At Dame Dorothy we place a strong emphasis on music, believing it is an essential and enriching element in the education and development of all children.


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.


We use the Primary Curriculum guidance and (from Sept 2022) the Model Music Curriculum (2021) for KS1 and KS2 together with the EYFS Early Learning Goals for our youngest pupils in Early Years Foundation Stage.  We ensure through careful monitoring that all aspects of the EYFS and Primary Curriculum guidance are used to ensure the coverage and progression, through year groups, of key skills, knowledge and understanding.

During KS1 lessons will include a range of musical genres, encouraging good listening skills and the use of simple musical language. The lessons will use the Charanga music program, which provides opportunity for listening, appraising, improvising and composing. The warm up sessions in this web-based resource help to develop aural and singing skills. The children will have the opportunity to use tuned and untuned instruments.

Our high-quality music curriculum is delivered by a specialist music teacher in KS2. They are exposed to a range of musical styles and genres through the ‘Music of the Month’. They are encouraged to listen critically and express their thoughts; this also gives them an opportunity to become familiar with and learn to use key musical terms.

Beginning in Y3, children are taught to read standard notation, ending in Y6 with children able to recognise at least an octave in the treble clef and understand note duration. A range of games, rhymes and classroom displays are used to deliver this differentiated learning.

The Charanga music program offers a program with progressive development of musical skills and also offers additional styles and genres of music. Charanga provides opportunity for listening, appraising, improvising and composing. The children will have the opportunity to use tuned and untuned instruments. Recorder WCET is delivered, as well as ukulele WCET. In Y5 and Y6 the children can choose to have woodwind tuition from an external tutor.

Providing our children with the opportunity to experience live music and hear professional musicians play is an important part of their learning. Together with local venues e.g. Sunderland Empire and Sage Gateshead, we take as many opportunities as possible to expose our pupils to quality, live music. In conjunction with Sunderland Music Hub, music groups have visited school and the children have attended musical training in other venues. This is always dependent on funding and provision from outside agencies, but will always be a key target for the subject leader to source and facilitate. 


The impact of our music curriculum is to generate a lifelong love and understanding of music. We provide our pupils with a solid knowledge base to progress to KS3 Music. Children enjoy learning in music lessons and many choose to have additional lessons and take part in our school choir.#