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Listening – Composition – Performance


Our intention is to promote a life-long love of music and show how music can be a part of wellbeing. In order to achieve this, our music curriculum is split into 4 strands: listening, performing, composing and evaluating. The curriculum is designed to ensure that all pupils meet the requirements of the National Curriculum and developed in accordance with the NYCC scheme of work.

  • Listening – pupils will listen and respond to music from a range of genres, expressing different thoughts and feelings. Their musical vocabulary should develop alongside this to enable them to articulate their ideas.
  • Performing – from making simple sounds through to playing a range of instruments and singing, pupils will have regular chances to perform in lessons and in the wider community.
  • Composing – composition is about spotting patterns and rhythms whilst learning how to correctly represent them in symbols. Pupils have freedom in creating musical projects such as soundscapes, raps and sea-shore music.
  • Evaluating – understanding how music can be used to convey different emotions and reflecting on why/how musicians achieve this. Pupils will think about their own performances and how they could develop them to become more accomplished.

Pupils will cover 6 modules every 2 years, progressing in ambition and complexity as they move up through the school. Our modules are: Pulse, Rhythm, Mood, Pitch, Structure, Elements.

‘I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.’ 

Billy Joel


Music modules are augmented from the NYCC core unit plans, making the most of two music specialists to ensure the best fit for our schools and our children. During Early Years, music is embedded in the whole curriculum. This continues beyond with the addition of 1 music session per week for all classes (which we believe is an excellent level of provision). Our subject progression grid enables us to ensure that pupils’ musical skills develop during their time at school (preparing them for life beyond).

In addition, we continue to develop opportunities to involve inspirational live performances (in and out-of-school) including a link with Swaledale Festival. Through this we also hope to promote diversity in terms of musical appreciation and skill set.

Music will often be used in other subjects, broadening knowledge of those subjects and allowing pupils to connect their learning (for instance composers with certain eras in history, or genres with a particular culture).

Performances are rehearsals are regular, building on our links with Gunnerside Methodist Chapel and Grinton Church. Weekly singing assemblies increase our repertoire of hymns, which are shared in various services. They also fed into carolling throughout Reeth At Christmas. For those who are interested, there is a lunchtime weekly ukulele club (who regularly feature in our performances).


Our intended impact is to promote the enjoyment of music as a life skill, helping pupils with their wellbeing. Whilst this is not easy to measure, our progression grid provides a framework which ensures every child is able to develop in all four strands during their time here.

‘I really enjoy music because it isn’t just about words and sound, it can be anything you want it to be. I like to think of it as something that brings a community together, to make them smile and laugh. I play the guitar and when I am in my lesson I feel that no matter what has happened, I can let my mind be free. Music is a big part of my life, because if you are feeling sad and anxious you can listen to a sweet melody and take time to reflect.’  Year 6 pupil, 2023

For more information about music, please contact our subject leaders, Sarah Allison and Tom Fremlin.