Preston Park Primary


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." - Plato

An Artsmark award recognises that the school values and encourages the teaching of the Arts. We are very pleased to announce that the school has been awarded a silver award and we hope that in the following cycle we can develop to gold

What do we want for our children?hievement.

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.

At Preston Park, we want to create a passion for music in our children that will stay with them in their future lives. Our music curriculum is ambitious and we ensure that music is an inspiring and engaging experience that enables every child to develop their musical potential. Alongside this we want children to develop an appreciation of the value of music that is deeply personal to them. Our aim is for children to have a curiosity for the subject and a respect for the role that music may play in any person’s life. Having a high quality programme of music for appreciation ensures this core value, we want to afford children the opportunity to encounter artists outside of their experience in life thus far.

Our music lessons ensures 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. We ensure that our lessons provide the opportunity to 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 as a musician.

The curriculum bases great emphasis on how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.    

Children at Preston Park have the opportunity to explore a variety of musical genres and cultural styles from around the world. They study a diverse range of male and female composers throughout history, and learn to listen critically and appraise using subject specific vocabulary.  

Our music curriculum also promotes the fundamental British Values, reflecting the school’s learning ethos. Our curriculum offers bountiful opportunities to support children in understanding the importance of tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions in order to appreciate and respect their own and other cultures. Musical styles and artists from across the world and a range of different cultures are studied. Through the music curriculum, children are also taught to accept that the ideas of others may not be the same as their own, but are equally valid.

Through the curriculum we aspire to develop learning, improve knowledge and promote pupil well-being through confidence building.  Music can impact the way that children feel, think and act; we want music to encourage the body and mind to work together, develop motor skills and allow self-expression. We believe that music is a gateway to supporting the whole child socially, emotionally, morally and culturally. The confidence and positive attitudes we aim to achieve will only come from providing children with a rich, diverse and engaging music curriculum, with high-quality extra-curricular opportunities.

How do we deliver this effectively?

At Preston Park, we have created a bespoke music curriculum which links our Creative Curriculum with the learning of a variety of musical skills. Our curriculum is underpinned by the Model Music Curriculum (MMC). The MMC allows us to ensure we building pupils understanding of Listening, Improvising, Singing, Composing, Musicianship and Performance concepts.

The music curriculum ensures children sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom activities as well as learning of instruments, choral singing and class productions. These elements of music are taught in classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language of music to dissect songs, and understand how they are made, played, appreciated and analysed.

Our personalised curriculum is our scheme of learning and we have ensured that we are fulfilling the aims for musical learning stated in the National Curriculum [1].  Children are introduced to many examples of music styles and genres from different times and places which we have adapted to serve our overarching aim of introducing children at Preston Park to only high quality songs and artists. These are explored through the language of music via active listening, performing and composing activities, which enable understanding of the context and genre. 

We employ a classroom-based, participatory and inclusive approach to music learning. Children are actively involved in using and developing their singing voices, using body percussion and whole body actions, and learning to handle and play classroom instruments effectively to create and express their own and others’ music. Through a range of whole class, group and individual activities, children have opportunities to explore sounds, listen actively, compose and perform.

We have an inclusive approach which supports children with SEND. At Preston Park, teachers adapt and tailor their lessons to meet both the learning and physical needs of all children.

Music is a unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. Music forms part of an individual’s identity and positive interaction with music can develop pupils’ competence as learners and increase their self-esteem. Music brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of culture, past and present, music helps pupils understand themselves, relate to others and develop their cultural understanding, forging important links between home, school and the wider world.

Music lessons are inclusive by nature and can help fulfil many sensory and emotional needs associated with some SEND learners. This however can be a hurdle, especially when ensuring learning environments are appropriate for each individual child. Teachers ensure all children’s needs are met by anticipating barriers and by modifying or adjusting planning where necessary. At Preston Park, we maintain the same expectations for all of our curriculum and ensure that all children have access to a high-quality music education.

