The Catholic School of St Gregory The Great Believe and Achieve

Music Curriculum



We recognise that the Curriculum reaches far wider than the learning that happens in formal lessons in each classroom.  It includes everything that a child experiences in their time at our school and develops the very person they are becoming, with their talents, their needs and their aspirations for the future. Each experience provides a learning opportunity to develop and prepare our children for life in modern Britain as global citizens through the lens of Catholic life.


At St Gregory's, we are inclusive and recognise that everyone has their own unique God-given talents. Our curriculum is progressive and builds on prior knowledge, understanding and skills so that we develop our whole school community academically, spiritually, emotionally, morally and socially. This enables our children to develop cultural capital and become righteous citizens who give to society. We provide creative and engaging opportunities that inspire and motivate our children to become lifelong learners and have aspirations to be the very best they can be.


In Music, we aim for all of our children to see themselves as musicians.  We endeavour to inspire a sense of curiosity in our children and develop their enthusiasm for music, recognising that the skills and knowledge they learn through music can be used to have a positive impact on God’s world around them.


To be able to be a musician, children will need to build up the skills, knowledge and understanding of the inter-related dimensions of music.  They will need to understand and use the language of music and apply these musical skills and knowledge across the curriculum, making connections both within music and across other subjects too.


To be a musician, children should have access to a high quality music education which both engages and inspires them to develop a love of music and develop their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.



The aims of the National Curriculum (2014) for music are:

  • To perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians 
  • To learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence 
  • To 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 musical notations.

The National Curriculum is the part of the St Gregory’s curriculum that maps out the knowledge and skills that we want our children to learn and experience in each subject. The wider curriculum includes a number of vehicles to develop the whole child and includes:  

  • Inclusion using teaching for mastery – Our mastery approach ensures that all children are exposed to the same curriculum content by breaking sessions down into small learning intentions and focusing on developing deep understanding, providing support and intervention to address each individual pupil’s needs. This enables all children, including those with SEND, from disadvantaged backgrounds and from multi-lingual backgrounds to achieve their true potential through careful support and scaffolding. 
  • Oracy, vocabulary and reading for pleasure – We provide a language-rich environment with a sharp focus on Oracy and the development of rich vocabulary which includes technical vocabulary relevant to the progression of each child’s learning. Talk is central to learning and as such, Oracy activities are woven through all activities and experiences to give children plenty of opportunity to develop and practise their speaking and listening skills.  Reading is integral to our curriculum design with daily opportunities to hear and read a range of texts – this exposes children to a wider range of vocabulary and develops a love of reading.
  • Catholic Social Teaching – are the principles to living life through the lens of a Catholic.  They are principles that support children to make links from their learning through to the world in which they live and helps them to be givers rather than takers in our society. These are woven carefully through the subject lessons and also used to apply the knowledge of the topics through discreet lessons to help deepen their understanding of the context of their learning in the wider world and empowering them to challenge social injustice.
  • Metacognition and self-regulated learning (including growth mind-set and restorative practice) – Children are supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves aspirational goals and have confidence in their own ability. This is supported by the use of our St Gregory’s learning profile and growth mind-set approach giving our children a better awareness of how they learn, the emotions linked to this and the transferable learning skills needed to be the very best they can be and reach their potential.
    • Teachers support pupils to plan, monitor, and evaluate their learning. Developing the children’s metacognitive knowledge of how they learn and their knowledge of themselves as a learner and strategies that help them – these things support them in becoming independent learners. 
    • Restorative practice helps our children to develop stronger relationships, and become problem solvers within these relationships, setting firm foundation for learning, so that they are more resilient to overcome adversity within their lives. 
    • Self-regulated learners are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and can motivate themselves to engage in, and improve, their learning.  
  • Retrieval opportunities – enable our learners to embed knowledge by transferring it from their working memory to their long term memory. We make deliberate connections between current and prior learning and recall learning by providing opportunities such as quizzes, oracy activities and challenging discussions based on question stems. 
  • Extracurricular opportunities – provide a wide range of additional experiences for the children to inspire them within their learning and add a wider context for them. This also enables us to seek out and develop the talents in every child.  Examples include attending concerts and workshops at the Cheltenham International Festival or Music and the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, virtual orchestral workshops, after school and before school clubs (Singing club, percussion club, bucket drumming club, singing games club etc), singing and performing in hymn practice, assemblies and mass, performing in the wider community (carol singing), EYFS and Infant nativity, KS2 Carols by Candlelight and the Year 6 end of year production. The school also provides opportunities for private instrumental lessons in a variety of instruments.                                  

These aspects are expanded further in our teaching and learning policy.

How we plan for progression in Music at St Gregory’s:

The St Gregory’s Curriculum is designed around year group themes. Each has been structured and sequenced in order to engage pupils in purposeful learning by building on prior knowledge and helping connect knowledge, understanding and skills year-on-year both within Music and across other subjects too.


In Music, lessons are planned and delivered by a Specialist Music Teacher and therefore progression and the coverage of the Inter-related musical dimensions is consistently built upon across the phases.  Lessons are based, where appropriate, around year group themes (to provide meaningful links) and the inter-related musical dimensions are woven through this. 
Children in EYFS and Year 1 receive music lessons from the Specialist Music Teacher for thirty minutes a week.  Years 2-6 receive lessons for sixty minutes a fortnight.  In addition to these lessons, the Specialist Music Teacher leads hymn practise for 25 minutes a week for each key stage giving additional opportunities to teach singing and link this through to the Liturgical Year.  Singing and musical opportunities are also provided by class teachers throughout each week.  


Each child has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument during their time at St Gregory’s and this is through whole class tuition which is led by the Specialist Music Teacher.  We are mindful that this should be a musical instrument that is easily accessible for all and so we have chosen to teach children the ukulele so that they have the best chance possible of continuing these skills if they so wish once their in-school lessons have finished.


We recognise that foundations for becoming a musician are laid in the Early Years Foundation Stage through all seven strands of the Early Year Framework and to be ready for the next stage in their education, the starting point that we strive for every child to have upon entry to Y1 and working towards the aims of the National Curriculum is:



Once children enter Y1, they work progressively towards the aims of the National Curriculum.  To ensure progression, the teaching team worked together to plan out curriculum coverage and then the subject leader identified the progression of skills and vocabulary required at each stage of learning to prepare children for the next stage in their learning.

Music Curriculum Coverage

Coverage is based on the National Curriculum 2014 PoS with objectives allocated across phases and year groups, to ensure a progression of knowledge, skills and understanding.  For example, in Year 1, children begin to read and notate rhythms using graphic representation, leading on to recognising and using traditional rhythm notation by Year 2 and extending this by Year 6 to combining both rhythm and stave notation to create their own music. 

Music Progression of skills

The Skills Progression documents interrogate the skills, knowledge and techniques required in each phase, considering age appropriate development and ensures progression is enabled through careful and informed planning.

Music Progression of Vocabulary

Vocabulary, at an age appropriate level, is paramount to the children’s understanding and ability to articulate their intent and enable questioning. It is, therefore, a key consideration in Music planning.  Key subject vocabulary is introduced at the appropriate time, linking to specific topics and concepts and building on prior knowledge. e.g.

See Music Vision and Intent 2022 for more information.