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Music Curriculum

We are proud and passionate about our music curriculum at Haydn. Music is a unique way of communicating which can inspire and motivate children. It is a vehicle for personal expression and it can play an important part in the personal development of people. Music often reflects the culture and society we live in, and so the teaching and learning of music can help children to understand the world they live in. As well as being a creative and enjoyable activity, music can also be a highly academic and demanding subject. It can also play an important part in helping children feel part of a community, when playing and performing within a large group and in the wider sense of the word. At Haydn we aim to provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music, to develop the skills to appreciate a wide variety of musical styles, and to begin to make judgements about the quality of music.


At Haydn School we encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences. We aim to make music an enjoyable learning experience and to build up the confidence of all children. We aim to develop the children’s ability to sing in tune, in a variety of styles and with other people. Through singing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music as well as songs from other countries and cultures. We teach them to listen to and appreciate different forms of music. As children get older, we expect them to maintain their concentration for longer and to listen to more extended pieces of music. Children develop descriptive skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent feelings and emotions and analysis becomes more analytical as the children progress through KS2. Through having instrument lessons and going to Area Band, the disciplined skills of recognising pulse and pitch are developed to a more complex level. We also teach children how to work with others to make music. Composition is an important way of developing children’s understanding of music as well as providing a creative and freer approach.


We recognise that there are children of widely different musical abilities in all classes, so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this in a variety of ways by:

  • setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses
  • having extension activities for children who are more able
  • grouping children so that more musically experienced children can support less able children
  • providing resources to support less able children
  • using classroom assistants to support the work of individuals or groups of children


Additional music teaching


In years 4, 5 and 6 children are offered the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument with peripatetic music teachers. Parents who want their children to participate in the scheme pay for music lessons and hire of their instruments on a termly basis. These 30 minute lessons are normally taught in small groups. This is in addition to the normal music teaching of the school and takes place during lessons from which children are withdrawn. The projected number of children due to learn and instrument in 2019 – 2020 is 53% of the children eligible.

Some of our children progress well enough to be able to be entered into a practical exam (ABRSM or Trinity ) In this academic year (2018 – 2019) we have had a total of 14 children who have taken grade exams between 1 - 4


The government scheme ‘Whole Class Ensemble’ has been adopted at Haydn.  In this scheme, every child in Year 3 learns a stringed instrument. They are taught on a two week rolling programme by staff from the Music Support services. The music specialist in school teaches the children on alternate weeks, reinforcing the learning from the previous week.


Extra-curricular Music: Opportunities in school

At Haydn we want to provide a variety of enrichment activities and strive to involve as many children as possible in extra – curricular musical activities. There are 2 singing clubs which meet on a weekly basis. KS1 is for yrs 1 and 2 and KS2 is for yrs 3,4,5 and 6. We prefer the more informal name ‘singing club’ rather than choir as there are no auditions and anyone who enjoys singing is welcome. In KS1 the children come on an ad - hoc basis unless we are working towards a concert. At KS2 the children have to commit to being a member for the term as we are usually working towards a performance. The primary aim of both singing clubs is to enable children to enjoy singing and performing together. A weekly practise club is also held where children are encouraged to come along if they have something specific to work towards or want to have some extra practise time. Area Band takes place at Haydn every week and children in yrs 4, 5 and 6 are encouraged to come. During this academic year (2018-2019) there have been upwards of 50 children participating in this. Each year we take a group of approximately 20 year 4 children to ‘Band Camp’. This is a residential visit where the children take part in a variety of musical activities and games which help them to learn to read music in preparation for joining ‘Area Band’. There are also extra opportunities throughout the year eg: ‘Christmas in the City’ concert, ‘The Summer Sing’, ‘Halle Orchestra’ concert, ‘The Great Orchestra experiment’.



There is a school performance at the end of each term:

  • Autumn term: All Key Stage 1children perform in a variety of Christmas concerts: F1 and F2 perform a traditional nativity with a selection of songs, Year 1 sing carols and other Christmas songs and Year 2 perform a short musical which ties in to the Christmas story
  • Area Band perform at ‘Christmas in the City’ concert
  • KS1 and KS2 singing clubs perform in school concerts, and the ‘Christmas in the City’ concert
  • Spring Term: Years 4 and 5 rehearse for and perform a production which supports their curriculum for that term. Year 3 take part in the ‘Great Orchestra Experiment’
  • Area band take part in a concert at Djanogly Theatre
  • Summer term: Year 3 take part in a concert for parents showcasing the work they have done on their stringed instruments throughout the year.
  • Year 6 rehearse and perform their production which is a celebration of their time at Haydn
  • Summer Concert – all children who have instrumental lessons perform in the Summer Concert.
  • Halle Orchestra – children who learn an instrument have the opportunity to rehearse and perform alongside the Halle Orchestra
  • Summer Sing – children who are in KS2 Singing Club are invited to take part in this initiative run by the Nottingham Music Hub.


We also support children’s links with musical events taking place in city venues in the wider community by offering places and tickets for any other performances or events throughout the year. We also advertise opportunities for children to participate in musical activities across the region.




Please note we are currently in the process of updating our Music Progression Map to incorporate the new music scheme, Charanga. 

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