Part of the Faculty of Arts

Subject Leader:

  • Miss I. Manders

Faculty Leader:

  • Miss R. Arnold

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 understanding 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 September 2021, informed by the way we feel that music should be taught across the Academy.

Principle 1: Children are excited and enthusiastic about music, as they are taught to know more and remember more.

Principle 2: Lessons are carefully planned and delivered, so that new material is delivered in a way that is clear, interesting and useful. 

Principle 3: Instruction is focused on the learning intention and pedagogical tools do not detract from the knowledge that needs to be remembered. 

Principle 4: Through spaced-retrievalpreviously taught content is revisited to ensure that new content can be understood and is retained in the long-term memory. 

Principle 5: Formative assessment is regularly used to check that children retain knowledge and that they can retrieve previously taught content from their long-term memory.

Principle 6: 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 concepts, 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. The music areas of study are set out in the Foundation Stage Curriculum and the National Curriculum 2014.


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

ELG: Being Imaginative and Expressive

  • Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher;
  • Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs;
  • Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and – when appropriate – try to move in time with music.

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. Our curriculum is also informed the Department for Education’s ‘Model Music Curriculum’ (2021) and this aims for pupils to be taught across four core areas. When taught together, the core areas contribute towards the development of musicianship. The four core areas are:

  • Singing: Pupils will model good vocal production with a well-developed sense of pitch, rhythm and dynamics. Pupils will have opportunity to experiment with their voices in order to impact a piece of music.
  • Listening: Listening to music is fundamental to musical understanding. By learning to listen critically, pupils will not only expand their musical horizons but also gain a deeper understanding of how music is constructed and the impact it can have on the listener. Listening to a broad range of music also helps develop other areas of musical activity, including composing and performing. Pupils will listen to music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians.
  • Composing: The creative process, with its wide horizons and possibility, gives pupils an opportunity to contribute to musical culture in unique and valuable ways. As pupils travel through the Key Stages, they will develop the craft of creating melodies and fashioning these into short pieces.
  • Performing: Performing creates opportunities to celebrate, share and experience music. It also gives opportunity to develop stagecraft, consider their musical programme, encourages peer feedback and seeks out opportunities for collaboration.

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 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 2021/22 academic year, and in some cases, what we are doing / have done to improve the music education that we provide.

Olivia in Nursery said, “I like to play the Agogo.”

“I like singing on the stage outside to other children,” said Emily in Reception.

“I’m looking forward to the Christmas Nativity” said Freddie D in Year 1.

Betsy in Year 2 said, “I love when we listened to rock music. It’s fun.”

“I like it when we all sing in assembly because it is nice to do it together.” said Max in Year 4.

…..we agree, Max! It is so nice for us to hear you all perform together as a school again.

Maisie in Year 5 said, “I like being able to play different instruments and learn about different instruments.”

“I really enjoy Rocksteady,” said Joshua in Year 6.

We are so pleased to hear that you are enjoying the experience of being in a band with Rock Steady.


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 (