At Dunston Hill, it is our vision that every child leaves our school with a passion for music. Music is a subject that permeates so many aspects of our lives. It plays a key part in pupils’ enjoyment and supports them with regulating their mental well-being and focus. Through performance, we provide children with opportunities to develop into confident individuals, able to express their talents.  


At Dunston Hill, we are proud to hold Artsmark award at silver level, and music was a big part of achieving this award. With our school’s emphasis on the good mental health of our pupils, it is vital that we continue to focus on the importance of the arts as an outlet for feelings and understanding of the actions and emotions of others. The impact of singing on mental health is widely reported on and developing this with our learners is vital: from the love of learning rhymes and familiar songs in nursery, right through to creating a buzz with pop songs and class celebrations. All of our children are encouraged to take part in singing and learning to play musical instruments in groups or individually, building up their resilience and having the courage to overcome any fears or worries.   



Teaching of music in school is implemented through a structured, yet flexible, programme called ‘Charanga’ which allows progressive series of lessons to develop skills, layering on and revisiting them each year in line with the model music curriculum. This is supported through our local authority’s Music Hub. Playing a variety of percussion instruments is facilitated from nursery onwards, leading to the reading of musical notation with which to play in year 6.  

Singing is an integral part of our school lives, starting with singing assemblies each week and following through with regular singing in classes, daily where possible. Classes are invited to sing in assembly following their learning in class and do so with excitement and enjoyment, showing off their singing and taking great pride in the group performance. We run a choir year-round for children from year 2 to year 6, our pupils building up their repertoire to perform in our local church and in front of parent audiences and we sign up each year to the Big Sing at Sage Gateshead. This is a very exciting event that allows our children to sing with a live band and be inspired by professional musicians. Every child, throughout their Key Stage 2 time, receives the equivalent of a full year’s music tuition from a qualified teacher from Gateshead Music Service and recently this has been ukulele tuition.  

Retrieval practice is an integral part of every music lesson. It is a learning strategy that involves recalling facts, concepts or skills from memory to enhance learning. Retrieving strengthens memories, making the skill, concept or fact easier to recall at a later date. Pupils at Dunston Hill should be given the opportunity to recall previous taught musical skills with increasing depth overtime and a chance to revisit learning from the previous step. The act of retrieval is embedded into each lesson plan from the Charanga scheme of learning as the lessons are carefully sequenced to allow pupils to recall previous learning and then build upon their skills. All staff follow these lesson plans carefully to ensure musical skills and concepts are embedded throughout all stages of learning.


Pupils at Dunston Hill become confident to push themselves out of their comfort zones and challenge themselves to learn something new, be that new songs or playing a musical instrument. They develop a deep enjoyment of performance, even on a small scale, and being part of larger ensembles. Our pupils show a high level of interest in arts in school, shown by attendance at extra-curricular clubs as well as their responses through our arts council (made up of a child from each class y1-6). Our choir is always well attended and this allows us to take part in community and public events throughout the year, such as Carol Services at our local Church at Christmas.

Curriculum Documents and information

Music Curriculum News

Year 1 Music

In music we have been exploring the song ‘In the Groove by Joanna Mangona.’ In The Groove is a song that has been specifically written to teach us...
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Year 5 – Music

This week in music we looked at Lionel Richie's classic,  'Hello'. The children instantly recognised the number which was great to see. They easily...
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Year 2 – Making Music

Our latest Computing unit has helped us to develop our Computing skills, and has also broadened our knowledge around music.  Through PurpleMash, we...
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