn to recognise and name the interrelated dimensions of music – pitch, duration, tempo, timbre, structure, texture and dynamics – and use these expressively in their own improvisations and compositions. 

The Kapow Primary scheme follows the spiral curriculum model where previous skills and knowledge are returned and built upon which follows the same approach as the Knowledge Based Curriculum scheme we use for other foundation subjects. Children progress in terms of tackling more complex tasks and doing more simple tasks better, as well as developing understanding and knowledge of the history of music, staff, and other musical notations, as well as the interrelated dimensions of music and more.

In each lesson, pupils will actively participate in musical activities drawn from a range of teaching strategies and their understanding of how music works. Lessons incorporate teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired and group work as well as improvisation and teacher-led performances. Lessons are ‘hands-on’ and incorporate movement and dance elements, as well as making cross curricular links with other areas of learning.

Differentiated guidance allows teachers to ensure that lessons can be accessed by all pupils and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are made when required. Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts and vocabulary.

At our school, Music is taught intensively in a dedicated week-long block once per term, a method we also apply to other foundation subjects. This approach enhances children's knowledge retention, as they engage deeply with the material over a concentrated period. To support ongoing retention, every class participates in weekly retrieval quizzes that include Music questions, encouraging pupils to utilize their prior knowledge and recall skills. Additionally, every fortnight, all classes have a retrieval practice session, providing further opportunities to revisit and consolidate their learning across various subjects, including Music. This methodical reinforcement helps pupils deepen their understanding over time. To manage resources effectively and ensure thorough monitoring, Music lessons are scheduled differently for each class, preventing the simultaneous use of Music equipment and facilitating focused instructional time.

Please see below an overview of our Music curriculum and how the units have been sequenced over the year. This document also highlights the knowledge that the children will learn in each unit so that you can see a progression across the year groups:



Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3


Nursery rhymes




Music and Movement

Musical Stories

Big Band


To know that the beat is the steady pulse of a song.

To recognise music that is ‘fast’ or ‘slow.’

To understand that we can match our body movements to the speed (tempo) or pulse (beat) of music.

To know that signals can tell us when to start or stop playing.

To understand that a piece of music can tell a story with sounds.

To know that different instruments can sound like a particular character.

To understand what 'high' and 'low' notes are.

To know that an orchestra is a big group of people playing a variety of instruments together.

To know that music often has more than one instrument being played at a time.

To understand that performing means playing a finished piece of music for an audience.

Year 1

Pulse and Rhythm

Timbre and Rhythmic Pattern

Pitch and Tempo


To know that rhythm means a pattern of long and short notes.

To know that pulse is the regular beat that goes through music.

To understand that the pulse of music can get faster or slower.

To know that a piece of music can have more than one section, eg a versed and a chorus.

To know that an instrument or rhythm pattern can represent a character in a story.

To know that my voice can create different timbres to help tell a story.

To know that Sergei Prokofiev wrote 'Peter and the Wolf' for children in 1936.

To understand that tempo can be used to represent mood or help tell a story.

To understand that 'tuned' instruments play more than one pitch of notes.

To know that following a leader when we perform helps everyone play together accurately

Year 2

Musical Me

West African Call and Response Song

On the Island: British Songs and Sounds


To understand that 'melody' means a tune.

To know that 'notation' means writing music down so that someone else can play it.

To understand that 'accompaniment' can mean playing instruments along with a song.

To understand that a melody is made up from high and low pitched notes played one after the other, making a tune.

To know that dynamics can change the effect a sound has on the audience.

To know that the long and short sounds of a spoken phrase can be represented by a rhythm.

To understand that structure means the organisation of sounds within music, eg a chorus and verse pattern in a song.

To understand that the tempo of a musical phrase can be changed to achieve a different effect.

To understand that an instrument can be matched to an animal noise based on its timbre.

To know that folk music represents the traditions or culture of a place and is often passed on by being played rather than written down.

To know that 'duration' means how long a note, phrase or whole piece of music lasts.

To know that a composition is a collection of musical elements, like the melody, percussion, dynamics etc that together make a piece of music.

Year 3

Creating Compositions in Response to Animation

Pentatonic Melodies and Composition



To understand that the timbre of instruments played affect the mood and style of a piece of music.

To know that an ensemble is a group of musicians who perform together.

To know that to perform well, it is important to listen to the other members of your ensemble.

To know that the word 'crescendo' means a sound getting gradually louder.

To know that some traditional music around the world is based on five notes called a 'pentatonic' scale.

To understand that a pentatonic melody uses only the five notes C D E G A.

To understand that 'syncopation' means a rhythm that is played off the natural beat.

To know that Ragtime is piano music that uses syncopation and a fast tempo.

To know that jazz is a type of music that originated in the African-American communities of the USA about 120 years ago.

To know that 'scat singing' is using made-up words to create the sound of an instrument playing.

Year 4




Year 5


South and West Africa

Composition for the Festival of Colour


To understand that a chord is the layering of several pitches played at the same time.

To know that 12-bar Blues is a sequence of 12 bars of music, made up of three different chords.

To know that 'blues' music aims to share feelings and blues songs tend to be about sadness or worry.

To know that a 'bent note' is a note that varies in its pitch, eg the pitch may slide up or down.

