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Music Mark

“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning” - Plato

instrumental tuition and clubs
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Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity.   Music is all around us. It is the soundtrack to our lives.  A high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon. 

Music connects us through people and places in our ever-changing world. It is creative, collaborative, celebratory and challenging. In our school, music brings communities together through the shared endeavour of whole-school singing, ensemble playing, experimenting with the creative process and, through the love of listening to friends and fellow pupils, performing. The sheer joy of music making can feed the soul of a school community, enriching each student while strengthening the shared bonds of support and trust which make a great school.


“... in too many instances there was insufficient emphasis on active music-making or on the use of musical sound as the dominant language of learning. Too much use was made of verbal communication and non-musical activities. Put simply, in too many cases there was not enough music in music lessons” (OFSTED 2012a, 4)


At Furness, we pride ourselves in the strength of the ever increasing level of quality musical provision and opportunities for learning and performance provided for our children. We assure our provision by the use of recognised and proficient teachers and resources and support from quality assured external sources. There is a high emphasis on children being active in their musical learning throughout each Key Stage. In active musical learning, the student learns by constructing their own knowledge through intentional action. This is the active part of active learning. Students learn by doing things, not by having a teacher talk about things. Rather than transmitting knowledge, the musical learning environment at Furness is designed to craft intentional learning experiences.  In these experiences, students ‘discover’ musical concepts on their own and are able to apply them in future.


The music curriculum at Furness is tailored to exceed the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum whilst ensuring a clear progression of knowledge and skills.  The curriculum acknowledges and celebrates the diverse range of backgrounds that make up the school community and provides pathways for enhanced levels of attainment evidenced through questioning, response, recording and performance by exposing and saturating our children with opportunities to:


  • Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians and contemporary music and musicians
  • Learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
  • Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions of music: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.


In Nursery/EYFS:

  • Recognise sequence by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
  • Use drama and movement to enhance stories and songs
  • Learn to control and play untuned and tuned percussion instruments
  • Listen to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
  • Sing unaided with increasing levels of memory of song, accuracy of pitch and confidence
  • Demonstrate increasing levels of awareness of song, movement and instrument control in performance


In Key stage 1:

  • Use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
  • Play tuned and untuned instruments musically, with increasing control
  • Understand and explore the relationship between music, drama, storytelling and movement
  • 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.


In Key Stage 2

  • Pupils should be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.
  • 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 and contemporary music and musicians
  • develop an understanding of the history of music.

Music Mark School

Since 2020, Furness Primary School has been proud to be recognised as a Music Mark school for our commitment to providing a high quality music education to all pupils.  The Music Mark is awarded to schools that demonstrate the following criteria

  • evidence of a willingness to engage in development conversations related to improving music provision
  • recognition of the value of music education as part of a broad and balanced curriculum
  • a strategy for music in place which provides for all children
Music Mark

The Music Mark award benefits the school in a number of ways, including access to a variety of high-quality teaching and planning resources; invitation to a range of CPD, events and training opportunities; and the use of the Music Mark logo on school publications.


The full scope of the Music Curriculum at Furness can be thought of as three distinct but interlinked areas:  Curriculum Music Lessons (i.e. weekly, whole-class music lessons, accessed by all pupils), Musical Events & Opportunities (including performances, shows and assemblies), and Instrumental & Vocal Learning / Ensemble Membership (this includes peripatetic tuition, music clubs, and also whole-class instrumental teaching).

Curriculum music

Curriculum Music Lessons


In Nursery, music is delivered by the Nursery teacher.  Lesson plans are designed to enable pupils to achieve the EYFS ELGs (Early Learning Goals), and musical learning experiences incorporate opportunities for developing a range of skills from different areas, including:

  • listening with attention to range of music and sounds, commenting and discussing on what they have heard and sharing their ideas and feelings
  • responding positively to challenges and showing resilience when trying new things (e.g. playing un-tuned percussion with control)
  • developing fine and gross motor skills through using classroom instruments
  • singing a range of nursery rhymes and simple songs
  • performing a range songs, poems and rhymes, and playing simple accompaniments to their singing using percussion instruments
  • working and playing cooperatively with others, taking turns where appropriate

Nursery teaching staff are able to draw upon the support of the Music Specialist for guidance, feedback and help with resourcing lessons and activities.  The rich variety of musical learning opportunities in the Nursery well-prepares children for music in Reception and beyond; most pupils develop a strong awareness of beat and are able to sing tunefully.  In addition, pupils in Nursery have opportunities to enrich their musical learning through performances to their parents, for example the Nursery Nativity performance, which takes place at the end of the Autumn Term.

