St James Catholic

Primary School

In the loving peace, justice and joy of Jesus, we achieve.


Music Intent


At St James’ Catholic Primary School children receive a high-quality, knowledge rich music curriculum which engages and inspires through singing, listening, composing and performing. Children develop their talent as musicians, develop their creativity and self-confidence and enjoy a sense of achievement which in turn fosters a love of music.


From early years pupils are exposed to singing, taught to find the beat, pulse, dynamics and tempo of music. As children progress through school, our lessons follow a structure which involves singing, prior learning, listening to, responding to and exploring music. Children create, compose, improvise, practice and perform music then evaluate and reflect on their work. They work as individuals, in pairs, small groups or as a whole class to create music. Each lesson enables children to participate in music appreciation sessions and express their ideas using the descriptive language of the musical elements they have studied.


Music is a unique way of communicating; it enables personal expression and plays an important part in personal and cognitive development. The music curriculum reflects the culture and society that we live in enabling the children to better understand the world that surrounds them through the many different genres of music. Children listen to and study orchestral pieces like Peter and the Wolf, Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus from The Messiah and Rimsky Korsakov’s- Flight of the Bumblebee. They move through Jazz, Rag and Tal, Classical, Funk, Rock and Pop, Blues and Baroque music and across the world with Hip Hop, Folk, Nigerian drumming and African American spirituals. Throughout the curriculum children identify the sounds of different instruments and which family they belong to in an orchestra.


By the end of Y2 all children are encouraged to play a tuned instrument and develop their skill of notation. During their time in KS2, children continue to study great pieces from classical composers and are exposed to an even wider, eclectic mix of musical genre. Music is drawn from a variety of traditions both historical and modern, from around the world. Children build on their early notation from KS1 and all children are taught to play an instrument by consultants from the Birmingham Music Service in Year 4 and are encouraged to continue this through the rest of KS2.


Gospel values are at the heart of our musical journey at St James. Our objective is to develop a curiosity for the subject which will inspire them throughout their lives. Children are provided with opportunities to watch and listen and take part in musical performances outside the classroom, to sing in choir and are encouraged to share their music in the wider community. Hymn practice and singing assemblies provide further opportunities for singing as part of a larger group for all children.


By the end of KS2, children at St James’ have developed a critical engagement with music as listeners, composers and musicians. They have gained the necessary musical cultural capital, which will set them up to be lifelong successful learners.