Please click here for our music progression map:

Music Map

We believe that music is an essential learning experience for all pupils that strongly supports pupils’ well-being and well-roundedness. Not only does music promote happiness and excitement (being a very visual and aural symbol for the joy of primary school life), but it develops pupils’ cognitive and processing skills, sense of timing, fine motor skills and listening skills. We use the Ark Schools Music Programme for our music curriculum. This is a fully developed musical ‘journey’ that our pupils take from early years up into year 6. Professional musicians come in to teach the lessons, modelling both the technical skill and enthusiasm needed to fully learn and enjoy music. Pupils progress through three distinct areas of the music curriculum. In EYFS and KS1, pupils learn about vocal control and development, basic rhythms, pitch, patterns, tempo, pulse and volume through weekly singing lessons. In year 3 and 4, they further develop their sense of rhythm, pattern, pitch, pulse and tempo through weekly djembe drumming lessons. In year 5 and 6, pupils build on previous learning and study notes and chords, develop an understanding of strumming patterns, harmony and structure and begin to compose their own music through weekly ukulele lessons. In addition to structured lessons, pupils come together for weekly singing assemblies. Also, they have the option to join the popular school choir which meets weekly and both collaborates with other local choirs and performs at school events throughout the year. For pupils who have a particular skill or desire to learn an instrument beyond our curriculum, we offer individual music lessons for guitar, keyboard, drums, violin, cello and brass. In the summer term, pupils from all year groups participate in an end of year performance comprising singing, djembe drumming and ukulele.


The journey of a musician at Ark Academy


By the end of EYFS, pupils will (linked to the ELGs):

  • Begin to build a repertoire of songs and dances
  • Explore the different sounds of instruments
  • Sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them
  • Develop preferences for forms of expression
  • Play alongside other pupils who are engaged in the same theme
  • Create simple representations of events, people and objects
  • Initiate new combinations of movement and gesture in order to express and respond to feelings, ideas and experiences
  • Use available resources to create props to support role-play
  • Play cooperatively as part of a group to develop and act out a narrative


By the end of KS1, pupils will:

  • Sing longer songs from memory with expression
  • Have a sense of the shape of the melody
  • Use their voices confidently in a variety of ways
  • Listen carefully and recall short rhythmic and melodic phrases
  • Show physical control when playing musical instruments and responding to music
  • Rehearse & perform in a concert situation


By the end of LKS2, pupils will:

  • Sing songs within a pitch range with increasing vocal control and expression
  • Play ostinato patterns to accompany songs
  • Play the djembe with increasing fluency, accuracy and control
  • Maintain their part whilst accompanying songs; maintain part in 3-4-part rounds and partner songs and in two-part harmonies
  • Improvise question and answer melodic/rhythmic phrases
  • Compose in response to a visual stimulus combining sounds with an awareness of pitch, tempo, dynamics and timbre
  • Compare music, commenting on texture, structure, tempo and dynamics
  • Copy, internalise and recall longer rhythmic and melodic patterns


By the end of UKS2, pupils will:

  • Sing with a clear tone
  • Sing and play in time with others
  • Play simple songs using open strings and one or two chords
  • Demonstrate an awareness of playing technique. E.g., posture, correct chord fingering
  • Play simple strumming and plucking patterns. E.g., one chord to a bar
  • Imitate short rhythmic phrases
  • Contribute to group compositions
  • Rehearse and perform selected music from memory and from notation