Reception – KS2

All classes from Reception – KS2 receive a weekly music lesson, which is between 45 – 90 minutes, depending upon timetabling.  All music lessons are delivered by the school Music Specialist (who is also the Music & Drama Lead), which ensures that subject knowledge, delivery of content and teaching pedagogies are of an extremely high standard.  Consequently, pupils’ enjoyment and engagement with music is high, and pupils make good progress through a well-sequenced, challenging and progressive curriculum that embeds key musical skills and knowledge by exposing them to a wealth of music-making, performing and listening opportunities. 

Curriculum Music lessons are organised into themed topics that usually last between 3 – 6 weeks and are based around a particular song, composer/artist or musical genre.  Each of these topics incorporate learning opportunities from most or all of the four main areas of musical learning:  Singing, Listening, Composing & Performing.  In years 2, 3, 4 & 5, pupils also spend one term learning an instrument via whole class instrumental teaching.  Whole class instrumental lessons are delivered by the Music Specialist, with the exception of those in Year 3, which are delivered by specialists from Brent Music Service as part of the Tune In (formerly Wider Opps) programme to which the school subscribes.

A “Spiral Curriculum"

The music curriculum at Furness can be thought of as an upwardly progressive spiral; the interrelated dimensions of music and the key musical skills of singing, composing, listening and performing are continually revisited year upon year in different contexts with increasing levels of challenge, building upon pupils’ knowledge, skills and experiences at every stage. 

At the heart of each stage of the curriculum are singing and self-expression.  The repertoire of songs in the Furness music curriculum covers a diverse range of genres, from nursery rhymes and lullabies from around the world to swing jazz, 70s disco to choral singing, sea shanties to gospel, traditional folk songs to modern hip-hop, rap and R&B.  This provides children with a rich and stimulating variety of singing and music-making opportunities that greatly develop their cultural capital, vocal technique and musicianship.


We recognise the vital role individual and collaborative music-making plays in helping pupils to develop their identity, confidence and social skills.  This is why the Furness music curriculum places a strong emphasis on self-expression, providing a plethora of opportunities for pupils to improvise, compose and perform their own music throughout every stage of the curriculum.

Scheme of Work & Supplementary Resources

Most units of work in the music curriculum are based around topics from the Sing Up scheme of work (SOW), which was selected as it is a new, highly comprehensive scheme that is adherent to the DfE’s ‘Model Music Curriculum’ (2021).  The scheme features a wide variety of topics across a broad range of musical genres, all of which are very focused on practical music making, developing skills and subject knowledge and responding to music from composers and artists across the musical canon.  The SOW covers Nursery – Year 6 and provides many opportunities to form cross-curricular links.

The SOW provides a wealth of resources to support its implementation, including teaching slides, printed resources, external links and more. 

sing up

However, great care is taken by the subject lead to ensure suitable adaptations are made to topics and resources in order to meet the needs of the school context.  (e.g. providing further examples of a concept, using a range of visual prompts and cues to aid understand, adding in additional retrieval activities or adjusting the sequence of learning to introduce ‘tricky’ skills or concepts earlier).


The school also subscribes to Charanga, an online platform that boasts a wide variety of interactive resources to supplement and support the teaching of music. 

charanga yumu

These are used alongside resources from the Sing Up SOW.  For example, the platform’s digital rhythm grids are used to develop pupils’ understanding of note durations, rhythm patterns and internalisation of pulse; instrumental teaching resources greatly support whole class instrumental learning of ukulele and recorder, as well as the planning and implementation of music clubs; and YuStudio, Charanga’s DAW, provides a brilliant starting point for pupils in KS2 to explore music technology using a powerful sequencing tool very similar to professional software such as Cubase, Logic or Ableton Live.

