Rivers Primary Academy, Livingstone Road, Blakenall, Walsall, WS3 1LY
Part of Windsor Academy Trust
drumming 2


At Rivers Primary Academy, we are musicians!

We want our pupils to love music and we inspire them to aspire to be music producers, songwriters, composers or performers. We want our pupils to remember their music lessons and embrace the musical opportunities they are presented with. Elements of our music curriculum form part of the WAT ASPIRE curriculum: Our Aspirations are our possibilities - believe you can and you will!


Our curriculum develops pupils’ aspirations so that they strive to be the best that they can be. We carefully plan the subject knowledge, skills and vocabulary, coupled with specific Aspire character virtues and learner skills so that our pupils have the tools to be successful in learning and in life. Our music curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. Pupils will develop the interrelated skills of performing, composing and appreciating and listening to music through the exploration of cultural diversity within music.  We aim to enrich our pupils’ time in our school with memorable experiences.


The music curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills, mapped out with threshold concepts. Our key principles are revisiting key knowledge and questions that drive thinking. Long term plans have been developed with other schools within Windsor Academy Trust. Knowledge organisers identify key knowledge and help pupils with remembering more.  Pupils are given the opportunity to learn to play a range of tuned and untuned instruments. Specialist teachers deliver weekly whole class instrumental teaching. Curriculum enrichment opportunities such as Samba, Steel drums and African drum workshops are also provided. Opportunities to perform to different audiences are also given. Historical and influential musicians are explored and celebrated across the school fostering a greater understanding of music and the variety of genres there are. 


We aim for all of our children to leave Rivers Primary equipped with the music skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at KS3 and for life as an adult in the wider world. We use formative assessment in every music lesson to assess both knowledge and skills. Cumulative quizzes inform the teacher about the impact of the current learning and demonstrate pupils’ retention of previous knowledge. Key Assessment Task (KATs) allow the teacher to see how the knowledge and skills gained can be translated into understanding. These will be centred around a deep-thinking question, known as the ‘Big Question’ and will always be explicitly linked to the threshold concept/s. Reviews in music include any work scrutinies, learning walks, pupil and staff voice. All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.

At Rivers Primary Academy, we Inspire to Aspire!

Our Curriculum Overview:

WAT Music Skills Progression 

Area of Learning

Year 1 & 2

Year 3 & 4

Year 5 & 6

Singing and Voice

  • To find their singing voice and use their voices confidently.  
  • Sing a melody accurately at their own pitch.  
  • Sing with a sense of awareness of pulse and control of rhythm.  
  • Recognise phrase lengths and know when to breathe.  
  • Sing songs expressively.  
  • Follow pitch movements with their hands and use high, low and middle voices.  
  • Begin to sing with control of pitch (e.g. following the shape of the melody).  
  • Sing with an awareness of other performers.
  • Sing with confidence using a wider vocal range.  
  • Sing in tune.  
  • Sing with awareness of pulse and control of rhythm.  
  • Recognise simple structures. (Phrases).  
  • Sing expressively with awareness and control at the expressive elements. E.g. timbre, tempo, dynamics.  
  • Sing songs and create different vocal effects.  
  • Understand how mouth shapes can affect voice sounds.  
  • Internalise sounds by singing parts of a song ‘in their heads.’  
  • Sing songs with increasing control of breathing, posture and sound projection.  
  • Sing songs in tune and with an awareness of other parts.  
  • Identify phrases through breathing in appropriate places.  
  • Sing with expression and rehearse with others.  
  • Sing a round in two parts and identify the melodic phrases and how they fit together.  
  • Sing confidently as a class, in small groups and alone, and begin to have an awareness of improvisation with the voice.

