Our Music Curriculum

We believe that the arts are extremely important in giving children the opportunity to express themselves and develop interest and talents in non-academic subjects. For this reason a large proportion of our curriculum budget is spent on Music.

We employ two music teachers, one to teach weekly music lessons to the children in Nursery and Reception and another who teaches a weekly music lesson to children in Y1 to Y6. The 2014 Music National Curriculum is taught to children during these sessions. These are weekly 30 minute lessons.

In addition to this children have weekly instrument lessons in Y1 to Y5. We value music so much and the opportunities that it provides our children that we devote two lessons a week to music from Y1 to Y6. This starts in Year 1 where they play the African drums each week and this continues into Year 2.  These are weekly 30 minute lessons.

In Y3 all children start to learn to play the recorder which they continue to develop in Y4 as whole class lessons. They can then continue this in smaller groups in Y5. Once children are in Y5 and Y6 they learn to play the guitar.  These are weekly 30 minute lessons.

We also have a weekly whole school music assembly which is a joy to take part in! Songs from a range of genres and cultures are learned and performed at these assemblies.

All these lessons, clubs and groups are all taught by specialist qualified and talented musicians rather than class teachers in order that our children get as much as possible from these sessions.

The highlight of the year is our annual Summer Music Festival where everyone performs to the entire school community in our playground. Each year we are very lucky as the sun always shines for us!

Early Years (Nursery & Reception) Curriculum

Our goal is for our children to become Musicians.  Musicians must have: 

Music in the Early Years Foundation Stage

At Bangabandhu we believe strongly that music is not a creative add-on but an essential part of our learning tool kit.

It is part of our learning every day in Early Years Foundation stage. Our goal is to enable teachers and pupils to share the positive and beneficial effects of music, and to make it an integral part of the curriculum, starting from Foundation Stage.  Music is used in so many areas of learning with speech, language, numeracy and memory all benefiting from active participation in music. Music builds personal and social skills, confidence and self-esteem, and aids all areas of a child’s development, and so teaching it with confidence and pleasure is taken seriously!

Music is fun, and teaching music to children is fun as long as you enjoy what you’re doing, the children will as well.

We have an Early Years music teacher, Corin Pennington who has been teaching music in Early Years settings for nearly 20 years. He runs Learning Curve Music,  an early years music education service, has published a collection of songs as a book and CD, and is developing his YouTube channel. Corin has extensive experience of working with children with special educational needs and teaches within our specialist speech and language classes also. His resources and teaching videos are all on the shared files and are used by staff when he is not here.

We try to use as many different types of traditional, contemporary and original music and songs from around the globe, aiming to find something that everyone will enjoy and embrace. The songs and materials change throughout the year reflecting learning themes, seasons etc, and we have regular concerts for the parents as well as fantastic celebration assemblies. Basic instrument playing, rhythm games and improvisation using a variety of instruments from all parts of the world, is a fantastic gateway to different musical forms and styles. We also make instruments from recycled materials with the children, which not only gives them “ownership” of an instrument but also introduces the idea that music can come from everywhere. We make extensive use of signing (mainly Makaton), as we know the power and importance of signing as one of the communication skills. Gestures are a natural accompaniment to music, often preceded by speech, and allows non-verbal children to participate. This is also a natural stepping stone to using music in PE, Dance and all areas of movement.

Here is an example of some of Corin's songs. 

How we learn the alphabet!

A fun simple and complex rhythm song:

The all-time favourite exercise song!

One of our seasonal songs:

Early Years Foundation Stage - what does Music look like in the Early Years?

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, music forms part of the learning children acquire under the ‘Expressive Arts and Design' branch of the Foundation Stage curriculum. 

Music features quite a lot in lessons for children during Nursery and Reception years. There are plenty of opportunities to sing, explore sounds and dance and play to music. It’s often used as a method for learning about other things, such as science, numbers and words, too.