8Es – (Embed, Explore, Explain, Examples, Expand, Enrich, Evaluate & Expertise)

The implementation of the 8Es underpins all of the learning within the music curriculum at Furness.  Each ‘E’ represents a different stage in pupils’ acquisition of knowledge and skills. The 8Es are not a linear path; pupils may progress from one ‘E’ to the next, for instance, moving from Examples to Expand if they have shown a sound understanding of a concept, but they may also ‘jump’ from one to another, where appropriate.  For instance, pupils may begin a music lesson by Evaluating their previous work, then Embed key concepts through a retrieval quiz, before looking at more Examples of a genre.  The application of each ‘E’ in the context of a music lesson is explained below in more detail:

  • EXPLORE:  At the start of a new topic, ‘Explore’ activities elicit prior knowledge from children through the discussion of their own experiences.  Children are given opportunities to ‘Explore’ the work of composers, responding through art, movement and discussion.  Pupils may also ‘Explore’ the use and timbres of unfamiliar instruments before being taught correct techniques.
  • EXPLAIN:  New facts and information are presented to the children by the teacher as the expert, imparted in a way that meets the diverse range of needs in our school context.  Written information, supported by explanations of key terms and vocabulary, high quality multimedia resources and visual prompts all support the ‘Explain’ process so that all pupils can acquire the key knowledge needed to progress further in their learning.  Specific instrumental techniques are modelled to the children and pupils misconceptions or gaps in knowledge are addressed.
  • EXAMPLES:  Pupils may listen / watch and compare further ‘Examples’ of the style of music, or focus on ‘Examples’ of musical features from the genre of focus, such as rhythmic patterns, chords or scales.  Simple practice and application activities also form part of the ‘Examples’ stage in learning.  For instance, pupils may use tuned percussion to imitate simple melodies played by the teacher in call-and-response; learn the lyrics and melody to a rhyme or song as a class; or practice the actions and words to a clapping game in pairs or small groups.
  • EXPAND:  In this stage of learning, pupils are given greater autonomy over the subject matter.  They may ‘Expand’ their learning by composing their own piece of music using the features previously practised (rhythms, note durations, ostinato, scales or chords, for instance); they may invent their own lyrics to the same melody of the focus rhyme or song; or develop their own sequence of movement or set of actions to accompany a piece of music or playground chant.
  • ENRICH:  Pupils demonstrating high levels of competence and ability during the ‘Expand’ phase will have opportunities to ‘Enrich’ their learning further and make better than expected progress.  Pupils may be challenged to develop the structure of their piece of music, add in additional instruments or more challenging rhythms / ostinato, use harmonies or rounds, vary the dynamics or add expression, or play at a faster tempo.  Furthermore, all pupils have access to ‘Enrichment’ opportunities in the form of performances of their work at the end of a lesson or unit of work.
  • EVALUATE:  Pupils are able to ‘Evaluate’ the work of their peers by offering constructive feedback after a performance.  They are also presented with opportunities to ‘Evaluate’ their own work through watching back recordings of their performances and suggesting what worked well, or ways it could be improved. 
  • EXPERTISE:  During their time at Furness, many pupils are able to develop high levels of musical competence and ability as the progress through the range of opportunities afforded to them in the music curriculum.  Pupils with ‘Expertise’ in music (such as those who learn instruments in private or small group tuition, pupils who attend music clubs or individuals have developed mastery of key concepts within a curriculum music lesson) offer peer support during learning activities.  This benefits both the Expert, as it develops their confidence and consolidates their own understanding, but also their peers, as we know that pupils can learn well from one another.
  • EMBED:  Throughout every topic, specific tasks and activities are planned for to ‘Embed’ pupils’ understanding of key musical vocabulary and concepts (for example brief, low-stakes quizzes on the definitions of terminology).  Pupils are constantly encouraged to retrieve key information, vocabulary and facts from previous lessons and topics.  This helps to ensure pupils develop a cumulatively sufficient body of knowledge as they journey through their primary education. 

Music Working Wall

To support pupils with embedding key vocabulary, concepts and knowledge, a ‘Working Wall’ is provided for the children’s reference.  The Working Wall reflects the topics being studied for year groups 1 – 6 and is updated regularly. 

This resource helps to strengthen pupils’ retrieval of key content and provides useful visuals to aid understanding.  It is used as an effective substitute for ‘knowledge organisers’, which are used for the same purpose in all other foundation subjects, because pupils seldom use exercise books in music lessons (topic knowledge organisers are usually stuck into pupils’ books in other foundation subjects).

working wall


Formative and summative assessments are used to assess the key objectives, skills and knowledge within each topic.  Formative assessment happens constantly throughout each lesson through the school’s pedagogical approach of the 8Es.  Pupils revisit and retrieve key content within and across lessons, which helps to ensure key knowledge is retained.  During each unit or work, video recordings are made by the music teacher to track and monitor children’s outcomes and progress.  This allows children evaluate and assess their own learning whilst providing the subject lead with valuable evidence of the pupils’ learning.  Pupils’ written work, such as annotated rhythm grids, graphic scores or comparison sheets, are collected and stored in their year group portfolios as evidence by the Music Specialist. 

