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At South Pennine Academies, we want every student to have the best possible chance to achieve in school.

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Orchard Primary Academy





Our aim at Orchard Primary Academy is to ensure children feel that they can be musical, develop a life-long love of music and use music to learn more about the wider-world. We focus on developing skills, knowledge and the understanding that children need to become confident performers, composers and listeners.

We use music across our curriculum to introduce children to music from around the world and across generations, teaching the children to respect and appreciate music and cultures which are different to their own. Our curriculum matches the key principles and aims of the primary national curriculum.

We teach our music curriculum through 3 lenses: Technical, Constructive and expressive, which inter-link across the curriculum. Ensuring our children are confident and are showing an increasing level of accuracy as the curriculum builds is key to our intent.


We believe that in order for children to feel and be successful in music, it is important that they are knowledgeable about key musical vocabulary. This will help our children articulate themselves well when analysing and evaluating music. In order to support this, our curriculum is under-pinned by the inter-rated dimensions of music. These are:

  • Pitch
  • Duration Dynamics
  • Tempo
  • Timbre
  • Texture
  • Structure
  • Musical notation

Knowledge in these areas is built over time, ensuring that children's abilities and understanding matches the demands of the curriculum content.

Click here to access our inter-related dimensions of music progression document


Our curriculum is focused upon 4 key areas:

  • Listening
  • Composing
  • Performing
  • History of music (KS2 only)

The knowledge and skills in these four areas are taught sequentially and in progressive steps. By having very clear end-points, we aim for all children to leave Orchard with the knowledge and skills they will need to access the next stage of their musical education and to have a more educated appreciation for music.

Our curriculum starts in EYFS, where children are exposed to early music celebration, exploring sound, musical movements and stories. These areas linked closely to the EYFS framework and develop areas such as communication and language, expressive arts and design and understanding the world. Into KS1, our children are introduced more technical musical language, alongside further opportunities to perform and compose. As children move through KS2, the technicality of composing individually and as part of a group increases and children are expected to articulate themselves using the inter-dimensions of music e.g. notation, pitch, timbre. Each class works towards an end-of-year performance to parents/carers and other children in school.


Our children receive a weekly music lesson as part of their timetable and this is taught by school staff who are trained to deliver the agreed curriculum.  

Learning in music at Orchard takes an holistic approach, in which the individual strands set out below are woven together to create engaging and enriching learning experiences:

  • Performing
  • Listening
  • Composing
  • The history of music
  • The inter-related dimensions of music

Click here to access our music progression document

Each five lesson unit combines these strands within a cross-curricular topic, designed to capture pupil's imagination and encourage them to explore music enthusiastically. Ove the course of our curriculum, children will be 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 inter-related dimensions of music with expression and in their own improvisations and compositions.

Our curriculum overview shows which of our units cover each of the National curriculum attainment targets as well as each of these strands within it.

Click here to access our curriculum overview

Our progression of skills shows the knowledge and skills which are taught within each year group and how these skills develop year-on-year to ensure attainment targets are securely met and end points are achieved.

Music across the wider curriculum

Music lessons/whole class instruments

Music is also celebrated and practiced across the school day and wider curriculum. Children learn to play the recorder in Year 3, drums (samba) in Year 4 and Viola's in Year 6 and these lessons take part weekly taught by a trained teacher from Musica Kirklees. By the end of the year, all children have learnt to play this instrument and take part in a whole-year-group performance to parents and the whole school. 

We have a number of children in school who take part in 1:1 music lessons with trained teachers from Musica Kirklees. Leaders worked with parents and Musica to offer discounted 1:1 lessons for instruments such as: guitar, ukulele, keyboard and flute.

Singing Assemblies

As of last year, all children from Reception to Year 6 take part in a singing assembly twice a month. The singing assemblies incorporate songs from warm - ups to pop to musicals. These assemblies allow children to express themselves in a different way. 


Choir and Young Voices

The Orchard Primary Academy choir attend a weekly after school club run by our teaching staff. Children in KS2 use their choir time to practice news songs and also practice for their annual trip to Young Voices, where they sing alongside 10,000 in an arena with children and parents from other schools for a night of musical celebration.

Focus Music Artist

Every 2-weeks our children are exposed to a different music artist from around the world and from different generations. In our weekly assembly, the artist is introduced to the children along with their location, ethnicity and style of music. Throughout each 2-week period, teacher play music by that artist in the classroom and children study the artist in more detail. They evaluate the artist and decide whether they like their music or not.

In Spring 2, our children will be listening to and learning about soul music. Please find below the focus artists for each week.





  Dusty Springfield



 Jessie Ware



 Luther Vandross




 Hindi Zahra