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Music at Heston Primary School

Heston Primary is proud to offer children a highly diverse and broad ranging music curriculum. The music department is well-resourced, boasting the use of a spacious music room, filled with a wide variety of tuned and various percussion (djembe, bongos, congas, Brazilian samba drum sets, a gathering drum, a full class set of glockenspiels, recorders, and ukuleles), not to mention a complete class set of keyboard pianos. 


At Heston, students have weekly opportunities to sing, and learn to play many different instruments as part of their weekly lessons. There are also lunchtime music clubs and after-school instrument workshops that run based on demand, covering small-group piano lessons, ukulele lessons, percussion workshops, and even music technology.


Each half-term, the children engage with a new and exciting unit of work, and the units of work are chosen carefully and placed at specific times of the year in order to maximise the potential of maintaining clear progression of skills. Some examples of Units of work would be the following:


Year 1

Rhythm and Pulse

  • Students learn to sing confidently and with more control
  • Students learn to hear their own mistakes and improve on them
  • Students learn how to clap different rhythms and explore their own bodies for making body percussion​


Year 2

Orchestral Instruments

  • Students learn the names and sounds of all orchestral instruments, and get to experience the power of classical music
  • Students will begin to think like composers themselves, having the chance to create their own musical ideas and share them with the class

Year 3

Chinese New Year

  • Students learn about Chinese traditional music, learn the names of different instruments and their sounds, and get to express themselves in a safe space as they move to music
  • Students create dragon masks and prepare for a performance of Chinese music, using the instruments in the resource room​

Year 4

Polyrhythms and Notation

  • Students learn how to read sheet music, and perform simple songs on xylophones and glockenspiels
  • Students get a chance to compose their own melodies on Google Music Maker/Song Maker, learn to record them using staff notation, and perform them on glockenspiels and pianos​


Year 5

South African Music

  • ​Students learn how to sing traditional African Songs
  • Students learn to perform different rhythms on African Djembe and how to play together and listen to each other
  • Students are given the tools by the teacher to work autonomously in groups, inspiring their own creativity and leadership skills

Year 6

Electronic Music Production

  • Students learn about the science of audio (The Frequency Spectrum, Sub Bass)
  • Students learn about the origin of each electronic genre, including their favourite genres
  • Students get a chance to make their own beats and share them with others on Bandlab (a free music making resource with limitless potential and very easy to use)

Each unit of work is assessed, and video footage is taken throughout the units and compiled securely in order to carefully track the progress and engagement of each individual from one unit to the next and from one year to the next. The ultimate aim is to inspire children with a love of music in its many forms and to explore their own creativity which will stay with them long after they graduate in Year 6.


Heston also has links with many local initiatives such as Together with Music, and Soundsteps, who offer chances for students to perform in groups outside of the school, and give them opportunities for music instrument tuition.


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