Listening, Memory and Movement

  • Recall and remember short songs and sequences and patterns of sounds.  
  • Respond physically when performing, composing and appraising music.  
  • Identify different sound sources.  
  • Identify well-defined musical features.
  • Identify melodic phrases and play them by ear.  
  • Create sequences of movements in response to sounds.  
  • Explore and choose different movements to describe animals.  
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognise the use of structure and expressive elements through dance.  
  • Identify phrases that could be used as an introduction, interlude and ending.
  • Internalise short melodies and play these on pitched percussion (play by ear).  
  • Create dances that reflect musical features.  
  • Identify different moods and textures.  
  • Identify how a mood is created by music and lyrics.  
  • Listen to longer pieces of music and identify features.


  • Identify the pulse in different pieces of music.  
  • Identify the pulse and join in getting faster and slower together.  Identify long and short sounds in music.  
  • Perform a rhythm to a given pulse.  
  • Begin to internalise and create rhythmic patterns.  
  • Accompany a chant or song by clapping or playing the pulse or rhythm.
  • Recognise rhythmic patterns. 
  •  Perform a repeated pattern to a steady pulse.  
  • Identify and recall rhythmic and melodic patterns.  
  • Identify repeated patterns used in a variety of music. (Ostinato).
  • Identify different speeds of pulse (tempo) by clapping and moving.  
  • Improvise rhythm patterns.  
  • Perform an independent part keeping to a steady beat.  
  • Identify the metre of different songs through recognising the pattern of strong and weak beats.  
  • Subdivide the pulse while keeping to a steady beat.

Sounds and Melody

  • To explore different sound sources.  
  • Make sounds and recognise how they can give a message.  
  • Identify and name classroom instruments.  
  • Create and choose sounds in response to a given stimulus.  
  • Identify how sounds can be changed.  
  • Change sounds to reflect different stimuli.
  • Identify ways sounds are used to accompany a song.  
  • Analyse and comment on how sounds are used to create different moods.  
  • Explore and perform different types of accompaniment.  
  • Explore and select different melodic patterns.  
  • Recognise and explore different combinations of pitch sounds.
  • Skills development for this element are to be found within ‘Control of instruments’ and ‘Composition’.


  • Play instruments in different ways and create sound effects.  
  • Handle and play instruments with control.  
  • Identify different groups of instruments.
  • Identify melodic phrases and play them by ear.  
  • Select instruments to describe visual images.  
  • Choose instruments on the basis of internalised sounds.
  • Identify and control different ways percussion instruments make sounds.  
  • Play accompaniments with control and accuracy.  
  • Create different effects using combinations of pitched sounds.  
  • Use ICT to change and manipulate sounds.


  • Contribute to the creation of a class composition.  
  • Basic skills developments for composition in KS1 are to be found within ‘Exploring sounds’.
  • Create textures by combining sounds in different ways.  
  • Create music that describes contrasting moods/emotions.  
  • Improvise simple tunes based on the pentatonic scale.  
  • Compose music in pairs and make improvements to their own work.  
  • Create an accompaniment to a known song.  
  • Create descriptive music in pairs or small groups.
  • Identify different starting points or composing music.  
  • Explore, select, combine and exploit a range of different sounds to compose a soundscape.  
  • Write lyrics to a known song.  
  • Compose a short song to own lyrics based on everyday phrases.  
  • Compose music individually or in pairs using a range of stimuli and developing their musical ideas into a completed composition.

Reading and Writing Notation

  • Perform long and short sounds in response to symbols.  
  • Create long and short sounds on instruments.  
  • Play and sing phrases from dot notation.  
  • Record their own ideas.  
  • Make their own symbols as part of a class score.
  • Perform using notation as a support.  
  • Sing songs with staff notation as support.

Performance Skills

  • Perform together and follow instructions that combine the musical elements.
  • Perform in different ways, exploring the way the performers are a musical resource.  
  • Perform with awareness of different parts.
  • Present performances effectively with awareness of audience, venue and occasion.

Evaluating and Appraising

  • Choose sounds and instruments carefully and make improvements to their own and others’ work.
  • Recognise how music can reflect different intentions.
  • Improve their work through analysis, evaluation and comparison.


Music this term: