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St Michael With St John Church of England Primary School

Nurture, Inspire, Achieve!

Year 2

Year 2 Rationale

Throughout Year 2 children build upon their learning from Year 1 and they learn and develop their skills in Singing, Listening, Composing, Musicianship and Performing. Lessons are based on the Charanga scheme of work. Each week is progressive, with children learning new knowledge and skills. The learning from the previous week is recapped at the beginning of the lesson.


Children start lessons listening with greater concentration to a range of recorded and live music and they express their own opinions about the music. Through questioning, children learn to recognise changes in dynamics, tempo and timbre and explain in simple ways how these changes affect the music. Children learn to name an increasing number of hand-held percussion instruments and recognise their sounds. They learn to respond to and identify high and low sounds independently after listening to a piece of music. The questions asked are repeated each week to different songs to support children’s understanding and use of musical vocabulary.


Following the listening and appraising part of the lesson, children take part in musical activities. They learn to beat the pulse of a piece of music, using body percussion and using percussion instruments, responding to changes in tempo (speed). They begin to group beats in twos and threes by tapping knees on the first (strongest) beat and clapping the remaining beats in familiar music. The begin to understand the difference between pulse and rhythm. They copy simple rhythms on a percussion instrument (chime bars). Children use music technology to capture, change and combine sounds.


Following the musical activities, the main unit song is taught. Children learn to sing a variety of songs with a wider pitch range. They learn the meaning of dynamics (loud/quiet) and tempo (fast/slow) and demonstrate these when singing and playing. They explore using their voice expressively and creatively. They internalise a steady pulse, e.g. using their ‘thinking voice’ to sing in their own head. They sing short phrases independently. Children work with partners to improvise simple question and answer phrases, creating a musical conversation. Children identify patterns of one and two sounds per beat and use rhythm names. They create music as a response to a stimulus, choosing and using appropriate instruments to represent ideas. They create rhythms using words and phrases as a starting point. Children follow and use graphic symbols, dot notations and stick notation to keep a record of compositions and when playing and performing. In the final part of the lesson, children perform the unit song to their peers and children evaluate their learning.