The Music Subject Leader is Mrs K Picton

Curriculum Drivers

Curriculum drivers shape our curriculum breadth and our ambition for our children to study the best of what has been thought and said by many generations of academics and scholars.

They are derived from an exploration of our children’s backgrounds, within our locality, underpinned by our beliefs about high quality education and our values, rooted in the Mission of the Church. They are used to ensure we give our children appropriate and ambitious curriculum opportunities, applicable to them. The fundamental principles of education, within all subject areas, at St Joseph’s are:

  1. Growth: Pupils aspire to be the best and grow to achieve their dreams.
  2. Diversity: Our pupils recognise the diverse world in which we live, in turn broadening their horizons.

Threshold Concepts in Music

These are the ‘big ideas’ that shape our children’s thinking within each subject. The same threshold concepts will be explored in every year group and the children will gradually increase their understanding of them.

Exploring a concept will never be complete; our children will continue to explore them for as long as they study the subject, within different contexts, to ensure this learning has tangibility and meaning.

  • Perform

This concept involves understanding that music is created to be performed.

  • Compose

This concept involves appreciating that music is created through a process which has a number of techniques.

  • Transcribe

This concept involves understanding that compositions need to be understood by others and that there are techniques and a language for communicating them.

  • Describe music

This concept involves appreciating the features and effectiveness of musical elements.

Essential Characteristics of Music

Each child will develop the following characteristics, during their time at St Joseph’s, when exploring the Threshold Concepts:

  • A rapidly widening repertoire which they use to create original, imaginative, fluent and distinctive composing and performance work.
  • A musical understanding underpinned by high levels of aural perception, internalisation and knowledge of music, including high or rapidly developing levels of technical expertise.
  • Very good awareness and appreciation of different musical traditions and genres.
  • An excellent understanding of how musical provenance – the historical, social and cultural origins of music – contributes to the diversity of musical styles.
  • The ability to give precise written and verbal explanations, using musical terminology effectively, accurately and appropriately.
  • A passion for and commitment to a diverse range of musical activities.

Breadth of Study

The overview below provides a breadth of study which meets the requirements of the National Curriculum:

Key Stage 1 Key Stage 2
• Use their voices expressively 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.

• Make and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.

• Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using voice and playing instruments with increasing accuracy, control and expression.

• Improvise and compose music using the inter-related dimensions of music separately and in combination.

• Listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory.

• Use and understand the basics of the stave and other musical notations.

• Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music from different traditions and from great musicians and composers.

• Develop an understanding of the history of music.


Because the Threshold Concepts are repeated in every year group, it is important that the children progress in their understanding of them. Therefore, ‘Milestones’ are used, which contain a range of descriptors which give more detail to be discovered within the concept. Over a two year period (for example, Years 1 and 2), the children will become more and more familiar with these details by exploring them in a breadth of contexts. Milestones form part of our internal Medium Term Plans.

Leeds Catholic Diocesan Singing Programme

All primary schools within the BKCAT, take part in the Diocesan Singing Programme, led by Choral Directors, from the Diocese of Leeds and Leeds Cathedral. Children in Year 5 and 6 develop their choral vocal skills by singing a mixture of both secular and sacred music and experience their first competitive music competition, entering the Rothwell Music Festival. Not only does this provide the opportunity to perform in front of an audience, it also adds the element of competition as well as the chance to receive constructive feedback on their performances.

Children are also invited to join the BKCAT choirs, which bring together singers from across the Trust; the choirs take part in special acts of worship at churches within our school parishes and there is also a BKCAT Singing Festival, held each July!

Bishop Konstant Catholic Academy Trust Youth Choir

All young people from school years, Year 4, 5 & 6, upwards, are invited to join the Diocesan Youth Choir for the Wakefield and Pontefract area.  The educational, musical, health and social benefits of singing are widely documented. We rehearse once a week with expert tutors and take part in concerts, Masses, recordings and tours. The educational, musical, health and social benefits of singing are widely documented. With the generous support of the Diocese and our supporting schools it’s also FREE!

Pontefract Boys’ Choir – Mondays 4.15pm-5.15pm – St. Joseph’s School, Pontefract

Wakefield Boys’ Choir – Wednesdays 4.30pm-5.30pm – English Martyrs School, Wakefield

Pontefract Girls’ Choir – Thursdays 4.15pm-5.15pm – St. Wilfrid’s School, Featherstone

Wakefield Girls’ Choir – Tuesdays 4.15pm-5.15pm – St. Thomas a Becket School, Wakefield

Places are limited so please  contact us for more information. 0113 244 8634 /


Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme youtube channel

Useful Curriculum Links:


Music Mark

Wakefield Music Services

Leeds Diocesan Schools Singing Programme with our very own singing teacher – Miss Kitson –

Wakefield Music Services Education Hub –