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The Teaching and learning of Music at St Mark’s Primary School


Music is a universal language that engages all learners to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians thus helping to increase self-confidence, creativity and a sense of achievement. Children learn through a variety of music genres and styles and traditions and use music appreciation to broaden their musical knowledge as they perform, listen to, review and evaluate music, great composers and musicians.

As a church school, singing enriches our school life through collective worship, church services, celebrations and performances. Alongside developing their vocal skills, there are many opportunities to learn and play instruments both as individuals and within groups.  Children experience, 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 music notations. By providing a rich and varied range of music opportunities, we engage and inspire our children to develop a love of music and take joy in seeing their expertise and talents flourish.




Nursery and Reception

In the EYFS, children focus on 3 main components: Singing, Pulse/Rhythm and Listening.  Children are learning easier repertoires using the basic solfege method. The pulse and rhythm are encouraged through movement/dance, clapping and use of egg shakers. When listening to music we focus more on emotive language to describe music as opposed to musical terms.


Years 1 and Year 2

KS1 singing has an increased repertoire with longer songs that are taught using the solfege method. There is a stronger emphasis on pitch when singing and children are encouraged to sing with hand signals. For the Pulse/Rhythm children are introduced to notation (crochets, quavers, and rests: ta, titi and sh) They are encouraged to read rhythms provided on flash cards and write their own. They are introduced to drums and taught to hold a bass rhythm and practise call and response.   They are also taught to recognise specific rhythms as well as keeping the pulse and copying the rhythm. In terms of listening, KS1 introduces children to some musical terms, recognise changes in pitch, tempo and dynamics when listening to a piece of music or when they sing a song.



Years 3 and 4

At KS2 we deliver the MXPlay programme which is a smooth transition from MXSing as we introduce the students to the following instruments. Recorder, Glockenspiel and Djembe.

 A lot emphasis is placed on voice within the programme to continue solidifying the rhythm and pulse already learnt in the Early Years and Key Stage 1 programme. We aim for each student to have a concrete musical foundation ensuring the pentatonic and major scale is taught along with the solfa hand signs to help match pitch.

 As the students advance, they will be taught about structure within the song, rhythm and tempo, pitch and melody, harmony and tonality, dynamics and articulation, performance and playing techniques. 

 Each song gradually increases the knowledge of each student helping them transition between the notes learnt on Recorder, Glockenspiel as well as playing style on the djembe.

 Students are expected to start developing notation, reading notes and rythym as well as musical terminologies taught in Grade 1 music theory such as pitch, crescendo, diminuendo, unison, piano/forte, tempo, lagato/staccato, ostinato, ect.



Year 5 and 6


Year group





Nursery and Reception


30 minutes per week



Lambeth Music Service deliver MXSing


Year 1 and 2


30 minutes per week




Lambeth Music Service deliver MXSing

Use of percussion instruments


Year 3 and 4


30 minutes per week




Lambeth Music Service deliver MXPlay

With the use of recorders, djembe drums and glockenspiel


Years 5 and 6



30 minutes per week



Lambeth Music Service deliver MXStrings


Whole school opportunities




·         Daily opportunities to sing and respond to music during collective worship

·         Christmas Carol Concert – whole school

·         Christmas Nativities – EYFS and KS 1

·         Christmas Carols in Oval Tube station

·         Recorder Club

·         Easter Service – Led by Year 4

·         End of Year production – Year 6

·         String concert at Southbank Centre for Years 5 and 6

·         Termly music concerts for parents – Years 3-6



During their time at St Mark’s School, the children will have listened to, reviewed and evaluated music across a wide variety of genres and traditions from both the past up to and including the present day. They will have listened to a range of live and recorded works of many of the great composers and have developed an understanding of the origins and history of music. The children will have played and performed on many occasions, using both their voices and range of musical instruments with an increasing level of accomplishment, and will have accumulated a background in the structure and theory of music.

We feel confident that our high-quality Music curriculum will have engaged and inspired our pupils to continue to develop a lifelong love of music.  


Accompanying documents

Music Positional Statement