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At Shepherd Primary school, we aim to help children develop a love of music. Using music from a variety of genres and cultures, we aspire to develop children’s ability to perform, compose and understand the subject. The majority of our children do not have private musical tuition, so it is imperative that our curriculum gives children a wide range of musical experiences.

Our programme of study makes provision for all children to reach at least the minimum national requirements by the end of each key stage. This will be achieved through clear progression, practitioners’ secure subject knowledge and a contextual awareness of each cohort. We ensure that children who are more able in Music are identified and given the opportunities and/ or resources to further their skills.

At Shepherd Primary we are extremely fortunate to have music taught by a music specialist from Hertfordshire Music Service - the long-term plan includes all National Curriculum objectives and there is clear progression through the year groups. The planning is written to include a variety of music from across different times and cultures.


Rickmansworth Music Festival

A group of KS2 pupils attend the Rickmansworth Music Festival each year.


Young Voices Concert

Year 5 and 6 children are given the opportunity to perform at the O2 in London as part of the Young Voices choir with other schools from around the country.

The Journey

Music lessons start at the beginning of the school in Nursery where they start to join in with songs and listening to a variety of music.


As they move into Reception, they learn songs which they start to make their own by changing the words to create their own songs. They also start to listen for simple beats in the nursery rhymes and songs they already know.


With the move into Key Stage 1 and Year 1, comes the use of untuned instruments to play along to music with, while listening carefully for when the tempo increases and decreases, changing their playing as appropriate.


Year 2 continue to listen to a wide range of music from around the world but start to bring into this, identifying when the pitch gets higher and lower as well as the tempo changing. They also sing songs building up actions to go along with them and changing some words to appropriate sound effects.


As they progress up the school, Year 3 build on their singing repertoire to sing songs in different languages and starting to put them into rounds when singing. Year 3 start to compose their own music and sound effects to go with different poems and stories, trying to express the emotion in the text through the music they compose.


In Year 4, children are introduced to tuned instruments, allowing them to explore the different notes they can make and be able to play a scale to explore how those notes fit together. Their accuracy with untuned instruments is refined, giving clearer rhythms to come through.


Year 5 children continue to be exposed to a wide range of composers, this time minimalist composers. They build on their singing to include rounds and two part songs. They use boom whackers to a greater degree bringing in dotted rhythms, harmonies and improvising a melody using a Pentatonic scale.


At the top of the school, the year 6 children look at calypso music, creating their own piece of music in this style. They start learning about chord symbols, how they sound and are played on an instrument. The children learn to play some famous film themes, encouraging them to hear the music around them all the time and helping to appreciate the music in their everyday life.