‘To strive for excellence in learning and all that we do’


Here at Great Dunmow Primary School we strive to achieve excellence in all our achievements, whether they be academic, creative, social, artistic or representative of a different aspect of our rounded curriculum.

We want to ensure that our children’s knowledge and skills develop progressively over time, building on their prior learning and setting them up to succeed in their next steps.  We want this to be evident during each lesson, as well as throughout each unit, term, year and key stage.  By the time our pupils leave at the end of Year 6, we want them to have a secure understanding of core skills, good knowledge of musical theory and ability to participate in performances that will enable them to access the music curriculum in Key Stage 3 and beyond should they wish.

Charanga provides access to high quality resources and a highly structured and progressive curriculum that supports non-specialist teachers in delivering a quality first experience for every child.  We intend that all staff are confident in their delivery of music lessons and we provide training and support within school to help develop and enhance our in-house expertise.

Our aim is that no child is left behind in their musical development. Children have a desire across the school to learn instruments, so we have built in opportunities to do so in our school curriculum for example during the Spring Term

We have a range of opportunities for children to develop their musical skills beyond the classroom.  We provide opportunities for pupils to express themselves in extra-curricular clubs and instrumental lessons.  We are driving up the profile of music and want to give a real purpose to our musical learning.


Following the Charanga scheme allows us to focus on Listening and Appraising – developing an appreciation and awareness of a wide range of styles, genres, composers and instruments and developing a deeper cultural capital for all children.  It also provides opportunities to develop Musicianship and Performance using a range of instruments including vocals when Singing but also untuned and tuned percussion as well as tuned instruments. Children are able to explore and develop Improvisation and Composition skills through regular and planned opportunities.  Children will be taught how to read and follow musical notation through a carefully planned and organised sequence of learning.  Throughout all of this, there is a real focus on the acquisition of a growing lexicon of Musical Vocabulary to help develop our pupils’ knowledge, familiarity and confidence when working musically, for example, terms such as pitch, rhythm, pulse.  Opportunities for regular practise supported by careful explanation will embed specific into every child’s repertoire.

To give children a purpose for their musical learning, we have incorporated a number of performance opportunities into our curriculum, such as assemblies and concerts.  This will allow sufficient class time and focus to ensure high quality learning and performances.  Engagement will be driven by exciting delivery and use of specialists for example during our fortnightly singing assembly.

Children are given the opportunity to focus on learning a range of instruments through our school curriculum.  In EYFS, they will explore a range of instruments.  In Years 1 – 4, a term will be spent learning the different aspects of music through an instrumental course.  We use Essex Music Services to help deliver this in Year 4 as part of their ‘Teach It’ provision, whereby a specialist teacher comes into school to introduce an instrument which will be used for their weekly lessons. Years 5 and 6 will study a range of instruments as part of their Model Music Curriculum (MMC) structured curriculum.

In order to support staff in their knowledge and enhance the provision of musical teaching further, we use the Charanga webinars which focus on different aspects of the curriculum, such as musical theory or inclusion. We have also employed a specialist teacher who is working alongside teachers to deliver in the moment professional development, where appropriate, to help develop their theoretical awareness, as well as identifying assessment opportunities.  The music lead also uses training sessions to share approaches and resources to all teachers.

The music lead works with the local Music Hub in order to develop overall planning and to keep it challenging, stimulating, relevant and accessible to all.  A MIDAS review and application to the Artsmark will help to underpin this process.


Learning is a ‘process that leads to change … as a result of experience and increases the potential for improved performance and future learning’ (Ambrose et al, How Learning Works 2010)

As a result of our curriculum, children will

  • Appreciate and understand a wide variety of music and genres
  • Recall and build upon previous learning
  • Develop a love and enjoyment of music through participation in fun and enjoyable yet stimulating and challenging lessons
  • Grow in creativity and confidence
  • Acquire deepening knowledge of musical features and vocabulary
  • Become more confident in using instruments for pleasure and performances

Mrs J. Stow – Music Lead