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St Michael With St John Church of England Primary School

Nurture, Inspire, Achieve!

Year 3

Year 3 Rationale

Throughout Year 3 children build upon their learning from KS1 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 begin lessons listening to and understanding a growing range of live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and historical periods, from great composers and musicians. Children learn to recognise the different instrumental families when watching classical musical performances and begin to recognise the sounds they make. They listen with increasing concentration and recognise how the inter-related dimensions of music can be used to create different moods and effects.


Following the listening and appraising part of the lesson, children take part in musical activities and warm-up games. They learn to find and maintain the pulse of a piece of music using body percussion and instruments, responding to changes in tempo (speed). They understand the difference between pulse and rhythm. They apply word chants to rhythms, understanding how to link each syllable to one musical note.


Following the musical activities, the main unit song is taught through singing. Children learn to sing a widening range of unison songs of varying styles and structures, tunefully and with expression. They perform actions and body percussion confidently and in time to a range of songs. They experience singing canons, simple rounds and other partner songs. They show control of dynamics and tempo when singing and playing, following physical and written symbols: dynamics – p f (loud/soft); tempo – allegro, adagio (fast/slow). They identify patterns of one and two sounds per beat plus rests (i.e. crotchets/paired quavers/rests) and use rhythm names (walk/jogging/rest.)


Following the singing of the unit song, children play instruments, improvise and compose with the song. They play simple melodic patterns using a small number of notes, following staff / dot notation. They use listening skills to correctly order phrases using dot notation, showing different arrangements of notes. Children improvise (using voices and tuned/untuned instruments), inventing short ‘on-the-spot’ responses and using a given note-range. They compose in response to different stimuli, thoughtfully using the inter-related dimensions of music to create specific effects and atmospheres, and may begin to record using standard and graphic notation. They structure musical ideas to create music that has a beginning, middle and end. They begin to compose simple rhythmic patterns and song accompaniments on untuned percussion using crotchets (walk), paired quavers (jogging), minims (stride) and crotchet rests. They recognise the symbols for crotchets, quavers and crotchet rests and are introduced to the stave, lines and spaces, and clef. They read and clap a 4 beat pattern that contains crotchets, quavers and crotchet rests. They use dot notation to show higher or lower pitch. Children explore and develop using music technology to capture, change and combine sounds. In the final part of the lesson, children perform the unit song with others, beginning to show an awareness of the audience. Children evaluate their own learning.