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Smallwood Primary School and Language Unit


Smallwood Primary School have specialist music teaching to ensure that all our children have the opportunities to: 

  • Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music
  • Learn to sing and to use their voices
  • Create and compose music on their own and with others
  • Learn a musical instrument
  • Use technology appropriately in developing musical ideas

We have introduced a range of singing projects led by vocal specialists where children concentrate on developing their confidence and control using their voices, performing and singing in unison and in parts from a young age. 

Music is a big part of life here at Smallwood; children regularly have the opportunity to perform to their peers as well as a wider audience. Some of our performances this year have included the whole-school Carol Concert at St. Mary’s Summerstown and Sing Up Day where we celebrated all the amazing singing we do at Smallwood; we even had some representatives from Sing Up come along and listen to our beautiful singing.

Keep checking back for more information on our up and coming performances.   

Music Curriculum Overview

Early Years

Children in Nursery and Reception are taught once a week by a specialist music teacher.

Throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage, children build up a repertoire of simple songs and chants. They are encouraged to express their ideas and feelings through movement to music; using their bodies to create different sounds; playing percussion instruments and developing their listening skills through simple games. Children are given the opportunity to develop their creativity through suggesting ways in which songs, actions and sounds can be changed and manipulated. 

Key Stage 1

Years 1 and 2 are taught once a week by a specialist music teacher; they also take part in weekly singing assemblies.

Across the Key Stage, children develop their knowledge and understanding of the different elements of music such as pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo and structure. They combine these elements when composing their own music to accompany stories and create different moods.  Children use their voices to sing songs, speak rhymes and chants, as well as learning to play tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments. They experience a variety of live and recorded music performances, learning to listen to details and talk about the sounds they hear. 

Language Unit classes

Children from the Language Unit are taught along broadly the same lines as their equivalent mainstream classes. In Key Stage 1, music lessons focus on developing confidence through repetition of simple songs and chants. Children are encouraged to communicate ideas verbally and non-verbally through movement and body percussion sounds. 

Key Stage 2

Years 3, 5 and 6 are taught once a week by a specialist music teacher based at Smallwood, while Year 4 are taught by qualified clarinet teachers provided by Wandsworth Music Services.

All of Key Stage 2 take part in weekly singing assemblies. 

Across the Key Stage, children have the opportunity to experience a wide range of music across an array of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of great musicians and composers. Children are encouraged to listen with attention to detail and recall sounds, rhythms and melodic patterns from memory. They learn to sing and perform on tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments, both in groups and individually, increasing confidence and control by applying their knowledge of the elements of music.

The children also create their own instrumental and vocal music for a variety of different purposes through improvisation and composition.  In Key Stage 2, children explore different ways in which music can be written down, such as the use of graphic scores and symbols, as well as learning to read and write more traditional methods of notation.

Language Unit classes

Children from the Language Unit are taught along broadly the same lines as their equivalent mainstream classes. In Key Stage 2, music lessons focus on teamwork and increasing concentration through performing together as a class. Children also develop their independence through making decisions about how sounds can be created and combined.   


Throughout the year, children have the opportunity to further develop their musical skills by joining a lunchtime or afterschool club.   

This term, enthusiastic singers from KS1and KS2 have joined forces in Glee Club where they have been performing a variety of different songs and even learning to sing harmonies. Watch this space for news on our next performance!  New for the summer term is Percussion Club for Years 1 and 2. Children have had great fun testing out all the exciting percussion instruments in the music studio and have even had a go at making their own.

Ukulele club for KS2 has been very popular this term; children have been learning to play chords and sing along to some of their favourite songs on our brand new and very colourful ukuleles. We can’t wait to entertain everyone at the end of term with our very first ukulele concert!