St James' C of E Primary School, Blackburn


Curriculum Intent

At St James’ Church of England Primary School, we value the chance to become musicians through our music curriculum. We want our children to love music and believe that there are no restrictions to their ambitions within music. They can be music producers, composers or even popstars!  

The music curriculum has been carefully crafted so that our children develop a critical engagement with music, exploring what they like and dislike about a range of music and genres. Therefore, allowing them to compose and to listen with discrimination to a range of high quality music. We want our music lessons to inspire and be memorable to the children and become moments they can cherish while embracing the musical opportunities ahead of them in later life. We aim to provide experiences that children may not experience outside of school, such as visiting the Theatre/ listening to an orchestraOur school performances and Bolton Music Service instruments lesson demonstrate one way in which we encourage the children to reach their own aspiring goals. 

Our high quality music education aims to inspire the children to understand music as a universal language and encourages one of the highest forms of creativity. We want to encourage the children to develop a curiosity for music while understanding the value it holds in a range of different contexts and in the wider community. Our ongoing work within charities, such as the Bethany Project, enables us to explore music in a range of faiths and cultures. Furthering this, music is explored throughout school during the celebration from a range of faiths. Our Music curriculum aims to engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians while building their self-confidence, creativity and self-esteem. We promote a love for music by valuing the talents of the staff within our school and different instruments they can play.

Curriculum Implementation

The music curriculum at St James’ is inspired by the schemes of work from Charanga alongside a variety of musical opportunities throughout school. Charanga provides teachers with week by week lessons for children ages 5-11 years old. Our long term planning identifies three key units for the children to explore in each year group and each unit ensures that every child has the opportunity to sing, listen, play, compose, improvise, perform and evaluate. Units explore key musicians and composers in a range of genres and styles so that pupils experience a wide range of music and understand the important moments in the evolution of music. Singing remains a key thread throughout Key Stage 1 and Key stage 2 and children have the chance to develop this skill further in the school choir.

Alongside our long term planning, our sticky knowledge overviews for each unit ensure our teachers know the prior learning the children have accessed and how they will build on this with the key knowledge for their new unit. Therefore, deepening understanding and learning. This is embedded in the classroom through discrete lessons every other week so that music subject matter is revisited and our children’s understanding is deepened. 

Further activities include weekly singing practices, worship, outside agency instrument lessons, a range of school/class performances throughout the year and cross curricular links when appropriate.  We value the progression of skills here at St James’ and this is shown within our music curriculum overview as we specify the focus skills for each unit and how this is built upon as the children develop their abilities through the school year and as they move through school. We encourage children to be active learners with a strong intention that pupils should be ‘doing’ music and experiencing live music as much as possible. 

We support this through formative assessment and summative assessment which is collected frequently and is analysed as part of our monitoring cycle. This allows us to assess how we can further learning through clubs or addition outside visitors. We also use recordings of the children while allowing them to view this themselves, be proud of their work and see how they want to develop their skills. Staff use vocabulary quizzes to allow the children to understand some of the language of music so they can critically understand how it’s made and develop their ability to play and analyse music. This also helps with formative assessment. Our assessment provides us with an accurate and comprehensive understanding of what quality of education has been provided for the children. Further monitoring includes pupil and staff conferencing and learning walks.

Curriculum Impact

By providing a Music curriculum that ensures progression and repetition, pupils will develop the skills and knowledge needed to meet the end of key stage expectations. By having access to a varied, inspiring musical program, children can identify their own areas of strengths and areas which they might like to develop. We strive to encourage self-confidence within the children but also self-reflection for the children to understand what they want to achieve through music, therefore understanding how they can take their own learning further. Our impact of music aims to enable our children to enjoy music in a variety of ways; as a listener, performer, creator and a critique.  We believe our pupils develop the characteristics of an effective musician so that they leave us being resilient and independent learners, being able to create original and imaginative compositions. Children have the confidence to perform their work to others. They have an excellent awareness of a range of music and genres, have knowledge of a range of artists who have contributed to the evolution of music and who have contributed to the diversity of musical styles and have a passion for a diverse range of musical activities. 


St James' C of E Primary School Earl Street, Blackburn BB1 8EG
Headteacher Mr D Stitcher
SENDCo Mr J Cameron
- email address on telephone request
Enquiries should be addressed to Mr R. Dewhurst.
Telephone 01254 698335
Office Hours Monday to Friday 7:45am to 4:00pm