At Portland we aim to develop children's musical skills, knowledge and understanding through a music lesson each week as well as enjoying singing in assemblies, performing in Christmas plays and participating in class assemblies. Children in Year 4 and Year 6 have specialist lessons from peripatetic teachers, in which they learn to play brass instruments and ukuleles. All children have the opportunity to develop their playing skills on tuned and untuned percussion instruments. All activities are linked to the new National Curriculum from 2014, as outlined below:-
Purpose of study
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. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.
The 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.
Attainment targets
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Subject content
Key stage 1
Pupils should be taught to:-
  • use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
  • play tuned and untuned instruments musically
  • listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
  • experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.
Key stage 2
Pupils should be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory. Pupils should be taught to:-
  • play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
  • listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
  • use and understand staff and other musical notations
  • appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
  • develop an understanding of the history of music.
 Portland Units of Work
 Year 1
Autumn: Songs and Rhymes - Experiment with sounds
Spring: Songs and Rhymes - Select and combine sounds
Summer: Songs and Rhymes - Beat and rhythm
Year 2
Autumn: Singing Ongoing Skills - Feel the pulse
Spring: Singing Tuned and Untuned percussion 
Summer: Score Skills
Year 3
Autumn: Singing - composing for a purpose
Spring: Singing - Play it again
Summer: Singing - musical elements e.g. Pitch
Year 4
Autumn: Singing - Ukulele and pitch / dynamics
Spring: Singing - Ukulele and duration
Summer: Singing - Ukulele and notation
Year 5
Autumn: Singing - Percussion Notation
Spring: Singing - Pulse / Cyclic Patterns
Summer: Singing - Brass
Year 6
Autumn: Singing - Composers
Spring: Singing - History of Music
Summer: Singing - Staff Notation
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) are taught and assessed against the statements in the non statutory guidance ‘Early Years Outcomes’. Teachers plan according to a child’s age and stage of development. Where a child in EYFS 1 enters with a low baseline they may be taught and assessed against the 22-36 months statements. However typically children in EYFS 1 will be working within the 30-50m age band while children in EYFS 2 will be working within the 40-60+m age band.


Children progress from emerging to developing and then expected in each band before moving into the next. At the end of EYFS 2 children will be assessed against the Early Learning Goals. A child is seen to have a good level of development (GLD) if they reach the Early Leaning Goals in the prime areas (personal, social and emotional development, physical development and communication and language) as well as maths and literacy.


The EYFS has 7 areas of learning-3 prime areas and 4 specific areas:


Prime areas    Personal, social and emotional development

Physical development

Communication and language


Specific areas  Literacy


                   Understanding the world

                   Expressive arts and design



Understanding the world includes history, geography, science, ICT, RE.