What does this look like for our children?

Children will develop their skills in:

  • Listening and appraising – Appreciation, evaluation, opinion and discussion
  • Singing and musicianship - using voices and instruments to perform in ensemble and solo contexts
  • Composing and performing – improvising with voices and instruments, composing use notation/graphic scoring
  • Elements of Music – Learning key vocabulary which incorporate the interrelated dimensions (pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure)

At the end of each unit, children have the opportunity to perform their completed performance and compositions. They will spend time evaluating their own final outcome and considering their personal learning journey. They will also be encouraged to critically evaluate the work of their peers, and engage in discussion to provide constructive and useful feedback.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Within the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum [2], the pupils are actively encouraged to express and communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings by using a widening range of movement and a variety of songs and musical instruments. This emerging knowledge and understanding can be explored in many areas of the curriculum, not just music or creative development sessions. Pupils’ learning within the EYFS forms the foundation for all future musical learning, allowing for a smooth transition to the KS1 National Curriculum expectations. 

In Early Years, children follow the Development Matters framework [3] and experience musical activities as part of their Continuous Provision. They are taught by a specialist music teacher on a rotational basis. In both instances music activities have strong cross-curricular links to their learning for the term or week. Music is also taught discretely through play and child-led activities. Learning opportunities for music are planned for both inside and outside the classroom, and these link where possible to the weekly learning intentions as well as the children’s interests. These could include singing songs about the class book, moving to music, playing instruments with songs and music.

Children are taught to recognize and explore how sounds can be changed (animal noises, weather etc.) and respond through comment, movement and gestures. They are taught to sing simple songs from memory, recognise repeated sounds and sound patterns. Instruments are freely on offer to the children in the EYFS both in the classroom and in the outdoor learning environment. This encourages exploration and autonomy.  Songs and singing form an integral part of many learning sessions in the EYFS as well as classroom routines such as transitions to carpet learning and tidying up.

By the time children are in Reception, they will be increasingly able to use their imagination to independently explore musical ideas. They can explore these ideas using their voices and by using tuned/untuned percussion instruments.

The early learning goals in the EYFS aim to create opportunities for children to react, imagine and respond to music. Through this, they will gain knowledge of the world, be creative and imaginative, and develop their personal and social skills.

Key Stage One (Years One and Two)

In years 1 and 2, children begin to develop an awareness of music as a subject of learning. They develop skills in critical listening by reacting to a range of different musical genres, reflecting and saying how it makes people feel, act and move. Children become more familiar with a wide range of percussion instruments when composing ideas based on topic themes and English books. During listening activities, they are introduced to musical vocabulary, which links to practical lessons. Children learn to explore the use of the voice in different ways such as speaking, singing and chanting. Composition is central to our music curriculum, children are encouraged to improvise and compose simple melodies (up to 4 pitches) which can be performed on tuned percussion instruments. Children are also given multiple chances to perform both in an ensemble/choral context. By the end of the Key Stage, children should be able to make connections between notations and musical sounds and plot these ideas on a graphic score.

Year One Year Two
Autumn Term

Music and me/Musical Families


Musical Relationships



LSO Music Trip

Spring Term

Sounds of Space


Sounds of London


Summer Term

Sounds of the Sea


Exploring Musical Forests/The Weather


Lower Key Stage Two (Years Three and Four)

In year 3 and 4, children will continue to develop and build upon their musical skills (listen, perform and compose). Children will be taught to listen critically by comparing and evaluating different kinds of music using appropriate technical musical vocabulary through listening activities.  They will develop an increasing awareness of different music styles – past and present, and explain and evaluate how musical elements, features and styles can be used together to compose music is encouraged. Whilst studying Bamboo Tamboo and recorders, they will learn to read notation, begin to understand how improvising differs to composition, compose their own music and notate this in a variety of ways. Composition theme are also linked to history and English topics. Singing and performance opportunities are also a focus, as well as giving positive feedback. 

