Barnes Rd, Murton, Co. Durham SR7 9QR 0191 517 5900


Music education at Ribbon Academy aims to ensure that each child grows musically at their own level and pace, whilst fostering musical responsiveness and developing an appreciation of organised sound patterns.

All children have the opportunity to learn to play an instrument, develop their vocal skills and to begin to establish a sensitive, analytical and critical response to music. We believe it is important to expose children to different genres and styles of music to encourage, a wider appreciation.

At Ribbon, we aim to meet the requirement of the National Curriculum so at:

Key Stage 1

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes;
  • Play tuned and un-tuned 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 inter-related dimensions of music.

Key stage 2

Pupils should be taught to:

  • 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 inter-related 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.

Music lessons at Ribbon are timetable for a minimum of thirty minutes each week. Year 1 teaching staff deliver weekly music sessions based on: ‘Charanga Music School’ (a scheme of work which supports all requirements of the National Curriculum and gives children access to a wide range of musical concepts and experiences). The ‘Charanga Music School’ scheme provides teachers with week-by-week support, for each year group. It is ideal for specialists and non-specialist teachers and provides lesson plans, clear progression and exciting whiteboard resources.

For year groups with two form entry (Years 3 and 4), lessons are delivered throughout the year by a music specialist from Durham Music Services (referring to the Durham Music Service Curriculum Map). For the remaining year groups, Year 2 children play recorders; Year 5 play percussion instruments (including boom whackers) and Year 6 continue to focus on percussion instruments (including the glockenspiel). These three year groups rotate, allowing them to work with the music tutor for two terms and with their class teacher for the remaining term. Class teachers will structure their lessons using Charanga, but with some support and guidance from our music specialist.

During weekly music lessons, children who are working at a greater depth will be given plenty of opportunities to demonstrate and showcase new skills they have learned. Teaching staff will record some of these performances, which can then be shared with parents via Class Dojo. Musical experiences are inclusive at Ribbon; in addition to the music specialist, the class teacher will also be available to provide addition support (if necessary).


It is vital that each year group makes use of their weekly music session. When the sessions are delivered by the music specialist, staff should see this as CPD; building on their own skills in preparation for when they lead music sessions themselves. Further CPD is available from DMS who offer free network meetings throughout the year for music teachers/leaders within school. Additionally, the Peterlee Partnership Teaching School Alliance offer music training sessions to support music throughout the year.

During the autumn and summer terms, children will take part in music festivals when they showcase their talent with family members. This is their time to shine and celebrate what they can do, in front of an audience.

Music sessions are fully inclusive for all children. Children should be made to feel like they are all achieving at their individual level. Although we teach music as a ‘stand- alone’ subject, music happens across the curriculum on a daily basis (children sing on a daily basis to support mathematical understanding). ‘Music of the Moment’ (a specific style or genre of music which changes each week) can be heard during weekly assemblies and through the PA system in all areas of school. Children are encouraged to reflect upon what they hear (MoM is also shared with parents/carers via our social media platforms).

Music tuition is also available at Ribbon from Durham Music Services. From Year 4 upwards, children can play either a woodwind instrument such as the flute or saxophone or a brass instrument such as a trumpet or a clarinet. Parents who want their children to participate in the scheme, pay additional music lesson fees on a termly basis.

Each year the Academy will select and fully fund a small number of pupils who show enthusiasm and talent in playing a musical instrument. These pupils will receive lessons, instrument hire and dedicated tuition within school hours each week, in order to nurture and develop their potential.

The pupils selected will:

  • be in receipt of Pupil Premium funding
  • be funded for the whole academic year
  • be from any year group

Funding will be for one year initially, although selection once does not preclude the same pupil being selected again during their school lifetime.

Pupils who engage in lessons, can also access a wealth of opportunities beyond the classroom such as County ensembles, large scale events through both Durham Music Service and other professional organisations. In recent years Ribbon pupils have performed at the Sage Gateshead, Durham Regatta, Brass Festival and taken part in transition and local musical events at local secondary schools.


The effectiveness of the teaching and learning of Music at Ribbon will be regularly monitored by the Deputy Head Teacher and the Subject Leader. The impact of our music curriculum will be shown by; the confidence of children when performing and playing musical instruments, recordings on Earwig and evident in the numbers attending after-school musical provision. Our commitment to providing high quality music education has enabled us to achieve the Music Mark certificate from the Durham Music Service (November 2019). Pupil and staff surveys across each year group will also be shared and monitored by the Subject Leader.


Termly assessments will be completed by either the class teacher or by the Durham Music Services specialist using the DMS assessment scheme. Assessments made will be based on evidence on Earwig from videos of the children performing musical tasks. The Subject Leader will moderate assessment judgements each term – this will include moderating evidence uploaded to Earwig.

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Downloadable documents

Music Vision

Durham Music Service Overview

Music Programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2