Peter Gladwin Primary School, Brighton and Hove



At Peter Gladwin School we understand the cognitive and wellbeing benefits of music and music making. Music has the power to improve mood and reduce stress, to enhance exercise and motivation and lessen anxiety. Music also helps to develop memory skills, listening skills, cognitive skills, imagination and resilience.

Music is inclusive and we want all children to have access to it. 

Children learn to talk competently about different music styles, learn songs from different cultures and to talk about music using musical vocabulary.  At Peter Gladwin we want every child to be a singer and musician.  Every child will be in the choir (singing assembly) and will learn an instrument (Harmonica). 

At PGS through a rich and varied diet of listening to, composing and performing music for every child, we aim to unlock the seeds of a lifelong love of music, which will continue to benefit our pupils long after they leave their primary education.

Our music curriculum aims to develop pupils who:

·         Enjoy and have an appreciation for music, across a range of musical styles and genres

·         Are confident to take part in performances across a range of musical styles

·         Create and compose music on their own and with others, using appropriate technology

·         Can explore how music makes them feel and create emotional music responses

·         Explore how music is created, produced and communicated

·         Use musical language

·         Can sing and use their voices

Have opportunities to learn a musical instrument and experiment with a variety of instruments

Listen, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, experiencing the work of great composers and musicians

Our curriculum is sequenced in line with the EYFS Statutory Framework (2020), Development Matters (2020) and the National Curriculum for Music (2013).



At PGS we recognise that musical teaching and learning is spiral. Repeating a musical skill doesn’t mean their progress is slowing down or their development is moving backwards, it enables pupils to reinforce musical understanding in order to improve the quality of their musicianship.

Our Music curriculum allows children to develop new music skills and concepts whilst also revisiting and embedding established musical skills and concepts. Skills, knowledge and vocabulary are taught progressively from year group to year. At PGS music teaching also provides pupils with an understanding and appreciation for music. Through our music lessons children study a wide range of musical styles and genres from a range of musical periods.


Music teaching at PGS delivers the requirements of the National Curriculum through lessons based on the Charanga scheme of work, ensuring consistency and progression throughout the school.

We recognise that music is a specialist subject and not all teachers are musical specialists, so we use the Charanga Musical School package to supplement our music curriculum. The Charanga package enables clear coverage of the music curriculum whilst also providing support and CPD for less confident teachers to deliver lessons.

At PGS music lessons are broken down into half-termly units and flexibility is provided to enable teachers to link with other subjects and follow pupil’s current interests.

Each unit of work has an on-going musical learning focus and a unit specific focus to enable previous musical skills to be embedded. Music lessons usually follow a specific learning sequence:

·         Listen and Appraise

·         Musical Activities

·         Singing and Voice

·         Playing instruments

·         Composition

·         Perform and Share

Our progression model also follows the same learning sequence to ensure all interrelated elements of music are covered and implemented.

Music teaching at PGS is practical and engaging. A variety of teaching approaches and activities are provided based on teacher judgement and pupil ability. Lessons typically involve a combination of the following; games, songs, challenges, listening to music and discussing music, playing a range of musical instruments, performing back, improvising and composing.

At PGS music education extends beyond weekly lessons in the classroom. All Year 5 pupils learn a musical instrument over a period of ten weeks, delivered by the BHCC Music Service via the Soundmakers initiative. In addition all pupils learn the harmonica for ten weeks per year funded by Friend of Peter Gladwin. Rocksteady run weekly lessons for children to learn music within a band context. These lessons are paid for by individual families but to make as accessible as possible they are accessed during the school day and Rocksteady offer a number of bursary places to pupils. 

Children have the opportunity to learn the violin in Years 2-6 or guitar in Years 3-6.  These lessons are paid for by individual families but to make as accessible as possible they are accessed during the school day.  There are reduced fees for families who qualify.

School hold a Recorder Club during Lunch time, ran by a teacher, free of charge.

Performance is at the heart of musical teaching and learning at PGS and all pupils participate in a key stage performance at Christmas, class assemblies during the year, in weekly singing assemblies, Every Child a Singer whole school performance and termly Rocksteady concerts, and Year 6 pupils participate in the ‘One Voice’ Concert at the Brighton Centre. Parents are invited and welcomed to watch these performances where appropriate.



At PGS, children have the opportunity to discover areas of musical strength, as well as areas they might like to explore and develop in confidence. Music will aim to develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to students individually, as well as cultures from across the world. Children will be encouraged to enjoy music, in a variety of ways across the key stages- either as listener, creator or performer.

Children leaving PGS:

·         Can reflect on music listened to and discuss its parts using terms such as pitch, duration, timbre, dynamics and texture

·         Can sing and feel a pulse

·         Will have played and performed instruments including their voices, in solo and ensemble contexts

·         Will have improvised and composed music for a range of purposes

·         Will have recorded their musical compositions using staff and other notation

·         Can appreciate a wide range of high-quality music drawn from diverse traditions and local musicians

They have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.