To know that songs sung in other languages can contain sounds that are unfamiliar to us, like the clicks of the Xhosa language.

To know that 'The Click Song' is a traditional song sung in the Xhosa language and is believed to bring good luck at weddings.

To understand that major chords create a bright, happy sound.

To know that poly-rhythms means many rhythms played at once.

To know that a vocal composition is a piece of music created only using voices.

To understand that varying effects can be created using only your voice, for example by changing the pitch, dynamic or tempo of the sounds made.

To understand that human voices have their own individual timbre, and that this can be adapted by using the voice in different ways

To know that the duration of a note or phrase in music can be shown using a repeated symbol or the size of a symbol on a graphic score.

Year 6

Advanced Rhythms

Theme and Variations (Pop Art)

Composing and Performing a Leaver’s Song


To know that the conductor beats time to help the performers work well together.

To understand that improvisation means making up music 'on the spot'.

To understand that texture can be created by adding or removing instruments in a piece and can create the effect of dynamic change.

To know that timbre can also be thought of as 'tone colour' and can be described in many ways eg warm or cold, rich or bright.

To know that a 'theme' is a main melody in a piece of music.

To know that 'variations' in music are when a main melody is changed in some way throughout the piece.

To know that 'The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra' was written in 1945 by Benjamin Britten.

To understand that representing beats of silence or ‘rests’ in written music is important as it helps us play rhythms correctly.

To know that a chord progression is a sequence of chords that repeats throughout a song.

To know that a melody can be adapted by changing its dynamics, pitch or tempo.

To know that chord progressions are represented in music by Roman numerals.

To understand that all types of music notation show note duration.


Part B: Co-curricular music

This is about opportunities for pupils to sing and play music, outside of lesson time, including choirs, ensembles and bands, and how pupils can make progress in music beyond the core curriculum.

At Our Lady and St Rose of Lima School, we offer a variety of co-curricular music sessions to enrich our pupils' musical education. In Year 4, pupils have the opportunity to learn the ukulele through weekly hour-long lessons provided by an outside agency, Services for Education, which offers a specialised program distinct from the school's regular music curriculum. This foundational instruction is available for free to parents, with costs jointly covered by the school and Services for Education. In Year 5, pupils can continue their ukulele education with 45-minute after-school sessions conducted by the same ukulele teacher, also at no charge to the parents. This program extends into Year 6, with pupils receiving half-hour sessions to further refine their skills.

Additionally, we have a vibrant school choir and sign language group, both of which meet weekly for 45 minutes after school. These groups, along with the ukulele ensembles, perform for parents at the end of each term and have the prestigious opportunity to showcase their talents at the Symphony Hall Youth Proms in the summer. Our choir also collaborates with local schools, including participating in Advent and Lent performances organised by our local secondary school.

We are committed to fostering a musical environment beyond the classroom and are currently working to provide parents with contact information for outside agencies that offer instrumental and vocal lessons. This support aims to encourage and facilitate our pupils' musical pursuits outside of school hours.

Part C: Musical experiences

This is about all the other musical events and opportunities that we organise, such as singing in assembly, concerts and shows, and trips to professional concerts.

Our school provides a rich array of musical experiences designed to broaden our pupils' horizons and foster a lifelong appreciation for music. As previously mentioned, our Choir performs at prestigious events such as the Symphony Hall Youth Proms and participates in Advent and Lent performances at our local secondary school. They also collaborate termly with our ukulele groups to perform for parents, showcasing their hard work and talent.

We strive to offer unique musical experiences that pupils might not otherwise encounter. Each year, we host an African Drumming Workshop for every year group. During these sessions, a music teacher from an outside agency introduces the children to African drumming, providing an eye-opening and enjoyable experience. This workshop is particularly relevant for Year 2 and Year 5, as it ties in with their curriculum topics on African music.

In addition to these special events, the entire school comes together weekly for Hymn Practice. Led by the headteacher on guitar, we sing both familiar and new hymns to prepare for our fortnightly Masses. This communal singing helps to build a strong sense of community and spiritual connection among pupils and staff.

During the Christmas season, our Early Years and Year 1 pupils collaborate to present a Nativity performance, singing carols and hymns they have practiced for weeks. Similarly, Year 2 and KS2 pupils join forces to deliver a Carol Service for parents and parishioners at our local church, with rehearsals and singing leading up to the event.

At the end of the academic year, our Year 6 pupils put on a memorable leavers' assembly. They perform an original song created through their final curriculum unit, as well as various songs from the performance pack. This event is a highlight of the year, celebrating their musical journey and achievements.

Overall, we are a very musical school, deeply committed to encouraging our pupils to sing and perform confidently at every opportunity.



In the future

This is about what the school is planning for subsequent years.

At Our Lady and St Rose of Lima School, we are constantly striving for improvement and are committed to challenging and enhancing our curriculum for the benefit of our students. Over the next year or two, we will be focusing on enriching our music curriculum and co-curricular offerings to help our pupils thrive and further develop their musical talents. Our goal is to refine the curriculum to provide the best possible learning opportunities and to broaden the experiences we offer. This includes inviting external visitors to share their expertise and organising trips that expose children to a diverse range of cultures and musical styles. By continually seeking ways to improve, we aim to foster a dynamic and inspiring musical environment that supports the growth and development of every child.