Part of the Faculty of Arts

Faculty Leader:

  • Miss R. Arnold

Subject Leader:

  • Miss I. Manders

External Stakeholders:

  • Ben Owen (Rock Steady)
  • Harriet Atherton (City Music Service – Songbirds)
  • Wayne Ryles (Guitar Club)
  • Keith Mosedale Snr. (Key Strings)

Subject Vision:

At Milton Primary Academy, our music curriculum inspires and challenges pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and enjoy music both as listeners, composers and performers. As the children progress though our academy, we aim for them to develop an understanding of how music can vary and the different elements used to create a piece of music. We believe that children should also know how music shapes our history and that it has strong links with the culture and creativity of our nation. Our vision is to develop and stimulate the children’s interest in music, allowing them to express themselves in a variety of ways.   

Principles of Outstanding Music

These are the ‘Principles of Outstanding Music’ at Milton Primary Academy. They were devised and agreed by the children and staff in January 2020, informed by the way we feel that music should be taught across the Academy.

Principle 1: Children are excited and enthusiastic about music.

Principle 2: Children lead their own learning, asking and answering their own questions about music, performers and composers.

Principle 3: Music is practical and hands on and children enjoy learning through creativity and exploration.

Principle 4: Teachers use a range of effective assessment strategies to inform the planning and teaching of music.

Principle 5: Teachers introduce children to a range of age-appropriate musical terminology and they use this confidently.

Principle 6: Children and adults appreciate the awe and wonder of music, making links to how, where and why it forms part of their everyday lives.

Principle 7: Teachers enable children to access a range of enrichment opportunities, both within and beyond the curriculum.

Music Subject Leader

My name is Miss Manders and I am the music subject lead at Milton Primary Academy. My role is to ensure that children are able to express themselves through music, using a variety of instruments, and to develop their techniques and competencies as they become listeners, composers and performers themselves.

I believe that music is a unique way of communicating that can inspire and motivate children. It is a vehicle for personal expression, and it can play an important part in the personal development of individuals and groups of people. Music reflects culture and society, and so the teaching and learning of music enables children to better understand the world they live in. Besides being a creative and enjoyable activity, I believe that music can also be a highly academic and demanding subject. It plays an important part in helping children feel part of a community and therefore we provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music, to develop musical skills, to appreciate a wide variety of musical genres, and to begin to make judgements about the quality of music.

On a personal note, music is a subject that I have always enjoyed and stemming from my own experiences in primary school, I feel that it is hugely important that children are exposed to a selection of musical genres and instruments. I therefore feel passionate about providing children with a wide range of musical experiences throughout their time at our academy. 

My passion and ambition has always been for music to be heard across the curriculum at Milton Primary Academy, and this is illustrated by our achievement of the ‘ArtsMark Silver Award’ in 2019: an award that recognises the musical experiences and opportunities that Milton Primary offers.

Music Curriculum

At Milton Primary Academy we aim to provide a music curriculum that is creative, inclusive, challenging and inspired by the real-world. It inspires future thinkers, innovators and problem solvers in an immersive environment that stimulates curiosity and supports high-quality learning, allowing each and every learner to fulfil their potential.


In the Early Years Foundation Stage, we teach music through the Expressive Arts and Design strand of the Early Years Framework.

Ongoing experiences and opportunities linking to children’s developing understanding of the world are planned from the objectives set out in the Early Years Framework, which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged 3-5 at Milton Primary Academy.

The experiences that we provide ensure that children develop a secure understanding of how to express themselves through the mediums of art and design. By the end of the Reception year, they will be able to:

  • Sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them.
  • Use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes.
  • Represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through best practice and activity ideas.

KS1 and KS2:

The Primary National Curriculum for Music aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • 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.

With this in mind, our programme of study for music clearly sets out what will be taught and learnt at each point in the year for all year groups, including a range of famous musicians.

The Contribution of Music to Teaching and Learning in Other Areas of the Curriculum

Fundamentally, everyone’s experience of the world is cross curricular, as everything that surrounds us can be seen and understood from multiple perspectives. Our music curriculum at Milton Primary therefore aims to take advantage of a range of opportunities for children to make links between different subject areas, supporting the use and application of what has already been taught and learned in new and different ways and providing opportunities for deep, meaningful learning.

English (inc. Reading): As is true of every subject, the teaching and learning of music at Milton Primary places great emphasis on children’s grasp of reading and oracy, therefore opportunities for children to practice these skills are plentiful. In lessons, children are encouraged to ask questions and voice opinions about a variety of musical pieces, explaining their likes and dislikes. They also have a range of opportunities to research composers and musical artists, learn about the different styles used by a diverse range of musicians and use their voices to sing and make music.