At the end of a unit or work, summative assessment takes place in the form of a performance of a finished piece of work.  Performances as recorded as evidence of the pupils’ attainment.  According to the assessment criteria, children are judged to be either are working within, below or above the expected standard for their age. This data is uploaded to Target Tracker so it can be compiled and analysed by the subject lead so it can be used to inform subsequent planning and identify trends or commonalities in attainment outcomes across the school.

Cross Curricular Links

  • Writing:  Pupils have the opportunity to respond to music through writing when identifying the features of a genre of music, or when comparing pieces of music.  They may make notes about the interrelated dimensions of music (such as tempo, dynamics or instrumentation), or write brief comments to express their own opinions or observations about a piece of music.
  • Reading:  Music lessons present a range of opportunities for pupils to develop their reading skills.  Presentation slides contain written instructions and information, which pupils are required to read.  Pupils read lyrics to songs during music lessons and singing assemblies, and time is taken to discuss the meaning of the vocabulary and imagery used.
  • Mathematics:  Musical learning is deeply interlinked with key mathematical concepts.  As pupils develop their understanding of beat, metre and rhythm, using and applying their understanding of fractions, division and addition becomes crucial.  Pupils learn to appreciate how combinations of different note durations ‘add up’, and how a ‘beat’ or ‘bar’ can be broken down into fractions.  Pupils practically apply this knowledge through the use of rhythm grids and scoring music using staff notation (in upper KS2).  Furthermore, pupils are also given opportunities to apply mathematical thinking and reasoning in other ways, for example by working out how long ago a composer lived, or how long ago a song was first released using strategies such as counting on or compensation.  When singing, counting is often interwoven with vocal warmup activities to develop pupils’ number fluency.
  • Computing:  Music technology is a specific focus of the Furness computing curriculum.  In Years 2 and 4, pupils use music software on Purple Mash to sequence and compose short pieces of music, and explore the ways in which technology can be used to create, combine and edit sounds.  These units of work help prepare pupils for their topic on music technology in Year 5, during which they use YuStudio, a much more advanced audio sequencing tool, to compose their own music.
  • Artwork:  Across Key Stages, pupils are given opportunities to respond to music through drawing and artwork.  Pupils listen to pieces of music and draw what it makes them think of or how it makes them feel.  Pupils frequently use graphic scores as a way of notating what they hear but also to record their own ideas and compositions.
  • Science & Humanities:  Where possible, music topics are organised to draw meaningful links with other curriculum areas.  For example, pupils in Reception compose music using minibeasts as a stimulus whilst learning about them in Science.  In Year 6, pupils explore Swing Jazz of the 1930s-1940s to complement their learning about Britain during WWII.  In Year 5, pupils learn to sing an Islamic ‘nasheed’ and develop an instrumental accompaniment whilst learning about Islam in RE lessons.  In addition, through the school Science curriculum, pupils learn about the science of sound and music by exploring how sounds travel as vibrations, and how factors such as string length and tightness affect the pitch produced when plucking or striking during the Year 4 topic on Sound.
  • Spanish & MFL:  Pupils learn to sing songs in Spanish, for example the well known Christmas songs Feliz Navidad and Noche De Paz.  Every year, the school celebrates European Day of Languages, and pupils learn a new song which incorporates other languages to perform together as part of the event assembly.  Music is also commonly used as a teaching tool in Spanish lessons; pupils learn Spanish vocabulary through different songs and rhymes.

Music Curriculum Map

Instrumental & Vocal Learning; Ensemble Membership

Whole Class Instrumental Teaching

We believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to learn an orchestral instrument.  Therefore, in Year 3, pupils receive one term of whole class instrumental tuition from a specialist teacher from Brent Music Service (BMS), as part of the TuneIn (formerly WiderOpps) programme in the autumn term.  Weekly lessons last for 30 minutes and form part of each class’s curriculum music lesson.  The school music specialist is present and actively involved in all of the lessons.  At the end of term, pupils who are assessed as having made good progress on their instrument by the BMS tutor are selected to receive subsidised tuition and free instrument hire for the remainder of the academic year, in the hope that they will continue to learn their instrument throughout KS2 and beyond.  To encourage an uptake of a variety of orchestral instruments, a different instrument is selected each year for the Year 3 TuneIn lessons.  This year, pupils have learnt violin; the previous year clarinet was the instrument of choice.

