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The Music Curriculum

‘Academic Excellence and Intellectual Curiosity for all’

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The National Curriculum states that music is one of the highest forms of human creativity, at  HNPS we recognise the benefits to children of strong, well-rounded and diverse music education and have gone above the requirements of the National Curriculum, extending our school day to teach music 4 times weekly and to make it a core subject. We intend to give children the broadest and highest quality music education possible, providing the opportunity for every child from Year 1 onwards to use a string instrument, string tuition as well as weekly ensemble lessons and musicianship lessons.  Children achieve academic excellence through the in-depth study of this academic subject, critically developing their musical theory and music history.  They are given opportunities to develop intellectual curiosity through the wonderfully vibrant world of music, stimulated by the rich and diverse worlds discovered through the study of music from the Western Classical Tradition, Jazz, Pop Music and World Music’s.  Through learning an instrument over a sustained period of six years, and performing regularly with others, they will develop a strong sense of self-belief and responsibility.  As a school, we also recognise the transferable skills that music develops in our children such as resilience, tolerance, determination, focus, working as part of a team and the development of highly refined motor skills. We value the positive impact that these skills have on not only the development of the whole child but in creating a more positive learning experience across all subjects for our children. Most importantly of all music brings joy to our lives and it is our aim that children can experience this as life-long musicians; we believe every child is a musician.

HNPS seeks to remove the barriers that prevent many children from accessing a high-quality music education, making music a core part of the curriculum, that happens entirely within the school day, and which is free to all without stigma or prejudice.

On top of our core music offer we also provide opportunities, where possible, for children to experience outside of school and through professional musicians. Working closely with the Hackney Music Service and through our partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra children are able to see music in action and develop a clear understanding of where their musicianship can take them in the future. Children across the school are given information on and provided with support to attend mixed ensembles outside of school, musical performances and to meet professional musicians. We know that these experiences help foster their talents and develop a community which values the impact music has on our community.
By the time pupils leave EYFS they will have:

  • Sing 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.
  • Develop an enjoyment of and appreciation of music

 By the time pupil leave KS2 they will:

  • Will have played a stringed instrument
  • Will be  able to sing a variety of repertoire with deep understanding of the context and structure of music 
  • Will have listened to a live performance
  • Will have played with professional musicians 
  • Will have sung accompanied by professional musicians
  • Will have gained performance skills with understanding of professional values of taking part in ensembles in a musical and social context. 
  • Will have performed for a live audience in groups
  • Will have explored a range of percussion instruments, both tuned and untuned and will be able to speak about some of them 
  • Will have composed simple songs using percussion instruments 

At Hackney New Primary School we are a Rights Respecting School. Our Music curriculum supports the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the teaching of it. Through the curriculum children learn and embed the understanding of:
Article 2 - No discrimination
Article 12 - Respect for children’s views
Article 13 - Sharing thoughts freely
Article 14 - Freedom of thought and religion
Article 15 - Setting up and joining groups
Article 17 - Access to information 
Article 28 - Access to education
Article 30 - Minority culture, language and religion
Article 31 - Rest, play, culture and arts 


At Hackney New Primary School music is taught four times, with a singing session, string instrumental lesson, ensemble session and musicianship lesson taught every week. Our strings programme is taught by tutors who are themselves professional musicians. Our bespoke school music curriculum and pedagogy  is underpinned  by the Kodaly teaching methodologies.  Through these, all music concepts are studied in great depth in an age appropriate way, with the ethos of this method being perfectly in line with our school ethos of inclusivity.  Musical concepts will be approached via subconscious preparation followed by an introduction of the concept and reinforcement through practice and repetition. All children engage with the programme with consideration of each child’s needs. We ensure that we overcome any barriers to learning and support all children to be stretched and challenged to reach their full potential.

In Reception, children will have a regular weekly music lesson where they study the elements of music through the first instrument; the voice. As they move into KS1, they will begin learning the violin, viola, cello or double bass in large group instrumental classes and year group orchestras alongside musicianship classes where they continue to deepen their understanding of the musical elements and music as a cultural influence.  As they move into KS2, their instrumental studies will continue, developing their knowledge of notation and deepening their understanding of the dynamics of music and how to tell a story through a piece of music played.  Through their musicianship classes they will learn about musical history, thinking critically about how music is put together and its cultural context. Through in-class musicianship lessons children are exposed to both tuned and untuned percussion instruments to widen their experience with different instruments and to give them creative opportunities to make music. 

With London being one of the most exciting cultural centres in the world, we aim to enrich the programme in several ways.  We will work with leading organisations such as Hackney Music Service and the London Symphony Orchestra  to develop our curriculum and enrich the children’s learning leading to visits or watching performances in school by established musicians. 


At Hackney New Primary School (HNPS), the impact of the ambitious and comprehensive music curriculum on the pupils is profound and multifaceted. By integrating music as a core subject and extending the school day to accommodate four weekly music sessions, HNPS is not only meeting but surpassing the National Curriculum's requirements. This approach ensures that every child from Reception onwards is immersed in a rich musical education, and from Year 1 onwards it encompasses string instrument tuition, ensemble lessons, and musicianship classes.

The curriculum's design allows students to develop a deep appreciation and understanding of music, covering a diverse range of genres including Western Classical Tradition, Jazz, Pop Music, and World Music. This broad exposure fosters intellectual curiosity and a nuanced appreciation of different musical cultures and histories. By engaging in sustained study of a string instrument over six years and participating in regular performances, students will cultivate a strong sense of self-belief and responsibility. These experiences are invaluable in building confidence and self-expression.

Moreover, the music education at HNPS imparts critical transferable skills such as resilience, tolerance, determination, focus, teamwork, and refined motor skills. These skills have a positive impact on the students’ overall development and enhance their learning experiences across all subjects. Music, being a source of joy and a powerful medium for expression, will also contribute to the emotional well-being and happiness of the students.

By the time students leave KS2, they will have achieved remarkable musical milestones. They will be proficient in playing a stringed instrument, have a deep understanding of various musical repertoires, and will have experienced live performances and collaboration with professional musicians. Their involvement in ensembles and performances will imbue them with an appreciation of professional musical values and social skills essential for collaborative work.

Furthermore, HNPS's music curriculum aligns with the Rights Respecting School framework, supporting the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It promotes inclusivity, respect for diverse views, freedom of expression, and access to cultural and artistic experiences. This alignment ensures that the music curriculum not only develops musical talent but also nurtures well-rounded, socially responsible individuals.

The implementation of the music curriculum, underpinned by the Kodaly teaching methodologies, ensures a holistic and inclusive approach. This methodology aligns perfectly with the school's ethos of inclusivity, ensuring that all students, regardless of their background or abilities, have access to a high-quality music education. The diverse opportunities provided, such as working with leading organisations like the Hackney Music Service and the London Symphony Orchestra, further enrich the students' learning experience and offer them a glimpse into the professional world of music.

In summary, HNPS's music curriculum promises to equip its students not only with exceptional musical skills and knowledge but also with a set of invaluable life skills. Students will leave the school as confident, culturally literate, and well-rounded individuals, carrying with them a lifelong appreciation for music and its power to enrich human experience.

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