Children will learn how sounds can be changed; sing simple songs from memory; recognise repeated sounds and sound patterns; and match movement to music. Children also have the opportunity to compose using a variety of musical instruments.

The document below outlines in more detail the specific music objectives within the Early Years curriculum, what it looks like in practice, and demonstrates the links between the Early Years and the KS1 Music curriculum.  It also highlights key vocabulary taught within our Early Years and at Key Stage 1.

Music - Early Years to Key Stage 1 Curriculum Links. 

Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 Curriculum Maps

Here is an overview of what we teach in class music lessons as well as in our instrument lessons. 

Curriculum Map (Intent)

Here is our class music lessons map for this academic year. 

2021/2022 Music Curriculum Map 

This link will take you to the the Bangabandhu  Curriculum page where you will find the curriculum map for each year. These give an overview of what is taught in subject area, our curriculum intent. 

African Drumming Curriculum - Progression of Skills

African Drumming - Long Term Curriculum Plan

African Drumming - Medium Term Curriculum Plan

 Recorder  Curriculum - Progression of Skills

Recorder - Long Term Curriculum Plan

Recorder - Medium Term Curriculum Plan 

Guitar Curriculum - Progression of Skills

Guitar - Long Term Curriculum Plan

Bangabandhu's Music Policy

Beyond the  National Curriculum - Cultural Capital Experiences 

Cultural capital is the essential knowledge that children need to prepare them for their future success. We want to ensure that children at Bangabandhu have a wide and varied range of experiences as they progress through our school. We want them to know about their world; to build a schema of knowledge and to do this through first hand experiences. We intend to provide our children with opportunities to develop not just their knowledge but their interests and talents. Our aim is to prepare them for a successful future. 

Our school is in an area of high socio-economic deprivation. We are focused on addressing this disadvantage. Our curriculum is the main provider of cultural capital however there are other aspects of school life which provide essential cultural capital and should not be overlooked. We have planned the cultural provision that goes beyond the curriculum and this plan can be found below.  This plan is to capture, illustrate and to strategically plan for the breadth and range of cultural capital experiences we will provide for our children as they move through the school. We are not leaving such an essential element of our school’s provision to chance or individual teacher interest. When a child leaves Bangabandhu in Year 6, we will be certain of what they have learnt and experienced and know that they will be prepared for the next step in their learning and personal development.  

Bangabandhu's Whole School Cultural Capital, Trips and Experiences Plan

Curriculum and Expectation Booklets for Parents

These booklets give an overview of our Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 curriculum.  They explain what is taught in each subject area as well as outlining some of the expectations we have for children.  Parents are given these booklets at the start of each year and they are sent electronically with each term's newsletter. 

Year 1 Curriculum and Expectations Booklet for Parents

Year 2  Curriculum and Expectations Booklet for Parents

Year 3 Curriculum and Expectations Booklet for Parents

Year 4 Curriculum and Expectations Booklet for Parents

Year 5 Curriculum and Expectations Booklet for Parents

Year 6 Curriculum and Expectations Booklet for Parent

Wednesday Music Centre

Globe, our partner school hosts a Wednesday Music Centre run by the Tower Hamlets Arts & Music Education Service (THAMES) which some of our children attend.

This is open to children between 7 and 13 years old who are at the early stages of learning string, woodwind or brass instruments, and who are already receiving instrumental lessons during the week. Students play in either a string or wind ensemble in the first part of the session and then join together to play as a full orchestra for the second part of the session. There is also a choir.

There is a concert at the end of every term for students to showcase their musicianship, as well as further performance opportunities and projects, including working with creative partners.

To be eligible children must live, or attend school, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

The first term is free to new members and currently the charge is £3 per week. Reductions are available for a second child (or more) to attend.

THAMES (Tower Hamlets Arts & Music Education Service) Contact Details



Tel: 020 7364 0431

Applications to join the centre are available in the link below:
Wednesday Music Centre Application Form