Curriculum Music

A small groups of young boys interact whilst waiting for their performance.

Music education can help spark a child’s imagination or ignite a lifetime of passion. When you provide a child with new worlds to explore and challenges to tackle, the possibilities are endless. Music education should not be a privilege for a lucky few, it should be a part of every child’s world of possibility

Music in schools

The refreshed National Plan for Music (NPME) was launched in June 2022 and demonstrated how music should be delivered in ALL schools. The vision of the new plan is;

To enable all children and young people to learn to sing, play an instrument and create music together, and have the opportunity to progress their musical interests, including professionally.

This means all children and young people:

  • experience a broad musical culture in schools and education settings, accessing high quality curricular and co-curricular music, and progressing into appropriate qualifications
  • access the expertise, instruments, technology and facilities they need to learn, create and share their music
  • engage with a range of enrichment opportunities to play and sing, to perform, create and experience live music, and have their music heard
  • have opportunities to progress their musical interests and talents, and routes into a variety of music careers
  • are supported by a skilled and dynamic workforce

A high-quality school music education consists of three distinct, but interlinked areas of provision:

  • Curriculum music, compulsory from key stages 1-3, then optional for examination classes (e.g. GCSE, vocational and technical qualifications and A level).
  • Instrumental and vocal lessons, and ensemble membership.
  • Musical events and opportunities, such as singing in assembly, concerts and shows, and trips to professional concerts

The new National Plan (NPME) sets out the vision for all schools to offer:

  • timetabled curriculum music of at least one hour each week of the school year for Key Stages 1 to 3
  • access to lessons across a range of instruments and voice
  • A school choir and/or vocal ensemble
  • A school instrumental ensemble/band/group
  • Space for rehearsals and individual practice
  • Termly school performance
  • Opportunities to enjoy live performances at least once a year

As outlined in The Power of Music to Change Lives: A National Plan for Music Education (June 2022), every school has been asked to ensure that it has a School Music Development Plan, that sets out how the school will deliver high-quality music provision for all pupils. To support schools with this process, we have created a short online self-evaluation audit.

This online form will auto-populate a draft School Music Development Plan that will then be emailed to the person completing the form.

This will help schools to:

  • Benchmark their school against DfE expectations;
  • Understand what excellent music provision looks like;
  • Engage critically with their music offer and decide on future actions for their school;
  • Identify support available from Wandsworth Music;
  • Create a record for passing on to a new music lead;
  • Complete the data for the annual DfE survey;
  • Provide evidence for an Arts and Culture endorsement, Ofsted Deep Dive and Artsmark.

Music Curriculum Support & Guidance Documents

The following documents and guidance are designed to support schools in developing their school music policy and to help you evaluate and assess your current music provision in more detail.

PPA – WM Delivery of your music curriculum

Wandsworth Music has a team of music specialists who deliver high quality curriculum music lessons in Wandsworth primary schools. Our bespoke curriculum teaches music in a fun and creative way and includes singing, playing classroom instruments, composing and creating music, listening and appraising.

With singing and performing at its heart, our programmes engage pupils in practical music-making and ensure progression and continuity in line with the Model Music Curriculum. We work in partnership with schools to link lessons into whole school themes and really bring subjects to life through singing and music making of all kinds.

Wandsworth Music aims to have an active and positive relationship with all schools in Wandsworth and we are committed to supporting the development of music in your school. We can help provide CPD opportunities for school staff, which can be offered ever as stand alone services or as part of our programmes and projects.

We also run a termly primary music network meeting for music leads and music co-ordinators. We are particularly keen to help share examples of good practice around the borough – If you or your school have a particular expertise in music that you would be willing to share with other schools in Wandsworth, then please do let us know!

For more information regarding the music network meetings please contact Debbie Huie

Ofsted Framework and subject deep dives

The following information has been compiled to help schools in their preparations for a music deep dive. It is likely that the following might be key lines of enquiry based on the new focus on Intent, Implementation and Impact:

  • INTENT: What are you trying to achieve through your music curriculum? How is it structed?
  • IMPLEMENTATION: How is the school’s curriculum being delivered?
  • IMPACT: What difference is the school’s curriculum making?

There is also evidence that questions and observations include:

  • How to demonstrate ‘sequencing’ in Music? (Why this? Why now?)
  • How to show/evidence progression of musical knowledge and understanding?
  • How does a school support children who get behind? Or children with SEND?

Why just ‘doing’ music isn’t enough – presented by Mark Phillips HMI, Ofsted Lead for Music. The webinar explores the Ofsted framework, the importance of a well planned sequenced music curriculum, deep dives and much more!

In this video Mark Phillips speaks about the music research review and what effective music education looks like.

In this video Mark discusses the music research review and the role of the three interrelated pillars of music education.


We are delighted to be able to nominate all Wandsworth Schools for FREE membership of Music Mark.

  • Access to online resources to support the delivery of music
  • Access to free online CPD and training events
  • Use of the Music Mark school logo on your school website and other media.

For more information on how to receive your FREE Music Mark Membership CLICK HERE

Links for further guidance and resources