Mathematics: Music and mathematics are both practical and exciting subjects that connect in a number of different ways. For example, each piece of music follows a repetitive beat and being able to count the beat and stay in time is a crucial skill when performing, especially as part of a group. 

Computing: Making links between computing and music can be incredibly beneficial. When researching particular artists and composers, children often use iPads and laptops, and what’s more, the teaching and learning of music is also enhanced by the use of an online interactive music programme called Charanga.

SMSC and British Values: Musical expression is key in all cultures and religions. At Milton Primary Academy, we learn about famous British musicians and their links with British culture and identity. We also explore the importance of music in a variety of religions and the influence and meaning behind this. We feel that it is of huge importance that children are able to express themselves through music, allowing them to celebrate their own cultures, religions and values, whilst also being respectful and tolerant of others. 

Physical Education: As part of our P.E. curriculum, children are exposed to a range of contemporary and historical composers, and the music that they produced. This often takes place during units of learning focussed on dance and throughout these units, children are challenged to consider how to make links between movement and music, both individually and as part of a group. 

Assessment in Music

At Milton Primary Academy we all agree that the effective assessment of children’s learning helps us to ensure that each child makes good or better progress so that ‘Together We Achieve Our Best.’ This section therefore outlines the various assessment methods and practices that we use to monitor pupil progress and attainment in music at Milton Primary, and also ensure that the activities that we plan for our children are suitably matched to their ability and level of development.

Formative Assessment (AfL): During the teaching of each National Curriculum objective, children’s subject knowledge and musical ability will be assessed formatively by their class teacher on a lesson-by-lesson basis. Teachers will consider the music objectives covered during each session and the end-goal that is to be achieved; in doing so they will then make judgements that are subsequently used to inform future teaching based on the children’s musical competency relating to the piece of music performed or explored.

Summative Assessment: At the end of each unit of learning, teachers also make a summative judgement relating to the children’s knowledge and understanding of musical context and composition, in line with the objectives set out in the National Curriculum. This information is then recorded on an online database, allowing our academy leaders to track and monitor the progress and attainment of individuals as they make their way through the school. 

Educational Visits and Enrichment

At Milton Primary Academy we place great emphasis on the importance of educational visits and visitors to enhance the teaching and learning of music. These visits and visitors, which provide valuable opportunities for learning through first-hand experience, are therefore an integral part of the curriculum and allow our children to make valuable connections between what they have learned in class and their first-hand experiences in the real-world.

Whole School Enrichment and Clubs:

During their time at Milton, all pupils will have access to a variety of enrichment opportunities and educational visits that make links to the music curriculum. These opportunities include a wide range of clubs, both with and beyond the academy day, that develop performance skills and an understanding of musical contexts and composition.

Specifically, our Songbirds at Milton Primary represent the academy at a city-wide singing concert at the Victoria Hall. They perform twice a year (at Christmas and in summer) and meet weekly to learn and practise new songs.

What’s more, an external company called ‘Rock Steady’ join our academy each Friday afternoon and teach the children how to play a variety of instruments, before forming an academy band that perform periodically in assemblies as part of a ‘Rock Steady Concert’. 

Guitar Club and Recorder Club also take place weekly, giving the children a chance to play a selection of instruments and attend local music festivals to showcase what they have learned. 

Finally, Key Strings, a string instrument duo, visit Milton each term to show the children different types of string instruments that are used both today and in the past. This is an interactive and enjoyable assembly which gives children an opportunity to play some of these lesser known instruments. 


Pupil Voice

At Milton Primary Academy we believe that the view of every pupil is important to ensure that we provide the best education possible. Here is a selection of pupil voice collected during the 2019/20 academic year, and in some cases, what we are doing / have done to improve the music education that we provide.

Dylan in Nursery said… “We like singing nursery rhymes and playing with the musical instruments.”

Elijah in Year 1 said.. “I liked playing the African drums and the tambourines.”

Poppy in Year 2 said… “I really like singing songs all together in class.”

Maisie in Year 3 said… “I like learning about the different notes and how to play them.”

Riley in Year 4 said… “I like watching Rock Steady concerts – they’re so loud and it’s really cool when your friends are performing too!”

Lily-Mae in Year 4 said… “It would be good if there were more shows that we could perform in.”

Lily-Mae said it… we did it!! Our spring term Rock Steady Concert is booked in for Friday 3rd April and we’re also working hard to arrange a whole academy concert that will give everyone an opportunity to perform together!

Ria in Year 6 said… “The rap battle that we did when each class competed against each other was really good because we could use all of the things that we’ve learnt from Charanga!”


Please see below a selection of documents that relate to the intent, implementation, and impact of music teaching and learning at Milton Primary Academy. If you require any additional information relating to this subject, then please contact the subject leader, Miss I. Manders, via the academy office (