Music at WJPS

The Music Curriculum at West Jesmond

  Curiosity, Confidence, Creativity and Community

 “Where words leave off, music begins” – Heinrich Heine

Music Curriculum Aims

At West Jesmond Primary School, we believe that our Music curriculum should engage and inspire all of our children – thus becoming the start of a life-long relationship with Music! Through building a positive relationship with Music we believe that all children will succeed in the subject regardless of potential barriers to learning and previous experiences of the subject. Throughout their time at WJPS, our children will develop their cultural capital, as they learn about a range music from different styles, cultures, eras and genres. We also take inspiration from our local community and learn about the rich tradition of music in the North East.

Our programme of study focuses on listening, performing and composing and uses a variety of instruments including ukulele, keyboard, tuned and un-tuned percussion. By being able to think and speak critically about their performances and compositions, and those of others, children at WJPS will become creative, confident and risk-taking musicians and composers.


Each topic will include listening to and discussing music using appropriate musical vocabulary.  We will develop our instrumental and vocal skills through practising and performing using our vocals and a variety of different instruments.  We revisit different instruments throughout the curriculum so that previous skills and technique can be revised and developed further each time.  All projects will focus on developing musicality and most will involve a composition task where children compose in the style of the music that they have been studying.  At the end of a project, children will listen to each-others performances and/or compositions and will give each other constructive feedback to allow themselves and their peers to further develop their skills.  Students will be taught to read stave notation and other appropriate forms of notation such as graphic scores and ukulele tab and will use these to notate their own compositions.  In year 4 our children participate in a Scottish Opera project with professional musicians from Scottish Opera which culminates in a performance to parents.

Singing is important in our curriculum, with 20 minute singing assemblies taking place for each Key stage once a week as well as being a key part of curriculum music lessons.  All of our children are taught the importance of vocal health and warming up properly, learning a variety of vocal warm ups and songs which will help them develop their tone and expand their range.  Singing is an inclusive activity and our choir is open to all children in Key stage 2.

There are many extra-curricular musical opportunities such as Key stage 2 choir, djembe group and year 6 band alongside instrumental lessons which are offered on keyboard, guitar and strings.  We like to be involved in the community by carol singing at our local care homes and performing at Jesmond Festival.  We also participate in regional Events such as Newcastle Sings, The Big sing and virtual events such as The North East Festival of Languages.

What you will see in a West Jesmond Music Lesson

  • Engaging and inspiring lessons that promote creativity and curiosity.
  • Children are given the opportunity to practise skills in a variety of ways with each lesson building upon prior learning.
  • High quality instruction and questioning: Supported by our Music Leader, teachers provide carefully planned sequenced and modelled lessons and modelling of skills and techniques that build on children’s knowledge and skills.
  • Achievement and Inclusion for all: All activities are planned, scaffolded and adapted where needed to ensure every child at West Jesmond can achieve highly in Music. This may include adapted resources, adult support and awareness of physical/sensory needs.
  • Practical instrumental and/or vocal activities in every lesson.
  • Frequent opportunities for children to discuss and review their learning.
  • Retrieval of previous learning and explicit links that connect new learning with what the children already know.
  • An emphasis on correct and ambitious vocabulary.  
  • High quality verbal feedback during lessons in line with the Music Skills Progression document.

Impact: Progress in our curriculum is measured by children knowing more and remembering more.

The impact of our teaching in Music is measured using formative assessments throughout the year based on progress towards the objectives of the National curriculum and the Year Group skills and knowledge set out in the West Jesmond Music Skills Progression. Our Music Leader monitors progress for all children through our West Jesmond Deep Dives. Examples of written work are kept in year group files and Book Creator is used on the IPad to evidence progress in lessons. If we are meeting our aims all of our children our children will be able to talk passionately and knowledgeably about music and demonstrate their progression as a musician.  All children should feel confident to perform as a group with their peers both vocally and instrumentally.