Pupils in Years 2, 4 & 5 also receive a term of whole class instrumental tuition, delivered by the school music specialist.  Year 2 learn recorder; Years 4 & 5 learn the ukulele.  Returning to the ukulele two years in a row allows for greater progression of knowledge and skills.

Private and Small Group Instrumental Lessons

Pupils have the opportunity to learn an instrument through weekly small group or private, paid tuition.  Currently, Furness offers guitar and clarinet tuition provided by BMS.  We have also recently started to offer piano tuition, provided by PianoFunClub (PFC).

Pupils who learn an instrument with BMS all receive a practise book to log weekly practise activities.  BMS music tutors provide progress reports to parents once a year in the Summer Term.  These are usually made available when pupils receive their full end of year report, so parents have the opportunity to meet with the Music Specialist at the final Parents’ Consultation Evening of the academic year and discuss their child’s progress in music. 


To monitor the quality of tuition provided by peripatetic music tutors, external tutors from BMS are observed officially by senior leaders from the Music Hub at least once in the academic year.  A written copy of the observation notes are provided to the school Music and Drama Lead. 


Tutors from PFC are observed at least once a year by the company manager or other senior members of staff.  The school Music Specialist may also observe lessons to monitor their quality.  The amount of input pupils receive into practise routines and the levels of feedback parents receive differ depending on the ‘Stage’ of piano tuition parents opt for when paying for piano lessons.

piano fun club

In order to support families on lower incomes with the cost of learning an instrument, discounts on instrument hire and tuition fees are made available to families facing financial difficulty.  A number of fully-funded places are also offered by PFC for pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium grant.

Music Scholarships

Scholarships are awarded by BMS to pupils who demonstrate high levels of dedication and attainment on their instrument.  Scholarship applications are submitted annually by the Music Specialist to BMS, who review all applications and conduct interviews with shortlisted nominees before deciding upon successfully candidates.  Pupils who are awarded a music scholarship receive a fully-funded, half-hour, weekly private music lesson and free instrument hire.  Scholars are expected to continue to demonstrate high levels of engagement with music both at school and by attending at least one BMS ensemble.

In the recent past, Furness has had several successful applicants for music scholarship, the last of which left the school in July 2023.  Currently, there are no music scholars at Furness, but we hope to have a successful nomination before too long.

Lunchtime Music Clubs

Furness currently offer lunchtime clubs for ukulele, keyboard and recorder.  These clubs are typically for between 4-10 pupils at a time, who are selected by the Music Specialist if they show an interest in joining and some musical aptitude.  Pupils who participate in lunchtime music clubs are able to apply what they’ve learned in curriculum music lessons, which gives them a greater level of expertise.  This means they can support other pupils with learning, model skills for the class and take the lead confidently in composition activities. 

Lunchtime clubs are free to attend; therefore, pupils who wish to learn an instrument but whose families’ are unable to afford paid music tuition are prioritised when selecting participants.

KS2 Choir Club

KS2 Choir runs as an after school club.  It takes place weekly on Wednesdays, and is open for up to 30 pupils to join at a time.  Joining choir is a great way for pupils to develop their vocal ability, confidence and have fun.  Pupils in choir are exposed to a richer repertoire of songs and have the opportunity to perform at events throughout the year; some within school, such as termly concerts or other celebration assemblies; but also external events, such as their annual performance at Princess Louise of Kensington Nursing Home at Christmas, or Brent Junior Choir of the Year.

Brent Music Service Ensembles and Choirs

From September 2023, Furness have been delighted to host a number of BMS instrumental ensembles and choirs.  BMS instrumental ensembles take place on Tuesdays after school and include the Bridge Orchestra (which is open to all pupils of any ability), Junior Strings, Junior Wind & Brass, Guitar Ensemble (all of which require an audition) & Steelbands.  BMS Junior and Intermediate choirs take place on Thursdays; pupils must audition to join a BMS choir. 

BMS choirs and ensembles are attended by children from across the borough, so they are a great platform for pupils to socialise and make new friends whilst greatly developing their musicianship and instrumental or vocal technique.  We wholeheartedly encourage all Furness pupils who play and instrument or sing well to enlist in a BMS ensemble / choir.  Most choirs and ensembles are open to pupils in Year 3 and above.

