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Lydiate Primary and Nursery School

Inspire. Achieve. Prepare for life.



My name is Mr Forbes and I am the music lead. The following information will give you an overview of Music at Lydiate Primary School.


The Lydiate Musician.

Music is an expressive language for individuals to use as a form of communication and teaching. As a positive art form, it enhances the holistic development of children. Music has an excellent tradition in our school and we intend to continue this by seeking new and exciting opportunities for the children to develop their music skills, have access to quality contemporary instruments and regular lessons by teachers and music specialists.


Our aim is to ensure that all of our Lydiate Musicians can:


  • 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 interrelated dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations

Our Curriculum Drivers

Our curriculum is driven around the three principles which make up our school motto: Inspire,
Achieve, Prepare for Life. We start every lesson by setting the learning intention, explaining clearly
why we are learning a concept, and drawing specifically on previous learning to help us. 

Inspiring Our Pupils – The Intent


After a number of years of limited music during lockdown, we made the decision to develop our own - completely bespoke - music scheme.  This bespoke scheme has a focus on listening, appraising, composing and performing.  Our children showcase their progress in books and regular videos to document their learning, knowledge and progress from the start of a unit to the end, and as they progress through their musical journey at Lydiate Primary. Children build on their skills progressively from Nursery to Year 6 with a cyclical approach which allows children to revisit, consolidate and expand on key musical themes each year. 


Our bespoke curriculum is tailored to our children and year groups to ensure that at the end of Key Stage One all children can:

  • use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes

  • play tuned and untuned instruments musically

  • listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music

  • experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the interrelated dimensions of music


And at the end of Key Stage Two they can:

  • play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression

  • improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the interrelated dimensions of music

  • listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory

  • use and understand staff and other musical notations

  • appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians

  • develop an understanding of the history of music


Ensuring Our Pupils Achieve – The Implementation


Children have weekly music lesssons delivered by their own class teacher or HTLA. Following our carefully planned bespoke music curriculum, children are guided through their music units which build and progress their musical knowledge.  Our Key Knowledge and Progression document is at the core of our bespoke curriculum ensuring that skills and knowledge are built upon each year.  Children are assessed at the start and end of each unit via 'What I know' grids as well as videos which are used to show children the progress they have made through their unit.  We have also introduced music books for children to showcase their musical vocabulary and composition skills. 


Children are given exposure to music from around the world with varying genres and our cyclical curriculum allows children to revisit key ideas and vocabulary ensuring that they know and remember more.  At the end of each unit, teachers use assessment to identify any gaps or opportunities to take knowledge further before delivering a lesson tailored to their class. 


Djembe Drumming


As part of our curriculum, children in Key Stage One and Two have a half term of whole-class Djembe drum tuition provided by Sefton Music Service in which they learn to care for and play this historic instrument, whilst learning about its origins and history on the West cost of Africa. 


Each class has the opportunity to perform for an audience of their grown-ups at the end of half term providing them the experience of playing and singing as part of an emsemble.  Parents had their say at the end of our lastest peformance:


"Absolutely blown away by the drumming and singing, such a beautiful performance! So proud!"


"Fantastic, children showed they really enjoy the drums."


"I thought it was fantastic.  So lovely to see all of the children enjoying the music and so great to hear that music is such a big part of the curriculum."


They are quickly becoming part of our school's musical culture

Year 4 Djembe performance May 2023

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Pupil voice - Djembe drums

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I run a popular after school club for Year 5 and 6 to learn the ukulele.  This club quickly teaches children key chords to unlock hundreds of songs that they can share.  The club regulary plays for other classes in the school, inspiring and impressing as well as taking music beyond the walls of the classroom. 



Ukulele's in the wild!

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Whole class performances


From 2023/2024, all classes from Year 1-6 will have a half term of whole-class ukulele.  This is in addition to Djembe drumming and ties in with national curriculum requirements for children to play both tuned, and untuned instruments. 


At end end of each half term, the class will perform in a celebration of ukulele, djembe drumming and dance to an audience of their grown-ups.  This has been highly popular with our wider school community and something which is becoming part of the culture of Lydiate Primary.

Year 1 perform a round

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End of half-term performance.

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Preparing Our Pupils For Life – The Impact


Our children's love for music, as well as their books, shows us how important music is to a child's education.  Lydiate Primary has a long musical heritage which the whole school community is commited to continuing.  Our bespoke curriculum ensures that children know more and remember more musical skills and vocabulary. 


Merseyside has hundreds of famous musicians, some known worldwide, we aim to inspire the next generation of musicians who can proudly say, "I found my passion for music at Lydiate Primary School."


