Search #RBPSMusic on ‘Twitter / X’


We were thrilled, in October 2023, to have been nominated for, and awarded, the music mark by the local music hub. The music mark is in recognition of our work in school to provide a range of quality music opportunities for our children.

Music is an important part of children’s personal development, including supporting a positive sense of wellbeing. At Ralph Butterfield Primary School, we understand and value how music is a way of communicating thoughts, feelings and ideas and enabling creativity. This can be through singing, playing an instrument, creating rhythms, listening, talking about, moving to, or simply enjoying the magic music has to offer.

We are passionate about providing children at Ralph Butterfield Primary School with a variety of learning opportunities that enhance their love of music as well as improving their musical understanding and

self-confidence in performing, using instruments and singing. Our music curriculum is progressively sequenced and fully inclusive; every child is able to access it and achieve, with supportive scaffolding as required.

Our music curriculum is based on the strands of singing, rhythm, listening and appraising, composing and improvising, and notation, as per the National Curriculum. The musical elements of pitch, dynamics, tempo, duration, structure, timbre and texture underpin all teaching and learning of music.

We aim to give all our children the opportunity to:

● Sing confidently in different sized groups, paying attention to sound quality, intonation (tuning), diction, expression and ensemble skills.

● Play, sing and move with a steady pulse and an accurate rhythmic sense.

● Listen and comment critically to sounds, songs, and pieces of music across a range of styles and periods, including their own compositions and performances.

● Develop an understanding of the history of music.

● Explore, create, improve and evaluate their own compositions and improvisations using sounds, instruments, ensembles and technology.

● Use graphic, rhythmic, and pitched notation to play and create music.

● Have whole class instrumental lessons in Year 2 and Year 4.

● Perform each year in a concert and Key Stage performances.



Please click here to view our music progression


How our school values are embedded in music


Children listen with kindness and respect to others when sharing work and performing and reflect on this with compassion.



Children develop a positive attitude and high expectations for themselves to improve their own musical ability through experiencing a wide range of musical opportunities.





Children persevere in order to improve their musical skills. This is shown through composing, performing and singing.





Children are honest when discussing their own opinions whilst showing kindness and respect towards the feelings of others.




What this looks like for children at Ralph Butterfield Primary School

· Music is good for wellbeing and our children have access to a wide and varied curriculum to experience the joy music has to offer.

· In Reception, our youngest children have access to musical instruments where they can make music, sing songs and perform for others during child-initiated play. They also have a weekly music lesson where they can enjoy singing, listening and moving to music and playing percussion instruments and glockenspiels.

· Year 1 children continue to have their weekly music lesson accessing the percussion instruments and glockenspiels.

· Year 2 children have weekly whole class recorder tuition with a music specialist, including a wealth of rhythm, clapping games and notation as well as playing the recorder. The children then perform in a recorder concert at the end of the year for the school and parents/carers. There is opportunity to build on their recorder skills in our thriving recorder club, which includes children from Years 3-6; there is current excitement as they are playing in 2 and 3 parts!

· As well as ongoing music teaching and learning, all children in Years 3, 5 and 6 have a music specialist teaching the music curriculum, in weekly sessions over a term. The specialist focuses on key musical elements linked to our long-term plan.

· Year 4 children have whole class ensemble teaching (WCET), with a specialist, for the full year, learning 3 different instruments - this is a term of tuition for each instrument, giving the children an experience of what a musical instrument lesson is like and making music using a wind instrument (clarinet), stringed instrument using a bow (violin) and then a ukulele, which is also great fun to sing along to as they strum chords. This provision ensures that all children have the opportunity to learn an instrument. The lessons also provide inspiration for the type of instrument they might like to play in the future.

· Many of our children have 1:1 music lessons in our school, taught by talented peripatetic teachers before or after school hours. Instruments played by the children are the flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, guitar, brass and cello. If a child would like to learn an alternative instrument, we endeavour to find a teacher using our contacts at the York Music Hub and York Arts Education. The children are invited to perform in a concert each year and also have a chance to showcase their talents in class assemblies.

· We really value the benefits of singing; the children have a weekly singing assembly, led by our musical SENDCO, where they are also taught the correct breathing techniques for singing. The children have learnt a wealth of warm up songs and have a bank of learnt songs, which they enjoy singing at other times. The children have sung in unison and in 4-part rounds and we have recently also formed an upper junior harmony group. Our children all take part in a church service in Haxby each year, where they perform songs that they have learnt during the singing assemblies.

· Our children perform in a show every year, taking on a variety of roles: narrators, actors, dancers and musicians. In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, the children perform in a Nativity. In Years 3 and 4, the children take part in a spring term pantomime. Year 5 and 6 take part in a musical, performed at the end of the summer term. The shows are of an exceptional quality and our children simply shine when performing.

· The children listen to a variety of music in assemblies to support their development of listening and appraising. Weekly themes range from festivals e.g. Harvest and Christmas around the world, the curriculum e.g. friendship songs linked to anti-bullying week, instruments of the week e.g. recorder or violin, or what is happening at the moment e.g. remembrance songs or black artists and composers during black history month. The music is also easily accessible in the classrooms during the week for the children to continue to enjoy and talk about.

· The children have access to music clubs including choir, recorder and music club (where they are currently composing a musical!). We have very close links with York Arts Education and our music specialists take the recorder club and music club. The music lead takes the choir and the harmony group.

· We really value visiting musicians who sometimes perform in assembly or facilitate workshops with the children. This gives children opportunities to see musicians performing live and is an inspiration. Year 6 children also go to a local secondary school each year to watch their musical performances.





"Ralph Butterfield Primary truly is a very special school and we feel so lucky that it is our school."