At Cononley Primary School, we believe that Music is a unique way of communicating which can inspire and motivate children. It is a vehicle for personal expression and plays an important role in the personal development of each child. Music reflects culture and society and so the teaching and learning of music enables children to better understand the world they live in. It also plays an important role in helping children feel part of a community.

Substantive and Disciplinary Knowledge in Music

The content of our Music Curriculum fulfils the requirements of the National Curriculum for Music and comprises both substantive and disciplinary knowledge.

Substantive Knowledge in Music: 

  • substantive knowledge in Music refers to the inter-related dimensions of music (rhythm, pulse, pitch, tempo, dynamics, timbre, metre and structure)

Disciplinary Knowledge in Music:

  • this is the  application and interpretation of substantive knowledge (the inter-related dimensions of music) through performance, composition, appreciation and understanding of the history of music.

What our pupils will learn (intent):

We use Music Express, a published scheme of work, to deliver the requirements for EYFS Expressive Arts and Design and for the National Curriculum for Key Stage 1. The scheme of work is flexible, creative and makes cross curricular links. The range of resources within Music Express supports teachers who are non-specialists. 

In Key Stage 2, all pupils are taught by a class teacher in Year 3 / 4 and a specialist music teacher in Years 4, 5 and 6. A structured curriculum has been written to meet the needs of our pupils, building on the knowledge and skills learnt in Music Express in EYFS and Key Stage 1. The music curriculum is organised in a four year rolling programme which takes into account the mixed-age structure of our classes. 

How our pupils will be taught (implementation):

In EYFS, the music element of Expressive Arts and Design is taught as a discrete weekly lesson and is also integrated into other subjects and provision areas where relevant. 

Key Stage 1, the Music curriculum is taught in discrete weekly lessons. Music and singing are also used to enhance other curriculum areas.  

In Key Stage 2, the Music curriculum is taught in discrete weekly lessons. 

Progress and Assessment in Music


Regular observations and assessments of learning are recorded in a Big Book and contribute to a summative assessment at the end of EYFS using the Early Years Outcomes for Expressive Arts and Design


In EYFS and KS1, learning is recorded in a ‘big book’; the big book is used to revisit previous learning so that children make progress by knowing and remembering more and teachers make a summative assessment at the end of the year. Ongoing assessments are recorded in the big book and teachers address gaps in pupils' learning. 


Ongoing assessments are recorded each lesson and teachers address gaps in pupils' learning. Regular summative assessments take place at spaced intervals to ensure that ‘sticky’ knowledge has been transferred to children’s long-term memories. Progress will be measured by children knowing and remembering more. 


Our pupils enjoy singing and creating music with percussion instruments and technology. They engage with different styles of music and are keen to share their opinions. All of our pupils sing regularly in public performances (Nativity Performances, Carol Concerts, Class Assemblies, KS2 Summer Performance) singing tunefully and confidently and this was recognised when all pupils in Years 4,5 and 6 took part in Skipton Music Festival in March 2019, receiving a certificate of merit.

The impact of the curriculum will be reviewed (during the year and at the end of the year), through lesson observation, pupil voice, ongoing assessments and sticky knowledge checks of pupils’ learning to identify how much knowledge they have gained and remembered over time.