Currently, BMS charge £99 per year for choir / ensemble membership, though BMS are able to make special arrangements with fees for families facing financial difficulties.

Weekly Singing Assemblies

All pupils from Reception – Year 6 benefit from participating in weekly singing assemblies to complement their musical learning.  Collectively singing songs brings great joy to pupils and staff alike, promotes mental wellbeing and greatly develops confidence.  Singing assemblies begin with warmup games, songs and other activities to strengthen pupils sense of rhythm and pulse, help them to focus and improve their ability to pitch-match and sing in tune.  Pupils learn a variety of songs linked to whole-school events, festivals and other events of national or international significance (for example, Black History Month, Remembrance Day, or British Science Week). 

Pupils who attend KS2 choir and other pupils who sing confidently are often invited to help lead songs and other activities during singing assemblies.  In addition, individual pupils or groups also have the opportunity to perform in singing assemblies, and on occasion, visitors may come and perform for the children. 

Music Achievement Badges

Learning an instrument takes time and dedication.  Many pupils can find regular practise and the level of commitment required to make good progress hard to maintain at first.  So, as an additional incentive, pupils who persevere with learning their instrument (including pupils who attend choir) are awarded with music achievement badges for every year they continue.  There are three levels of achievement badge available:  Bronze (1 year), Silver (2 years) and Gold (3 years).

Music Events & Other Opportunities


Music ‘Wall of Fame’

Every month, one pupil is celebrated for displaying an excellent attitude and achievement in music.  This star pupil receives a special certificate in assembly to recognise their efforts, his/her picture is displayed on the music room Wall of Fame for that month and they are featured in the school’s weekly newsletter. 

wall of fame

Music Tech Team

Children in from Year 4 to Year 6 have the opportunity to apply to be a Furness Music Technician. Up to six children are chosen every year to undertake the role. Their responsibilities are as follows:

  • Manage the PowerPoint in whole school and singing assemblies independently.
  • Assist with setting up and packing down equipment (such as microphones, PA gear and instruments), before or after assemblies or other events
  • Help to manage the behaviour in singing assemblies by rewarding house points/stickers to well behaved children.
  • General help in the Music Room.
  • To be a role model for other children to follow.

Pupils must submit a written application and complete a short interview with the Music Lead to be successful.  The school PRIDE values, including attendance and punctuality, are also considered when the children are selected.

Music technicians

Music Concerts

There are two main music concerts at Furness that take place annually:  The Winter Music Concert, at the end of the Autumn Term, and the Summer Music Concert, towards the end of the academic year.  Both concerts are an opportunity for pupils who learn instruments, as well as the school choir, to perform to their peers and parents and showcase their progress and attainment.  The Winter Music Concert is also the culmination of Year 3’s Whole Class Instrumental Tuition (provided by BMS); they perform what they have learnt on their new orchestral instrument during their TuneIn lessons in the Autumn Term.

“Let it Shine!” Assembly

“Let it Shine!” Assembly takes place at the end of the Spring term.  Like the Winter and Summer Music Concerts, it is also an opportunity for pupil instrumentalists to perform.  However, this assembly differs in that all pupils are invited to audition if they feel they have a talent or act they would like to share with the school.  It is a great opportunity for pupils to take to the stage and have their moment in the spotlight.  Previous “Let it Shine!” Assemblies have featured comedy sketches, solo singing performances and student bands, in addition to the range of pupil instrumentalists that perform in the Winter and Summer Music Concerts.

Year Group Festival Assemblies

Class and year group assemblies provide children with opportunities to develop their confidence, improve their speaking and dramatic skills, and to share their learning with a larger community of children.  In partnership with RE Lead, a calendar on festival assemblies is planned for annually.  Every year group is allocated a focus festival, which is linked to one of their RE topics.  To enrich their learning for that topic, the year group plan, rehearse and perform an assembly to educate and inform the rest of the school about their focus festival and/or religion, celebrate the associated culture through dramatic and musical performance, and share their learning.

class assembly components

Class and year group assemblies are primarily the responsibility of the class teacher or year group leader.  However, the school Music Lead / Specialist acts in a supporting role to help with the development, rehearsal and performance of the assembly.  In particular, The Music Specialist will always allocate a portion of Curriculum Music Lessons to teaching and rehearsing the assembly songs.

