How it works

The music curriculum ensures children sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom activities as well as weekly assemblies, the 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.

At Thomas Jones we utilise the Charanga Music School scheme. Charanga is a scheme of work which offers a topic-based approach to support children’s learning in music. A steady progression plan has been built into Charanga, both within each year and from one year to the next, ensuring consistent musical development. For example, year 1 will be learning songs with only a few different pitch changes whereas children in year 6 will be learning more complex patterns of pitch as well as singing in multiple parts. 

By using Charanga as the basis of a scheme of work, we can ensure that they are fulfilling the aims for musical learning stated in the National Curriculum.  Charanga includes 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 Thomas Jones 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. 

Charanga provides a classroom-based, participatory and inclusive approach to music learning. Throughout the scheme, 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.

Charanga is an inclusive approach which supports children with SEND. At Thomas Jones, teachers adapt and tailor their lessons to meet both the learning and physical needs of all children.

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.

Musical Skills Covered

  • Listening and Appraising – Appreciation, evaluation, opinion and discussion
  • Performing - using voices and instruments to perform in ensemble and solo contexts
  • Composing – 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)


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 Thomas Jones we maintain the same expectations for all of our curriculum and ensure that all children have access to a high-quality music education.


Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Within the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, 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. 

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, recognize 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. Children also have free access to a CD player with musical CDs to further develop their interest in songs and singing and build up a repertoire of songs they know and can sing from memory. 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

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 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.







Feel the Beat

(Hey you!)


Musical style: Old School Hip Hop

In the Groove


Musical style: Blues, Bhangra, Latin, Folk, Funk

Your Imagination


Musical style: Pop



Musical Themes: Friendship

(Friendship song)


Musical style: Pop

Hands, Feet, Heart


Musical style: Afropop, South African

Rock Ensemble

(I Wanna Play in a Band)


Musical style: Rock



Key Stage Two

In Year 3 to 6, children to continue to develop and build upon these musical skills (listen, perform, and compose) but at a deeper, more complex level. Children will be taught to listen critically by comparing and evaluating different kinds of music using appropriate musical vocabulary. Explaining and evaluating how musical elements, features and styles can be used together to compose music is encouraged. Performance becomes more complex as children are encouraged to perform in both a solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increased accuracy. Children are also taught formal notation on rhythmic grids and the musical staff. In Key Stage Two children are also taught musical understanding where they explore different cultural meanings and purposes of music, including contemporary culture.







The Nutcracker

by Tchaikovsky


Musical Style: Romantic Period

BBC Ten Pieces

Glockenspiel 1


Musical style: Mixed styles


Three Little Birds


Musical style: Reggae



Glockenspiel 2


Musical style: Mixed styles

Black Bird


Musical style: The Beatles/ Pop


Lean On Me


Musical style: Gospel




(Dancing in the Street)


Musical style: Motown

Jazz 1


Musical style: Bossa Nova and Swing


By Hans Zimmer


Musical style: 20th Century Period

BBC Ten Pieces



Rhapsody in Blue



Musical Style: Jazz

BBC Ten Pieces

A New Year Carol


Musical style: Classical or Urban Gospel

Music and History: Women in the music industry

(Music and Me)


Musical style: Create own music inspired by their identity and women in the music industry.