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St Michael With St John Church of England Controlled Primary School home page

St Michael With St John Church of England Primary School

Nurture, Inspire, Achieve!

Year 1

Year 1 Rationale


Throughout Year 1, children build upon their learning from early years and they learn and develop their skills in Singing, Listening, Composing, Musicianship and Performing. Lessons are planned and delivered by a specialist music teacher from the company ‘Junior Jam’. Each week is progressive, with children learning new knowledge and skills. Prior learning is revisited throughout lessons to ensure children embed new skills and knowledge.


In Autumn 1, children complete the unit ‘Song writing with glockenspiels, (Lite Level 1). Children focus on how they can create sound with their bodies, their voice, and with instruments using ostinati. They learn the difference between lyrics and instrumentals and investigate the sounds of different instruments before creating soundscapes. Children learn about body percussion and begin composing using these sounds. Graphic scores are taught and children explore the different ways of interpreting them, as everyone is unique in their way of thinking. Children improvise question and answer phrases and link this with their compositional skills.


In Autumn 2, children learn to play the Ukulele. They learn the correct names of the different parts of the instrument and the notation values of the strings. Children are shown how to correctly hold the instrument, the correct playing technique when plucking and strumming the strings, and how to hold down the strings correctly on the neck to change the pitch. Children are taught how to play different rhythms and songs both as a class and individually. Children learn to understand the difference between pitch and rhythm.


In Spring 1, children learn are introduced to music theory with keyboards. Throughout these lessons the children are introduced to basic musical symbols and they learn what importance they have within music. Children are taught different styles of World music and are encouraged to ask analytical questions. The children are shown different musical instruments commonly used nationally and internationally. Basic notation is the last thing to be taught introducing the children to crotchets, minims and semibreves.


In Spring 2, children are introduced to playing keyboards. Children learn keyboard skills by; gaining confidence in reading music, performing and composing. By working through several exercises looking at notation, timing and rhythm, children learn how to read music in the treble and bass clef and perform a variety of pieces.


In Summer 1, children learn the musical skill of singing. Children learn the importance of warming up and cooling down before and after singing. They are taught how to breathe within a song without ‘snatching’ breath and how posture can help with our breathing. Children learn the keyword diction and see how useful it is; they also investigate when it’s used and when it’s dropped and the reasons behind this.