Year Three Year Four
Autumn Term

Body Percussion


LSO Music Trip: Indian Music
Spring Term



Bamboo Tamboo


Summer Term

Graphic Scores

(pitch, dynamics, duration)

Developing the Recorder


Upper Key Stage Two (Years Five and Six)

In year 5 and 6, children will continue to build on their musical skills at a deeper, more complex level. Children will continue to develop their technical vocabulary through listening activities and be expected to use this knowledge throughout lessons. They will continue to learn and appreciates a variety of differing musical styles – linked to particular instruments, topics, English and historical texts. Whilst studying djembe, samba, ukulele and pitched percussion, they will develop their understanding of how to read a variety of notation, develop improvising skills prior to making formal composition choices, compose their own music with an increased understanding of texture and structure, develop knowledge of rhythm to compose complex rhythmic patterns, learn, read and compose chord progressions, and notate their creative ideas in a variety of ways.

Year Five Year Six
Autumn Term

African Djembe Drumming




Spring Term



Musical Challenge: South American Samba


Summer Term

Greek Music/Space


West Side Story

(composition techniques/performing)

Beyond our curriculum, we offer a range of enrichment opportunities, which include:


At Preston Park we acknowledge that listening and engaging with live music is also a way of appreciating music. Whilst studying at our school, pupils have opportunities to visit iconic musical venues such as the Royal Albert hall, The Barbican Centre, The Royal Festival Hall.

We have also welcomed musicians to our school – The Nonesuch Orchestra (Year 3 graphic score project), assembly led by members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Instrumental Lessons

In Years 3-6, children have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument through Brent Music Service's tuition service. Guitar, keyboard and violin are available this year. These lessons take place during the school day and children learn in small groups with a tutor from Brent Music Service. There is a charge for these lessons.


Pupils from Year 1-6 have the opportunity to learn an instrument or sing as part of a band. These lessons take place during the school day. There is a charge for these lessons.


Our school choir meets every Tuesday morning 8:30- 9:15am. This is open to pupils in Year 4,5,6. It is a great way to meet new friends, learn new songs and it is great fun.

Arts Council

We have an enthusiastic Art Council. Pupils range from Year 3-6 and meet every Friday morning. During the sessions we discuss ways that we can encourage pupils to get more involved in the Arts –compositions, assemblies – a great way to encourage pupil voice.

Progression in Skills and Understanding

During their time at Preston Park, pupils will develop their knowledge and understanding, building from previous years.

Consistent progression in music is essential and our ‘Progression of Skills and Understanding’ document clearly outlines how children will develop year-on-year.

How does our Music curriculum contribute to and develop our 21st Century learner?

The outcome of a rich, varied music curriculum will be a musician who allows themselves to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon. The integral nature of music and the learner creates an enormously rich palette from which a child may access fundamental abilities such as: 
  • achievement
  • self-confidence
  • interaction with and awareness of others
  • self-reflection

By the end of Key Stage 2 children at Preston Park will have developed greatly in their experience as a musician and this is evident through the compositions and performances they create. It is also evident through their confidence within the subject as both performer and appreciator.

Music will also 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. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts. They can sing and feel a pulse. They have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop a stronger interest in a specific instrument or use of their voice going forwards. 

Our curriculum ensures that not only are children ready to continue music at secondary school, but they are also able to use music in many contexts in everyday life, listening, group work leadership, performance, self and peer appraisal as a 'critical friend'. This is something we actively encourage.

We strive to ensure that all children meet the ‘Expected Standard’ at the end of Key Stage 2.


Research frames our thinking in what we teach and how we deliver it to our children to ensure teaching and learning has maximum impact.

Please see references to the research linked above:

[1] DfE Music programmes for study ley stages 1 and 2 - National Curriculum in England

[2] DfE Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage: Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five

[3] Development Matters: Non-statutory curriculum guidance for the early years foundation stage