Music at Barton Hill Academy

At Barton Hill Academy we have a specialist music teacher who teaches all children in both KS1 and KS2. All classes in KS1 and KS2 receive a 30 minute lesson once a week.

Barton Hill Academy has a rich and diverse music curriculum, giving the children the opportunity to listen to a wide variety of music genres and styles, sing a huge array of songs ranging from traditional African songs to modern day hits, learn how to play a large selection of instruments, compose and improvise music and take part in extracurricular clubs and performances/workshops.


In years 1 and 2 children are taught the basics of music through listening, singing and playing tuned and untuned instruments.

Year 1 are taught to use their voices confidently, compose music, create graphic scores and experiment moving to music.

Year 2 learn how to play the recorder and the handbells and compose music using tuned and untuned percussion taking inspiration from well known composers and musical works.


Between the years of 3-6, children at Barton Hill are given the opportunity to learn to play a large selection of music, continue to develop their singing voices and progress with their composing and improvising skills.

In year 3, as well being giving the opportunity to continue learning how to play the recorder, the children also spend a term learning how to play the ukulele as well as spending a term composing their own class song and how to perform using Body Percussion. By the end of the year the children will be able to play at least 4 chords on the ukulele and also read and play music from Tablature. The children are also given the opportunity to play and compose music on the new school junk band created by Mr Gray, the music teacher. The children also create their own instruments made out of every items found at home.

Year 4 spend the entire academic year taking part in whole class brass lessons. They learn how to play a brass instrument (trumpet, cornet, and baritone). By the end of the year every child is able to read at least 6 notes using standard notation, including a variety of different note lengths and rests. They end the year by performing to their family.

In year 5, the children are given the opportunity to play a variety of musical instruments and learn about different styles and genres of music from around the world. Topics include:

  • Music of Africa (learning how to play the Djembe drum)
  • Ukulele (continuation of ukulele playing, learning how to read and play music from Tablature).
  • Music of the far east (as well as learning about music from countries such as China, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and Singapore, the children also learn to compose using the pentatonic scale as well as learning to play a Gamelan style piece of music).
  • Film music
  • The Planets by Holst

Year 6 spend their last year at Barton Hill Academy trying new instruments and continuing to improve and develop their singing voices and their composing and improvising skills. Music theory is also key to their learning, equipping them for music at secondary level. Topics include:

  • Whole class Violin playing
  • Whole class Guitar playing
  • Beat boxing
  • The History of Music from Ancient music to 21st Century music
  • WW2 music
  • Music of Latin America (learning how to play the Steel pans and Samba instruments).
  • ICT Music (learning how to use and compose music on Garage Band).

Singing assemblies

KS1 and KS2 take part in a singing assembly once a week. The children are taught a variety of songs in different styles/genres etc. Singing is taught in unison, 2-part harmony, canons/rounds and body percussion is used as well.

Group lessons

Within the school day there are a number of group lessons available to children who are keen to learn to play an instrument:

  • Recorder club (For children in year 2 who own their own recorder)
  • Ukulele club (For children in year 3 who own their own ukulele)
  • jSax club (Year 5)
  • Violin club (Years 5/6)
  • Brass club (Years 5/6)
  • Group lessons on guitar, bass guitar, drums and keyboard

Extra-curricular/performing opportunities

Barton Hill Academy also run an exciting variety of extra-curricular music clubs to children in both KS1 and KS2. Clubs change every term and are based on the instruments taught in the curriculum. Every year we create a school choir that is given the opportunity to perform in public, including Christmas carolling.

Other clubs take part in performances throughout the year, including The Festival of Performing Arts held at the English Riviera Centre, Torquay.


Recent trips have included watching The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, visiting the iOrchestra, and the Devon Mix event.


Barton Hill Academy have and regularly use the following instruments:

  • Brass (trumpets, cornets and baritones)
  • Violins
  • Guitars
  • Ukuleles
  • Tuned and untuned percussion
  • Samba
  • Steel Pans
  • Djembe drums
  • Keyboards
  • Drum kit
  • Electric guitars and bass guitars
  • Handbells
  • Boomwhackers
  • jSax