Symondsbury Church of England VA Primary School

The Church of England


At Symondsbury Primary School we believe every child has musical potential which can be developed and nurtured. Our provision enables strong musical progress to be made by all. Children receive a curriculum music lesson from a specialist music teacher every week, and further time is set aside for singing and music making throughout the week. The curriculum lessons develop knowledge about music through the direct experience of music, developing and refining the following skills over time:

  • Singing
  • Movement
  • Performing
  • Listening
  • Inner hearing
  • Memory
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Creating (improvisation and composition)

Through an approach to learning inspired by the great Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodály, lessons are child centred, allowing the opportunity for discovery and enquiry. Musical concepts are first experienced through the form of singing games or playful musical activities before being formally presented and practised. Learning is sequential in nature and children acquire their skills through a process of musical discovery. Good singing, awareness of tuning and a strong sense of pitch is developed through the gradual introduction and use of singing names (solfa) and hand signs. These hand signs and singing names are a great tool for developing melodic understanding, inner hearing, sight reading and memory.

Another important part of the music curriculum is our instrumental learning programme. All children at Symondsbury learn to play the recorder as part of their curriculum music lessons in KS2. We follow a motivating system called ‘Recorder Karate’ whereby all children achieve coloured belts once they have successfully practiced and performed pieces of graded repertoire. Many children begin to fully understand the importance of practice and make rapid progress. There are opportunities for ensemble playing once a certain standard has been reached. In addition all children will learn the basics of playing the Ukulele in upper KS2. Children in year 3 and 4 also take part in the musicianship programme provided by the music service for one term in KS2 which allows them to develop their musical skills on another instrument. We are lucky to be well resourced and children have the opportunity to play and compose with keyboards, djembes, samba drums and glockenspiels as well as the usual classroom percussion.

There are lots of opportunities for children to perform throughout the year. Singing is a huge part of school life. Church Services at Harvest/Remembrance/Christmas/Easter and end of year are all opportunities for singing and music making. In addition there are at least two large scale dramatic musical performances per year and also a summer music concert. Arts week and other special occasions are all used as opportunities to widen our musical experience.

We are lucky to have a talented team of peripatetic tutors who currently offer lessons on Guitar, Ukulele, Trumpet, violin, Drums, Keyboard, Flute and fife.

The progression and acquisition of musical skills is tailored to the needs of the individual class and the children within them, but an overview of the typical progressions can be found in the progression document.

To find out more about music in the National Curriculum click here.

Click on the links below to find out more about music at Symondsbury:

Our music long term planning 2019-2020

Our music progression grid 2019-2020

Our music development plan 2019/2020

Our music self evaluation form 2019-2020 - Currently being assessed by Dorset Music Service