Music and choirs

Our Music Intent

‘Without music, life would be a mistake.’ Friedrich Nietzsche

The music curriculum intent at Holly Park School is two-fold.

Firstly, we intend the children to develop a range of technical and practical musical skills to enable them to enjoy and participate in music throughout their lives. This will include the development of skills in areas such as pitch, rhythm, musical form, notation, listening and composing.

Secondly, we intend the children to develop a broad range of transferable skills including social engagement with others (including teamwork, collaboration, sensitivity to others and compromise), curiosity, engagement, motivation, expression of ideas and feelings, open-mindedness, resilience, commitment, reflection and creativity.

At Holly Park we are well known for our high standard of music – both within the curriculum and with our choirs and instrumental tuition.

It is well recognised that music can help to develop the skills, attitudes and attributes that can support learning in other national curriculum subjects. This includes; listening skills, the ability to concentrate, creativity, intuitions, perseverance, the ability to work in a group, confidence and sensitivity towards others.

The Music National Curriculum

Key stage 1

Pupils should be taught to:

  • use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
  • play tuned and untuned instruments musically
  • listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
  • experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.

Key stage 2

Pupils should be taught to:

  • sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
  • listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
  • use and understand staff and other musical notations
  • appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
  • develop an understanding of the history of music

Progression of skills in music

As they progress through the school, children develop their musical skills in:

  • Singing songs with control and using the voice expressively
  • Listening, memory and movement
  • Controlling pulse and rhythm
  • Exploring sounds, melody and accompaniment
  • Control of instruments
  • Composition

Children are exposed to the work of many musicians, singers and song writers from different cultures and periods of history.

Music is a subject that lends itself well to a class topic and so frequently, you see other subjects ‘come to life’ through music.

There is a clear progression of skills in every strand of music.

Our Progression of Skills documents set out what will be taught in each year group based on the  National Curriculum. When planning, teachers will consider the overall Learning Objective; a focus for the objective and the resulting Success Criteria.

Please see our progression of skills documents attached in music for:

Developing musical vocabulary is also very important. Here is a progression of vocabulary development: MUSIC Vocabulary subject sheet


  • Infant Choir – any child in Year 2 may join this choir. We expect full commitment for the year. The choir meets at lunchtime on Tuesday.
  • Junior Choir – any child in Year 4-6 may join this choir. The choir meets after school on Thursday.

These are the songs the children are practising for the Barnet Music Festival:

Here are the Lyrics

Sunrise Performance:

Dowda Sane:

I’m Still Singing

I Got Rhythm

Love Shine a Light

Orra Bhonna


Music Concerts and Performances

  • Our Candlelight Concert involves Infant and Barnabas Choirs and is based around Christmas carols, supplemented with other religious festivals of light occurring at this time of year, such as Hanukkah and Divali. We include a song in Arabic, too.
  • The annual Instrumental Tuition Concert in February involves the pupils who are learning a musical instrument at school as well as performances from our Wind Band, String Ensemble and Rock Band. Here are some pictures of our instrumental concert.
  • Infant Choir performs at the Barnet Infant Music Festival in November, the ‘Candlelight Concert’ and at our own Infant Choir Concert in May,
  • Junior Choir performs at the ‘Three Choirs Concert’ in July.
  • Barnabas and Chamber Choirs perform at the Candlelight Concert, the Three choirs Concert and the Two Choirs Concert in July.
  • HPS is involved with the Barnet Music Festival.
  • We have produced choirs to perform at special borough events and events London-wide or nationwide. These have included performances at the Royal Albert Hall, The Dorchester Hotel and on TV programmes such as the ‘Terry and Gabby Show’ and the BBC’s ‘Children in Need’. We have performed ‘Henry V’ by William Walton with the Royal Orchestral Society.

Instrumental tuition

There are many factors to consider when selecting a suitable musical instrument for your child to learn. The age ranges we recommend for Instrumental Tuition are:

  • CELLO and VIOLIN for children in Years 2 – 6;
  • CORNET for Years 3&4 children
  • TRUMPET for Years 5&6 children
  • DRUM KIT and TABLAS for children in Years 4 – 6;
  • GUITAR for Years 5&6 children)

However, parents should contact Barnet Education Arts Trust to discuss the suitability of their child to the chosen musical instrument. The telephone number is 0208 959 4111.

Barnet Education Arts Trust administers all enrolment and payment details, not Holly Park School.