Witton Gilbert Primary School


In this section of the website, you will find information about our approach to teaching Music at Witton Gilbert Primary School.
Music Subject Progression


At Witton Gilbert Primary School, we recognise the value of Music in building confidence and offering children opportunities to shine. We believe Music teaching should promote a love of music and a personal journey of discovery including music from different periods of history, world music and music children create themselves. Children gain a firm understanding of the key ingredients of music through active listening, composing and improvising, performing and singing. This understanding is from the children’s exposure to a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres throughout their primary experience.

In music lessons we seek to develop a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life. We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community, and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.

We aim to develop children as Musicians, planning for development of the following characteristics:

  • The ability to work in a team with others and to share knowledge and ideas with each other, respecting each other for their viewpoints.
  • Confidence and competence in a full range of practical skills, persevering in playing a range of instruments and carrying out performances.
  • Excellent musical knowledge and understanding which is demonstrated in written and verbal explanations, composing pieces of music and reflecting on performances in a sophisticated way.
  • An enjoyment for music and an understanding of how it can help and support people in life.

Intent Linked to our School Values

Childhood and Play


Through music, we want to provide children with many opportunities to play a range of musical instruments throughout their time in school.
Respect for Ourselves and our Environment Our school understands the positive impact that music can have on our mental wellbeing and ensure that we appreciate the enjoyment that art can bring us.
Equality and Diversity


Our school is committed to ensuring that all children will have access to an exciting, appropriate and inspiring curriculum that will support their progress and achievement.

Children will study a range of musicians from a range of backgrounds and inclusive of all genders, nationalities, races and disabilities.

Perseverance and Resilience


Children and staff take a ‘growth mindset’ approach when it comes to music. We remind ourselves that we may not be able to do certain musical elements such as performance yet and that through practice and determination we will get there. We encourage children to use their performances to support their peers and offer constructive feedback.
Collaboration and Cooperation Many Music tasks and activities involve groups of children working in collaboration. They must work together to take on specific roles and cooperate to reach agreed outcomes. They must find ways to play in harmony with one another and we often have to practice our listening skills in group tasks.

We also understand that music is a subjective subject and therefore appreciating, supporting and appraising each-others musical choices is an essential part of our lessons too.


At Witton Gilbert Primary School, Music begins in Reception Class as Expressive Art and Design. Children are provided with a wide range of musical instruments in both their weekly music sessions and during their time in provision areas. Teaching then continues into KS1 and KS2 and experiences are built on from Reception. Music is taught weekly across the school with a combination of class teachers and music specialists from Durham Music Service leading the weekly sessions. Children are given many opportunities to practise, revisit and build on skills progressively from EYFS to KS2 in active listening, singing, performing and composing.

We ensure that the practical element of playing music is met by ensuring that class sets of unpitched percussion instruments and class sets of pitched instruments are provided for all classes to use. We also provide a recorder for every child in Year 3. Children in Year 4 and Year 5 learn how to play the clarinet in partnership with Durham Music Service and Year 6 children work with Durham Music Service to play in a rock band. Progression through each year group is ensured through the music batons which outline the specific learning points in all 4 areas of music. Teachers include music specific vocabulary in music lessons which is defined, explained and used by children. Again the progression of this musical language is outlined in the music knowledge batons. The teaching of music is also supported by staff using the Charanga scheme to engage the children.

The musical curriculum is enriched throughout the year through our close connection with Durham Music Service. The music lead attends termly music leadership meetings and then shares practical activities and teaching suggestions with staff. We also have the privilege of inviting live performers into our school. We enjoy professional music ensembles at Christmas time and Brass Bands through the Durham Brass Band festival. Over the last few years we have also had one off session including Rock band experiences, African drumming sessions and playground music sessions.

Cultural Capital in Music

Cultural Capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, skills and experiences that gives us the confidence to be able to talk, communicate, progress and take a full part in our community and wider world.  At Witton Gilbert Primary school, we promote equality through our commitment to developing cultural capital for all our children.

During their time at Witton Gilbert Primary School, they will also experience

  • Meeting and talking to a musician
  • Visits to performance spaces
  • Live performances from musicians
  • Have access to a wide range of musical instruments to explore and play.


At Witton Gilbert Primary School, children will become creative learners, who are reflective and are able to evaluate their musical compositions and performances. Creativity and uniqueness will be celebrated and children will widen their knowledge of a wide range of musical genres and musicians. Children will build upon their knowledge of musical concepts in each year group to allow them to develop a musical vocabulary as well as practice a wide range of musical skills. Children of all abilities and backgrounds will be able to achieve well in music due to the experiences provided in music lessons by both staff and Durham Music Service.

From meeting with and learning about a range of musicians, children will know how music impacts our everyday lives. They will know the possibilities music has for them for their future. They will know that if they keep excelling in the subject they too could become performers, teachers, solo artists, reporters, ensemble players, university lecturers, radio DJ’s, peripatetic teachers, instrument repairers and band members.