Our school choir had an absolutely amazing experience as they took part in this year’s Songfest 23. They joined together with 6 other primary schools in East and West Cornwall to sing 8 songs that that they have been practising over the last few months. They all had a brilliant time, despite the nerves, and were a credit to Pensilva with their singing, enthusiasm and behaviour. I’m sure it is an experience they won’t forget having had the opportunity to perform on stage in Launceston Town Hall in front of an audience and with a live band accompanying them.

Music Rationale

At Pensilva Primary School we want to develop a lifelong appreciation for, and enjoyment of music within our pupils. We want them to, enjoy their music lessons, embrace their musical opportunities and foster a creativity which will inspire them to become song writers, composers, music producers or even rock stars! We believe that music helps our children to develop self-confidence and a sense of achievement. We want to give children the opportunity to play and perform a range of instruments including those from other cultures that they wouldn’t usually have access to.

By the end of the EYFS we aim for children to:

  •        Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs in a group or on their own, increasingly matching the pitch and following the melody.
  •        Listen attentively, move to and talk about music, expressing their feelings and responses.
  •        Play instruments to express their feelings and ideas.
  •        Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others and try to move in time with music.

By the end of KS1 we aim for children to:

  •        Use their voices expressively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes.
  •        Play tuned and untuned instruments musically.
  •        Listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music.
  •        Make and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music by exploring with timbre, tempo and dynamics.

By the end of KS2 we aim for children to:

  •        Sing and play musically with confidence and control.
  •        Understand how of music is composed and organise and manipulate ideas within musical structures.
  •        Reproduce sounds from aural memory.
  •        Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression.
  •        Improvise and compose music for a range of purposes.
  •        Listen with attention to detail, recalling sounds with increasing aural memory.
  •        Use and understand the basics of staff and other musical notations.
  •        Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians.
  •        Develop an understanding of the history of music.
  •        Had the opportunity to take part in specialist music tuition involving a range of instruments.


The music curriculum can be divided into four strands:

  • ·        Listening

    This concept involves appreciating the features and effectiveness of musical elements.

    ·        Compose

    This concept involves appreciating that music is created through a process which has a number of techniques.

    ·        Perform

    This concept involves understanding that music is created to be performed.

    ·       The History of Music (KS2)

Essential Characteristics

• A rapidly widening repertoire which they use to create original, imaginative, fluent and distinctive composing and performance work. 

• A musical understanding underpinned by high levels of aural perception, internalisation and knowledge of music, including high or rapidly developing levels of 

technical expertise. 

• Very good awareness and appreciation of different musical traditions and genres.

• An excellent understanding of how musical provenance - the historical, social and cultural origins of music - contributes to the diversity of musical styles.

• The ability to give precise written and verbal explanations, using musical terminology effectively, accurately and appropriately.

• A passion for and commitment to a diverse range of musical activities.


Music implementation

At Pensilva Primary school, we take a holistic approach to music, in which the following strands are woven together to create engaging and enriching learning experiences:

  • Performing
  • Listening
  • Composing
  • History of music
  • The inter-related dimensions of music.

Each unit combines the above strands and cross-curricular themes are designed to capture the children’s imagination and encourage them to explore music with enthusiasm. Children are taught how to sing fluently and expressively and play tuned and untuned instruments accurately and with control. They will learn to recognise and name the interrelated dimensions of music - pitch, duration, tempo, timbre, structure, texture and dynamics - and use these expressively in their own improvisations and compositions. In each lesson, pupils will actively participate in musical activities drawn from a range of styles and traditions, developing their musical skills and their understanding of how music works. Lessons incorporate a range of teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired and group work as well as improvisation and teacher-led performances. Lessons are ‘hands-on’ and incorporate movement and dance elements, as well as making cross curricular links with other areas of learning.


Children are encouraged to express themselves in music through singing, playing instruments and composing and performing their own pieces. We seek to enhance our children’s experiences in music through providing opportunities to perform by taking part in events like Songfest and specialist music tuition from First Access. We regularly use musical instruments in lessons at Pensilva as we believe that having practical experience of playing an instrument is the best way to learn music.


Music Impact

Children will leave Pensilva primary school equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education and to be able to enjoy and appreciate music throughout their lives.

Children will:

  • Be confident performers, composers and listeners and will be able to express themselves musically at and beyond school.
  • Show an appreciation and respect for a wide range of musical styles from around the world and will understand how music is influenced by the wider cultural, social, and historical contexts in which it is developed.
  • Understand the ways in which music can be written down to support performing and composing activities.
  • Demonstrate and articulate an enthusiasm for music and be able to identify their own personal musical preferences.
  • Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for Music.