Curriculum Design and the Long Term Plan

Music at Burton Road 

At Burton Road we follow the original Charanga scheme for music.  Charanga music is a spiral curriculum.  The learning is repeated across units, through the engagement of new songs and different styles of music.  As the musical skills and knowledge are repeated they are reinforced and the learning deepens.  Most units in Charanga have the same structure.  There are 6 steps/lessons in each unit that build learning incrementally. 

The lessons are structured as follows:

Listen and Appraise

At the start of each lesson children listen to and appraise a piece of music.  This may be the unit song or another song by the same artist / composer or of the same musical genre.  After listening to the piece of music, children are encouraged to discuss the piece using musical vocabulary and referring to the interrelated dimensions of music.  Suggestions for pieces of music to listen and appraise are provided in the Charanga resources.


Musical Activities

All musical activities are based around the unit song, provided by Charanga.  The following musical activities are included:

  • Games embed the Interrelated Dimensions of Music through repetition.
  • Singing is at the heart of all the musical learning.
  • Playing instruments with the song to be learnt - tuned/un-tuned classroom percussion. A sound-before-symbol approach is used but scores are provided as an understanding of notation is introduced to the children.
  • Improvising with the song using voices and instruments.
  • Composing with the song using instruments.

Not all musical activities are covered in every lesson, however Medium and Short Term Plans are designed in a way that covers all activities across the six week unit.




At the end of each lesson a performance takes place in which the children can share their learning from the lesson.  A discussion should take place after each performance about what went well and what could be improved next time.  Each lesson works towards a final performance at the end of each unit which will take place in front of an audience.


The six steps/lessons in each unit usually follow the pattern outlined below:

Step/Lesson 1 – Learning to sing the unit song

Step/Lesson 2 – Learning to play an instrumental part with the unit song

Step/Lesson 3 – Improvising with the unit song

Step/Lesson 4 – Composing with the unit song

Step/Lesson 5 / 6 – Prepare for the end of unit performance


At the end of each unit there will be a whole school music assembly so classes can share and perform their musical learning for that half term.