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The Federation of St Mary’s Catholic Schools are a secure, friendly and faith-centred community where we seek to realise the full potential of all our family through the living love of Christ. All our work with children and their families, staff, governors, parishioners and the wider community is influenced by our core values which are: Compassion, Respect and Resilience.

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The purpose of our Arches Curriculum is to ensure that our children are successful in life and learning. The ‘Nine Arches’ Sankey Viaduct in Newton-le-Willows has been the inspiration for our curriculum.  The viaduct was built by George Stephenson between 1828 and 1830 and the bridge, built to let trains cross above the Sankey Canal, has international significance as the world’s earliest major railway viaduct still in use.

The ‘Nine Arches’ signifies excellence in engineering that is still successful.  Our curriculum is designed to show our children that our ambitious curriculum will offer them rewards for the future. As a school, our curriculum sets high expectations for each and every child, meaning that we are relentless in our commitment to overcoming barriers faced by our pupils and to developing children to be resilient and self-motivated in their pursuit of learning.

With Christ at the heart and encompassing our Mission Statement, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” we provide a high-quality education within a creative, stimulating, encouraging and mutually supportive environment where children are enabled to develop the skills they require to become successful in music.

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Our ambitious curriculum is the challenge for our children. We want our children relish challenges that being a musician can bring: to listen, appraise, perform and evaluate whilst acquiring the key skills needed for any budding young musician.

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Through the ‘resilience’ curriculum driver, we promote optimism and determination in music. A selection of carefully chosen musical influences are embedded within our music curriculum to promote resilience. Children are encouraged to be resilient when embarking on their musical journeys in becoming the budding young performers that we believe our children should have the opportunity to be.

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As a Catholic school we place Christ at the centre of all that we do. We integrate Gospel values and the teachings of the Catholic Church into every aspect of learning and teaching in our music teaching. Celebrating our Catholic faith through music is always joyful in our schools and allows our children to experience the presence of God and develop a mature spiritual life.

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At St Mary’s, we understand that happiness is linked to personal growth, health and development. We ensure our children are happy, healthy individuals. In music, we ensure our children can share in the early aspirations that have made our musicians of yesteryear and can show an appreciation for the contributions that music has provided us with and its impact on their young lives. With ‘wellbeing’ as a curriculum driver, we give children the confidence to musically thrive in a diverse, global society and be respectful citizens with British and Christian Values at the core.

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Through the ‘excellence’ curriculum principle, our children will understand and explore the interrelated dimensions of music from different genres, eras and a range of composers and apply this knowledge to their own composition.

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Through ‘success’, we raise aspirations to broaden our children’s horizons – opening their eyes to the myriad careers they might pursue. Through careful planning, we have chosen key musical concepts so children aspire to be like the influential musicians who have impacted the world. We provide tangible role models to raise our pupils’ aspirations to inspire them to work even harder to be the best that they can be. We want our pupils to have a clear understanding of the link between achieving well and having musical aspirations for the future.

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Being a musician means that all the key elements of music complement each other harmoniously. Through our listen, appraise and perform approach, our children begin to understand that ‘we are all musicians’.  

The children learn to appreciate many different genres of music and their composers associated from the Baroque period up to the present day, forming an integral part of our listen and appraise element to our curriculum.

We also want a St Mary’s pupil leaving our school having been given the opportunity to learn a new instrument from different musical families; percussion, strings and brass creating the new and budding musicians of tomorrow having been inspired by those of the past.


All of our children will have consistent access to a broad, balanced and high quality music curriculum which will: 

Engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.  As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon. 


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VALUED - We value vocabulary in music and it underpins everything we do. 
IDENTFIED - Music vocabulary is identified by the music subject leader and is explicitly planned for.
TAUGHT - Vocabulary is explicitly taught in every lesson. Our knowledge organisers are used as a teaching tool for key musical vocabulary and the music medium term plans include additional vocabulary to be taught.
APPLIED - Once vocabulary is taught, it is applied. Children apply their vocabulary in their speaking and listening, writing and assessment outcomes in music.
LEARNED - Vocabulary is revisited and relearned. Vocabulary sticks in the children’s long-term memory. Lesson by lesson, year by year, children revisit and relearn key computing vocabulary.


Through an ‘explosion of experiences’, our youngest musicians are exposed to the foundations of their musical learning. Musical knowledge, skills and experiences are provided to develop children’s artistic and cultural awareness. Adults support the imagination and creativity of our children through play. Children are given the opportunity to explore musical instruments and given chance to perform, sing and express themselves to music. High quality daily rhymes and carefully planned stories are the beating heart of our music curriculum in EYFS. Musical vocabulary is planned for. Staff are role models in demonstrating musical vocabulary to develop self- expression and the ability to communicate through the arts which is further enhanced in our excellent provision. The foundations of music learning in EYFS are linked to Year 1 and beyond


Both our staff and children are enthusiastic about Music. Through ongoing CPD, we strive to ensure our teachers have expert knowledge of the music they teach. Our pedagogy is firmly based upon our curriculum intent of embedding concepts into long-term memory so that they can be recalled, to ensure substantive and disciplinary knowledge and skills can be applied fluently. 

The Federation of St Mary’s Catholic School’s model ensures that lessons are effectively sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and towards defined end points.  

We firmly believe that all children should have full access, including those with additional needs, to our Music curriculum therefore lessons are scaffolded where appropriate in order to meet the needs of all our children.    

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Impact.pngWe understand that we may not see the true impact of our Music curriculum on our children as our music curriculum is just the beginning of a lifetime of learning. 

Our well-constructed and well-taught music curriculum leads to great outcomes. Our results are a reflection of what our children have learnt. At The Federation of St Mary’s Catholic Schools, our philosophy is that broad and balanced leads to great outcomes and meeting end points at the end of each key stage. National assessments are useful indicators of the outcomes our children achieve.  

We ensure all groups of children are given the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. We strive to ensure that our children are equipped with the skills (through a growth mindset approach) to fluently be able to retrieve key facts from their semantic memory. 

The quality of our children’s work, at every stage, is of a high standard. All learning is built towards an end point and at each stage of their education, we prepare our children for the next stage. 

The impact of The Federation of St Mary’s Catholic Schools music curriculum is measured through the following: 

  • Work is assessed at the end of each lesson and at the end of each sequence
  • Pupil voice 
  • Progress evident in children’s books and record of experiences 
  • Seeking views of parents where appropriate

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