Curriculum Intent

Music is a unique way of communicating that can inspire and motivate pupils. At Valley Gardens Middle School our aim is to foster pupils’ sensitivity, understanding and enjoyment of music through an active involvement in activities that bring together the requirements of performing, composing, listening and appraising.

Each class receives one music lesson per week taught by a subject specialist in a block of classrooms which are fully equipped with a good range of high quality classroom instruments.

How Music fits into the Whole School Curriculum

Music Department Curriculum Maps

Purpose of Study

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and 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 national curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

Subject Content

Pupils should be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • 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 using the inter-related dimensions of music
  • listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
  • use and understand 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.
  1. Over the course of the year there is an overarching topic that is represented in and across the units.
  2. The musical elements are embedded into each unit as well as being delivered through the overarching topic and are reinforced together with a listening programme which seeks to broaden the students’ knowledge and understanding using music from a wide variety of traditions, musicians and composers.