We enrich our curriculum with trips to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and visits to school from companies such as the Pop Project and Samba Bamba and are building links with local high schools to facilitate visits from their talented musicians to show our children what they can achieve. 

Our bespoke music scheme allows children to perform confidently in front of their peers.

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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the scope of the school’s music curriculum and does it support progression across musical competencies?


Music is taught in the curriculum throughout each phase and year. Progression in music takes place across a number of areas that interrelate to produce high-quality musical outcomes. Our bespoke scheme is deliberately cyclical to ensure key concepts, including listening, appraising, composition (including staff notation) and performing are revisited.  Revisiting and progressively expanding on the interrelated dimensions of music ensures children take regular and progressive steps in their musical knowledge.  Lydiate musicians perform with their voices and instruments in increasingly complex ways throughout their school lives. 


Do pupils get better at singing or playing over time?


Our bespoke curriculum allows children to create music in a variety of ways using their voices and a range of tuned, and untuned instruments.  Regular progress videos demonstrate a clear progression in Lydiate Musicians as they progress through school.   Regular re-enforcment of key concepts such as dynamics, tempo and articulation of lyrics (such as rap) ensure a high quality of musical output from all of our children.  Below is an example of a start of unit and end of unit videos that demonstrate progress. 



Year 3 start of Djembe Drum unit

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Year 3 End of Unit Performance.

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How are children taught to use musical notation?


Children are introduced to the concept of the notation tree from Year 1 and are taught to use the correct notation terms such as semibreve, minim, rest, crotchet, quaver and semiquaver.  Initially linking these to suitable terms terms such as ant, spider, caterpillar - children use these scaffolds to compose their first musical pieces. 


Children gradually replace these scaffolds with formal staff notation in a way which builds in prior learning working towards the goal of fluent notation use. These gradual approach ensures that cognitive load is considered when handling composition. Notation is embedded within sequences of learning as a means of accurately and fluently communicating music. Through regular use, pupils grow in competence and confident. 


The notation tree is a key part of our musical curriculum at Lydiate Primary and is used from Year 1 until Year 6. 

Children learn notation and composition in carefully considered steps

Can children use musical language?


Our bespoke cyclical curriculum focuses on key musical language.  Listen and appraise units arm children with a wide range of musical instruments they can recognise and discuss as well as the language of the interrelated dimensions of music: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure.  Our composition and performance units focus on the language of notation which children are encouraged to use from Year 1.


Classroom posters, displays, regular pupil voice surveys and our bespoke cyclical curriculum ensures that Lydiate Musicians can confidently and competently discuss the high quality musical output they make using musical language. 


What kind of music do Lydiate Musicians listen to?


Music is a key part of our day to day life at Lydiate Primary.  Outside of specific music lessons, our whole school celebration assemblies have a musical focus, at the start of each week children listen and learn about a musical trailblazer from the BBC 40 Classical Pieces and participate in whole school singing during our end of week celebration assembly and specific key stage singing assemblies every week. 


Children learn about, and perform a wide range of quality music. The pieces chosen for the listen and appraise units in our bespoke scheme have been carefully chosen to give Lydiate Musicians exposure to music around the world including: country, bhangra, reggae, classic folk, orchestral, rap, music from films, blues, pop, South African, Nigerian drumming, samba, tango, aboriginal and West African.   We use opportunities in music to increase our children's cultural capital. 


How we support SEND children in music?


Learning at Lydiate Primary school is underpinned by the Education Endowment Foundation's 'Five a Day' principle.  This is woven into the musical curriculum.  Teacher-led approaches give clear and explicit instructions in an 'I do, we do, you do' format.  This approach prevents cognitive overload and provides opportunites for children to evaluate their own work.  New concepts are clearly, and appropriately, scaffolded to allow children of all needs to access the lesson objective. We make reasonable adjustments for children to ensure that everyone is included in our music lessons. 


How do you assess music at Lydiate Primary?


Music is an expressive lanaguge and we are passionate about it being a space where children who find more formal methods a challenge can be inspired and achieve.  Children are assessed throughout school by start and end of unit videos which chart their progress across a unit and throughout their whole music journey.   Regular pupil voice surveys check retention of key learning. 


Children from Year 1 begin to use books to record their appraisals and compositions in more formal ways and carry this book to their next class teacher so they can evaluate and be proud of their own progress.  This allows us to see the children's progress as they go from year-to-year. 

Want To Know More?

We are passionate about music at Lydiate Primary school and welcome any comments or suggestions to augment our musician's musical journey.  Please contact the school office should you want to discuss the music curriculum with me.