Year 6 Production

Every year, Year 6 pupils rehearse and perform a feature-length musical production following the completion of their SATs.  Auditions are held for lead acting and singing roles, and pupils are actively involved in every aspect of the production, from costume and set design to ideas for choreography and staging.  Where possible, pupil instrumentalists, as well as pupils working at or above the expected standard in music, are involved in the musical accompaniment.

The Year 6 production is a brilliant opportunity for our eldest Furness pupils to take their creativity and performing arts skills to the next level, in preparation for the opportunities afforded to them in secondary school and beyond.  It enriches their cultural capital whilst also creating memories that will last them a lifetime.

The culmination of their efforts results in a full matinee performance to the school and an evening performance to family and friends.  Recent productions include Oliver! (2022) and Aladdin (2023).

KS2 Choir Performances

Every half term, KS2 choir have the opportunity to perform for an audience.  They often feature as part of special celebration assemblies, and always perform in the Winter & Summer Music Concerts, as well as “Let it Shine!” Assembly in the spring term.  At the end of the autumn term, the choir visit Princess Louise of Kensington Nursing Home to perform their repertoire of Christmas songs and exchange seasonal cards with the care home residents.  In the summer term, they perform for their peers and families in open air settings such as the Summer Fair and the Sports Day opening ceremony. 

Having performances to work towards fuels the collective motivation and focus of the choir, and performing for others gives the pupils a tremendous sense of achievement and great boost to their confidence.

Other Individual and Small Group Performances

Pupil Instrumentalists, who are making good progress with learning their instrument, and individuals or small groups who have produced high-quality outcomes in Curriculum Music lessons are invited to perform in Singing Assemblies.  This gives pupils an opportunity to inspire others and show off their skills in a lower-stakes setting than an end of term concert, thus building their confidence and helping to prepare them for performing at larger events. 

BMS Ensemble and Choir Performances

At the end of each term, the BMS ensembles and choirs that take place at Furness hold a concert for pupils’ family and friends to attend in which they showcase their repertoire of songs from that term.  This provides an additional performance opportunity for Furness pupils who participate in BMS Ensembles / Choirs.

Royal Albert Hall ‘Superchoir’ Performance with London Youth Choirs (LYC) – May 2023

64 pupils from KS2 (Years 3 – 5) joined a ‘Superchoir’ of over 1,500 children and performed a repertoire of 6 songs they learnt by heart at the RAH as part of London Youth Choir’s 10th birthday celebrations.  The children prepared for the event by participating in 3 rehearsals at school in the Spring term that were run by LYC leaders, as well as additional rehearsals run ‘in house’.  The concert was performed to an audience of over 4,000 members of the public, including many of the children’s own parents and carers.  For most, it was their first experience of a concert of this scale.


The impact of our Music curriculum is that the majority of children, in our school, are able to:

  • Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • Express and communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings through movement, discussion, artwork, graphic scoring, writing, vocalisation and use of musical instruments.
  • Use their imagination, self-expression and creativity in art and design, music, dance and drama
  • 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, understand and compare 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, including Western classical music and popular music.


Music Links


Chrome Music Lab - https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/

A fantastic free set of resources to explore beat, rhythm and music sequencing

Purple Mash Music Apps - https://www.purplemash.com/#tab/home/music

Log in to your Purple Mash account and explore the brilliant music applications on Purple Mash – there are 4 different ones to experiment with!

Virtual DJ Turntable Tutorial - https://doodles.google/doodle/44th-anniversary-of-the-birth-of-hip-hop/

Learn about the history of Hip Hop music and understand the basics of being a DJ with this awesome online virtual turntable app.

Ableton Loops Grid - https://learningmusic.ableton.com/

Experiment with combining different drum patterns and synth loops on this great online tutorial that teaches you the fundamentals about music production using digital software.

Incredibox - https://www.incredibox.com/demo/

Play as different beatboxer characters and try out different combinations of loops to make amazing beat box music.

Beethoven Sequencing Game - https://doodles.google/doodle/celebrating-ludwig-van-beethovens-245th-year/

Learn about the history of one of the world’s most famous classical composers and arrange parts of his most well-known songs correctly to progress through this clever musical game.

Band Lab - https://www.bandlab.com/

A powerful (a free!) Digital Audio Workspace (DAW) which you can use to produce professional sounding music.  Sign up for a free account and create your own music.

Audacity - https://www.audacityteam.org/download/

Completely free to download and use, this is a great tool for recording and editing audio.

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